Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. What to expect
On the 25th of August, FromSoftware – best known these days for their notoriously difficult Dark Souls series – will release the 6th game in their Armored Core series.
Combining the developer’s past expertise in creating mech games and their signature tight gameplay Armored Core VI brings creativity and customisation to the forefront to the return to their flagship series, offering a quite frankly staggering amount of customisation and the freedom to the players to adapt their own mechs to suit their playstyle.
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But we need to look back, we need to take a look at the series’ origin, and for that we need to go right back to the days of the original Playstation.
Who made the Armored Core series?
Image credit: Wikipedia
Armored Core was released by the studio FromSoftware back in 1997 the same year as the game-changing Final Fantasy VII, and as a consequence, is not the most well-known game from that era. Taking control of a faceless pilot mercenary, the gameplay loop involves accepting missions over various types of terrain and defeating enemies in order to earn credits as two corporations battle each other for supremacy. Even back in 1997, the original Armored Core was lauded for its customisation options and engaging local multiplayer - the latter of which also was a flagship of FromSoftware later titles with its unique interpretation of multiplayer through its invading system -
Its plot is not overly complex but deceptively simple with hidden branching trees funnelling players down into defending one of the two sides. For those of you familiar with FromSoftware’s later titles, you will know their bold decisions to design areas that may not even be found by the player (my favourite example being an entire area in the original Dark Souls hidden behind two separate illusionary walls that require to be hit to be dispelled). Fromsoftware have never been afraid of bold and innovative level design.
2009 – Demon's and Dark Souls era
Image credit: Gamersnyde
Many of you here will be aware of the series that catapulted FromSoftware to a household name in the gaming industry and have gone from strength to strength since the release of Demon’s Souls back in 2009. They are best known for their tough but fair gameplay, preferring to teach players through gameplay and level design rather than onscreen tutorials. You might not be surprised to discover that difficulty is something FromSoftware has always liked to implement in their games. Armored Core is a difficult game, no question, and who knows? Maybe the 6th entry won’t pull its punches either.
The present – A return to mecha
Image credit: Window Central
Riding on the success on Elden Ring, the critically acclaimed Game of the Year winner, FromSoftware are returning to their roots, offering us a sumptuous glimpse of the planet Rubicon 3, offering multiple terrains to explore at breakneck speed and a staggering number of customisation options. FromSoftware seem to have truly gone all out for their return to the skies. The sound design is incredible and we’re hoping that like Dark Souls, FromSoftware’s legendary level design will truly shine out once again.
As for the story, we don’t know much, but like the original game, you play as a mercenary, this time searching for the highly coveted substance Coral for the benefit of the one you work for. Perhaps there will be a hidden piece of lore attached to a particular gun you attach to your pauldron. Can you make any sense of the story yet from the trailers?
Whatever Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon brings upon its release, we can’t wait to dive in. FromSoftware have released hit after hit in the almost fifteen years and their track record is supremely solid as they continue to make their games fun and engaging above all else. And ultimately, that’s what games should be first and foremost, right?
What do I need to play Armored Core VI?
So you’re taking the plunge with us? You’ll need to know the specifications!
Armored Core is not terribly demanding, but it’s worth double checking your components to ensure Rubicon 3 looks as good as it can be.
Will Armored Core be difficult?
The original Armored Core games are no doubt a difficult series of games, and FromSoftware are known for their punishing game design. But whilst they are punishing, they are undoubtably rewarding for people willing to learn the mechanics. It remains to be seen just how punishing the new entry to the series will be.
What are Armored Core’s key features?
Get ready for blistering omni-directional battles and utilising true freedom of movement, piloting your mech in the way you want both in the air and on the terrain, offering multiple ways to play the game and defeat enemies.
Allow a full array of customisable features to cater for your playstyle and even aesthetics, paving the way for a new era of “Fashion souls”, and we can’t wait.
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, is out now.