Armored Core 6 Looks to be More Armored Core Than Soulsborne


When FromSoftware announced Armored Core VI at last week’s Game Awards, the main comment in the dedicated subreddit announcement thread read simply, “May this subreddit rightfully grow from obscurity.”

Always a cult series at best, Armored Core was further overshadowed by the rise of the so-called Soulsborne genre, which brought FromSoftware from obscurity to one of the best studios in the world. But Armored Core has been around for a long time – much longer than Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. During its heyday on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, it earned a cult following for its strong designs; deep series of parts and intense split screen combat. The last Armored Core, an ambitious online game where teams of players compete against each other on a large multiplayer map, came out in 2012.

With the Soulsborne subgenre becoming such a dominant part of FromSoftware’s brand, it’s easy to wonder if Armored Core will follow suit. Will it be Sekiro with giant robots? Will it take place in a large open world? At this point, the answer to both questions appears to be “no,” although there is some nuance to that equation.

“No, we didn’t make a conscious effort to focus it on more Soulsborne-esque gameplay,” said FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki, who provided the concept for the game. “The essential direction of [Armored Core VI] was to go back and take a good look at the core concept of Armored Core and what made that series special. So we wanted to take the assembly aspect, assemble and customize your own mech – your AC – and then be able to demand a high level of control over the assembled mech. So we wanted to take those two core concepts and reexamine them in our modern environment. “

In practice, this means retaining many of the elements that have defined the series over the years – features such as the detailed mecha customization and the one-on-one arena mode. The most readily available “Soulsborne” elements are probably the powerful bosses – a staple of FromSoftware – and the dark setting, the latter of which was already a big part of Armored Core’s identity.

It also features a stance system of sorts, which director Masaru Yamamura – a veteran of Dark Souls and Sekiro: Shadows Dies Twice – says works by “continuing to attack even the strongest enemy, the force of the impact can change the stance of the enemy breaking and a great deal of damage.” Think of it as something like holding up a shield and absorbing damage until you’re forced to give in.

Where Armored Core sets itself apart is its focus on ranged weapons over swords and melee weapons. Yamamura acknowledges this in our interview, though he also points out that Armored Core has some “fun melee options”.

No, we didn’t consciously try to focus it on more Soulsborne-like gameplay

Both Yamamura and Miyazaki resist simple comparisons to Souslborne games. Miyazaki firmly says that customization is the main focus, and Yamamura says there are “no elements that reference Sekiro directly”. Nowhere is that more apparent than the decision to go with a mission-based design, which links it directly to its predecessors, versus the more open structure of Elden Ring and its ilk.

“We felt that the mission-based structure was an advantage for this as it allows you to choose and adjust before each mission. At the very least the pace – the pace at which the player can move around the world and the map… this is a very important aspect in how you approach this design,” says Miyazaki. “I think one of the great appeals of the previous Armored Core games is the freedom to choose how you’re going to move around the map and how your choices mobility and your skills will affect once you are in it. level. This is the format we wanted to choose this time, and this is what we wanted to focus on. “

Miyazaki, of course, started with the Armored Core series before eventually going on to direct Demon’s Souls, so he knows it’s better than most. Perhaps Armored Core’s main opportunity lies in using FromSoftware’s enhanced resources to produce a graphically ambitious experience. Miyazaki himself admits that he is “jealous” of the team that gets to make Armored Core VI today.

“I wish we used to have that kind of influence,” he says, somewhat wistfully.

Yamamura, meanwhile, talks at length about what FromSoftware can achieve with Armored Core VI’s improved graphics.

“The mecha theme of Armored Core VI, of course, means that we’re portraying these huge pieces of steel, and we have to imagine how these things would move and how they would be put together, the different joints, how these all sorts of things move in combination with each other and how we make this look cool – also in a gameplay sense,” says Yamamura. “So this is something that we can apply resources to. Obviously also the metallic texture of these things and the sound design. We can use foley to apply realistic sounds to these mechs. There are many areas where we use these resources and modern thinking as well can apply.

That may be the crux of what drives FromSoftware to create Armored Core VI. It may have found untold riches in making games like Elden Ring, but it hasn’t forgotten its beginnings. While waiting for the first full gameplay reveal, Armored Core seems fully set to become… well… an Armored Core game, with all the consequences that entails. It even keeps the song despite a new story.

“Armored Core is the reason anyone reading this tweet got to play Dark Souls,” developer Doc Burford wrote shortly after the reveal. This is the post-booborne [sic] From finally returning to their best series.”

Armored Core 6 is currently scheduled for release in 2023. You can read about everything else that was announced at The Game Awards here.

Kat Bailey is Senior News Editor at IGN and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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