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cover-Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Sunday, August 27, 2023 2:48:47 PM

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon Review (Konigwolfen)

I've played every mainline Armored Core game in the franchise. S-ranked every mission, obtained every part, beaten every hidden boss and played far too many hours of Armored Core 3: Silent Line (one of the only games I had for around 4 years) and Armored Core For Answer. I had been waiting thirteen years for a good Armored Core game to finally come out. Sekiro, Dark Souls 3, and Elden Ring were all great but just don't have the same appeal. This game pulls many of the best elements from previous generations of Armored Core and develops some of the things that were fairly clunky and uninteractive.

The fact stagger has a functional purpose instead of being a simple case of stunlocking is a gigantic depature from previous titles. In Gen 3 and 4, and even in Gen 5 (until it was nerfed) stunlocking was very easy to do. Many enemy AC's and heavy MT's were basically unable to respond. At the same time the player could end up getting stunlocked to death. So it went both ways, with little interaction or reaction possible. Stagger in AC6 isn't perfect, but it is a large step forward toward refining Armored Core's combat loop as a whole.

Were derided early on for making the game 'too easy' but the reality is the opposite. Previous generations of games offered repairs via supply vehicles, but it wasn't very useful in the midst of combat. It is worth noting that Repair Kits are not a crutch they are simply a guide rail. A player relying on them heavily to beat the game is going to have a fairly poor time of it. Whereas people who learn from their mistakes and seek to master the game are likely to never require it.

As much as I may be derided for saying this. I disliked PvP in Armored Core V. The excessive focus of ACV and Verdict Day on online co-op heavily damaged the singleplayer experience, and considering the already controversial control scheme switch up, and the complete lack of true aerial combat, it just stuck out like a sore thumb. While I am rather baffled by the lack of features that ACFA had for PvP it doesn't really change my opinion on the game. I began playing Armored Core when PvP was a pipe dream (or split-screen only), and while I had a bit of fun with PvP in AC4 and ACFA, and dabbled in ACV's PvP. Its never been a major focus to me.

I'd be lying if I didn't think they could've had more specific types of parts available, weapon arms, extensions, add-on boosters, ammo boost back parts... The amount of parts available in AC6 is fairly impressive, and if FromSoft builds upon this game with a DLC or sequel in the same vein as AC4 to ACFA. This is the start of a VERY interesting generation of AC. Also the addition of texturing and weathering is an extremely important improvement, as prior your mech either looked pristine or in the case of ACV like it fell out of a scrap-pile.

Armored Core 6 has a fairly intriguing story, but obviously for many AC's fans a lot of the story beats will feel familiar. Fortunately its not as 'moustache-twirling evil' as some of the Gen 2 titles. I'd still say ACFA has a leg up story wise, but that was a sequel which had the foundation AC4 laid to work off of. We will have to see how far Gen 6 goes.

A lot of people seemed to think Armored Core 6 is just 'mech-souls' but that isn't the case. Even if you try to act like Repair Kits and Stagger are alien to AC, you'd just be displaying your lack of knowledge. Armored Core 6 is a truly refined return to form. A definitive 'Armored Core' game, and I look forward to the next addition.

I'm still working through New Game ++, but if I had to put a score on AC6, its a solid 8.0.
I've nearly done with NG++, and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much the story shifts for the 3rd ending. I've raised my score to 8.5. It's not perfect, but it lays the ground work for an all out masterpiece in the future.