When FromSoftware announced Armored Core VI at last week’s Game Awards, the most prominent comment in the special subreddit announcement thread was simply, “This subreddit rightfully grows out of obscurity.”
Always a cult series at best, Armored Core has been further marred by the rise of the Soulsborne genre, which has thrust FromSoftware from obscurity to one of the world’s top studios. But Armored Core has been around for a long time – much longer than Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. In the golden age of PlayStation and PlayStation 2, he gained a cult audience with his powerful designs; deep sequence of tracks and intense split-screen combat. Last Armored Core – an ambitious online game that pits teams of players against each other on a massive multiplayer map – released in 2012.
With the Soulsborne subgenre becoming such a dominant part of the FromSoftware brand, it’s easy to wonder if Armored Core will do the same. Will it be the giant robot Sekiro? Will it take place in a huge open world? Currently, the answer to both of these questions seems to be “no”, although there are some nuances in this comparison.
“Well, we’re not making a conscious effort to channel it into more Soulsborne-type gameplay,” he says. FromSoftware president Hidetaka MiyazakiThe person who provided the concept of the game. “The main direction [Armored Core VI] It was to go back and take a good look at the core concept of the Armored Core and what makes this series special. That’s why we wanted to address the mounting aspect by assembling and customizing your own machine – your AC – and then being able to gain a high level of control over the combined machine. Therefore, we wanted to take these two fundamental concepts and reexamine them in our modern environment. “
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
In practical terms, this means retaining many of the elements that have defined the series over the years – features like granular mecha customization and a one-on-one arena mode. The most readily available “Soulsborne” items tend to be its powerful bosses – a FromSoftware staple – and the latter being the dark setting that’s already a big part of Armored Core’s identity.
Also, as director Masaru Yamamura, a veteran of Dark Souls and Sekiro: Shadows Dies Twice, says, “Continuing to attack even the strongest enemy, the power of the blow can disrupt the enemy’s stance and do a great deal of damage.” Think of it as holding a shield and absorbing damage until you’re forced to retire.
Where Armored Core sets it apart from the rest is that it focuses on ranged weapons rather than swords and melee weapons. Yamamura admits this in our interview, but points out that Armored Core also includes some “nice melee options.”
Both Yamamura and Miyazaki resist simplistic comparisons to Soulborne games. Miyazaki is adamant in saying that customization is the main focus, and Yamamura says there are “no elements that directly refer to Sekiro.” Nothing is more obvious than the decision to go with a task-based design that connects it directly to its predecessors versus the more open nature of Elden Ring and the like.
“We thought the mission-based structure was an advantage for this because it allows you to choose and customize before each sortie. map… that’s a huge aspect of how you approach this design,” Miyazaki says. “I think one of the most appealing points of previous Armored Core games is that you have the freedom to choose how you move around the map and how your choices affect your mobility and ability. That’s the format we wanted to choose this time around, and that’s where we wanted to focus.”
Miyazaki, of course, started with the Armored Core series and eventually went on to direct Demon’s Souls, so he knows better than most. Armored Core’s main opportunity may lie in using FromSoftware’s advanced resources to produce a graphically compelling experience. Miyazaki himself admits to being “envious” of the team that made Armored Core VI today.
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“I wish we had that kind of leverage back then,” he says somewhat sadly.
Meanwhile, Yamamura talks at length about what FromSoftware can achieve with Armored Core VI’s enhanced graphics.
“Obviously, Armored Core VI’s mecha theme means we’re depicting these enormous piles of steel, and we have to imagine how these things move and how they fit together, the various joints, how these things are. how we make it look cool – also in terms of gameplay,” says Yamamura. “So this is something we can apply resources to. Obviously, the metallic texture and sound design of these things too. We are able to use foley to get some realistic sounds to apply to these machines. Many areas where we can apply these resources and modern thinking as well.
This may be the essence of what drove FromSoftware to make Armored Core VI. He may have found untold riches by making plays like Elden Ring, but he hasn’t forgotten his beginnings. Until the first full gameplay is revealed, Armored Core looks fully prepared to be an Armored Core game with all its features. Even though it has a new story, it still maintains the number.
“Armored Core is the reason everyone reading this tweet is playing Dark Souls,” developer Doc Burford wrote shortly after its disclosure. This is post-boodborne [sic] Finally returning to their best series.”
Armored Core 6 is currently scheduled for release in 2023. You can read everything else announced at the Game Awards here.
Kat Bailey is Senior News Editor at IGN and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Got a tip? Send him a DM at @the_katbot.
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