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Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon Essays

Essays 24 August 2023, 17:24

author: Krzysiek Kalwasinski

Before You Play: How to Enter Armored Core VI Without Frustration

Armored Core returns after a long break and for many, it will be their first encounter with this cult, albeit not very popular series. Here are 5 things worth knowing before diving into Armored Core 6.

FromSoftware today is primarily recognized as the creators of the Dark Souls series and derivatives, such as Bloodborne or the excellent Elden Ring. However, this Japanese decided to take a break from this and return to their slightly rusty, but once flagship series, Armored Core. The last installment of this franchise appeared on PlayStation 3 in late 2013. So, years have passed and certainly many of you have not had the chance to try Armored Core: Verdict Day nor any of the previous parts, hence you may not fully know what's what in this specific mecha game. And this isn't really your typical production. So, we explain what to expect. Here are 5 things worth knowing before playing Armored Core 6.

Knowing the story so far isn't mandatory

Just like with the Final Fantasy series, you don't knowledge of the predecessors to a good time with the latest installment of Armored Core. The stories between the installments are somewhat connected, but they can be treated as separate entities, although they are of course set in the same universe and bring many references for dedicated fans to recognize. You also don't have to worry about gameplay, because after all, Armored Core 6 will be the most accessible installment, due to modernized controls, checkpoints during missions, and extensive tutorials. Following the example of predecessors, the basic rules of the game will be simple and the game should have a relatively low entry threshold – however, mastering it will be a completely different story.

Not a soulslike, but it is difficult

The Armored Core series is not the synonym of accessibility. It may seem that FromSoftware only became a studio of ferociously difficult games with the original Demon's Souls, but their productions have always been characterized by a relatively high level of challenge. The goes for Armored Core 6. If you were counting on a pleasant action game for a few evenings and hoping that the studio will offer a few difficulty levels to choose from, you may feel disappointed. There are ways to make the gameplay easier or harder, depending on choices, but there are no difficulty levels here – unlike in some of its predecessors, which had a normal or hard level. Despite several common features, such as epic boss battles and a combat system promoting reflexes and dexterity, as well as depth of in-game systems, this is not a title similar to Dark Souls or Elden Ring. About the only thing these games have in common is the fact that all of them might put you in front of a wall that may seem impenetrable at first. In this game, there is no leveling up(and thus there are no statistics), nor is there be a cooperative mode.

Linear missions structure instead of open world

We already mentioned that Armored Core 6 doesn't resemble Dark Souls or Elden Ring. A significant difference here is the division into separate missions (as has always been the case in the series) and a fairly linear nature. Of course, there game does feature more open areas, but missions locations are comparatively small and have strict boundaries. However, there will be no lack of additional content that will help in subsequent battles. Just like in previous versions, we'll be able to collect hidden parts for our mecha, and on top of that, get new ones as rewards for completing battles. The gameplay loop, however, comes down to selecting subsequent missions and accomplishing goals there, which may seem outlandish considering modern AAA standards. At the same time, staying true to the series' legacy will please both the fandom and fans of old-scool in general.

Mech construction is essential

Armored Core's relatively high difficulty level can be understood in various ways. One thing for certain is that it is not an easy game to complete, which is largely related to the extensive system of building and modifying the mechas. You will therefore find it much harder to complete the game if you will not pay enough attention to this aspect. Because in the series, the key to winning any fight has always been choosing the right tool, i.e. mecha that was able to face everything (or most of) what the opponent had to throw at you. Naturally, you can create a universal build, but the more you will dig inside your machine, the more fun you should have during the incoming fights. That's strongly recommended, since it will also allow you to fully appreciate the depth of the system designed by the creators. This can enhance not only the mecha's firepower, but also durability, agility, or airborne prowess. However, sometimes the most powerful machine you can get will not mean an easy victory.

Story works like in Ace Combat

Last, but not least, we've got to discuss the storhy. Here, the game resembles its previous installments, and thus the games of the renowned Ace Combat series as well. Most of the subject matter of this story plays out during the mission briefs. At the same time, there is also more veiled stuff going in the background, and we gradually get to uncover it as we progress. If that sounds kinda boring, don't worry – the game also comes with its fair share of well-directed cut-scenes. If that sounds up your alley, you're perfectly set for the experience. The crux of Armored Core 6's story revolves around a mysterious substance from the title planet Rubicon, which corporations and various groups are fighting over. We play a talented mercenary who carries out subsequent orders for them. This may all seem a little uninviting, but the story isn't as important in this type of games, and presented in this way, it can create a unique atmosphere, which it does here.

This is all you need to know before playing the latest game by FromSoftware. To close things off, let's remind that Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon will launch on August 25 coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One.

Krzysiek Kalwasinski | Gamepressure.com

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

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