After spending most of the 2010s and early 2020s in Yharnam, The Lands Between, and Lordran, From Software is headed to outer space as it revives the Armored Core series for a new era. After almost a decade of inaction, Armored Core is coming back with a new chapter in the franchise that revisits what made the franchise so popular during the PS2 and PS3 eras, while also building on that experience with From Software’s signature blend of challenging combat and highly customizable character builds.
Here’s everything that we know so far about Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon ahead of its release later this year.
Armored Core VI release date
You won’t have to wait too long to hop into a mech, as Armored Core VI has a release date of August 25.
It’s not unusual to see last-gen consoles being left behind as more games are announced and released, but From Software isn’t ready yet to say goodbye to older PlayStation and Xbox consoles just yet. When it arrives in August, you’ll be able to play Armored Core VI on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Who is leading development on Armored Core VI?
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice lead designer Masaru Yamamura is the game director for Armored Core VI.
Action is the name of this game, as just like previous installments in the series, Armored Core VI is a third-person game in which you mix ranged attacks with hard-hitting melee blows. Don’t expect this game to be mech-flavored Soulsborne, as From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki told fans to expect a sequel that emphasizes what makes Armored Core special instead. According to Miyazaki, the “essential” direction focuses on the core concept of Armored Core, including the idea of assembling your mech and customizing your titular armored core.
This will have a more modern design, and Miyazaki added that being able to customize your mech down to each individual part will be “more liberating” when compared to merely swapping out armor or equipment. If there is a game from the From Software library that you can look to for an idea of how Armored Core VI will play, then Sekiro is what you’ll want to examine.
According to Yamamura, while there “are no elements directly referring to Sekiro” in Armored Core VI’s gameplay, he did add that both games share the “same essence of battle” such as aggressive and high-speed action. Armored Core VI has its own take on Sekiro’s Posture mechanic, and is designed to allow a player to keep pressuring an enemy in order to find an opening.
“For this title, by continuing to attack even the strongest enemy, the force of impact can break the enemy’s posture and inflict a large amount of damage–a critical hit,” Yamamura explained. “This is the starting point for the slow and fast speed change of the battle, and when combined with long-range firefighting and close-range melee combat, the enemy and his machine engage each other violently, creating a more aggressive and dynamic battle that only mechas can engage in.”
What’s the plot of Armored Core VI?
From Software isn’t sharing too many details on the narrative, but Yamamura has mentioned that the game will have a new story and links to previous entries in the series. According to the official synopsis, Armored Core VI revolves around the discovery of a “mysterious new substance” that has the potential to upgrade humanity’s technological knowledge if handled correctly. No one on Rubicon 3 got the memo, and after an experiment reduced the planet and its neighboring cosmos into a post-apocalyptic firestorm, that area of space is now known as the Burning Star System.
50 years later, everyone wants to get their hands on this valuable but incredibly destructive resource, and as a new mercenary in the system, expect to tangle with corporate-backed armies and rebel groups as you fight for control of Rubicon.
Will Armored Core VI have boss fights?
You better believe it will. Expect From Software’s signature giant boss battles in Armored Core VI, but with a mechanized twist that makes them more “dynamic” and “intense” whenever you start an encounter. Yamamura described these battles as a highlight of the game, and engaging in them requires you to read enemy moves and adapt to their attacks. Armored Core VI’s customization aspects play a large role in how you tackle these bosses, as you’ll need to outfit your mech with the right hardware to help bring down these technological titans.
Is Armored Core VI an open-world game?
Don’t expect to be exploring one gigantic sandbox in the same vein as The Lands Between from Elden Ring, as Armored Core VI is sticking to the mission-based design that its predecessors used. Miyazaki explained that the decision to use a mission-based structure was decided upon as a way to emphasize the high level of customization that players will have available to them, and helps the world of Rubicon avoid feeling like a sci-fi Souls-like.
According to Miyazaki, this design will have several benefits and ties into the benefit of customizing your mech before you embark on a mission. Each level will also have a degree of freedom when it comes to traversal, with the choices that you make in the hangar influencing how you move across these levels. This more singular design also means that From Software can leverage new technologies to make each mecha look more detailed and unique.
“We’re supposed to imagine how these things would move and how they’d be put together, the various joints, how these all sort of move in conjunction with one another and how we make this look cool–in a gameplay sense as well,” Yamamura said.
Is there multiplayer in Armored Core VI?
Similar to older Armored Core games, Armored Core VI will have its very own versus mode. Yamamura says that this mode is where you’ll be able to customize your mech and take that fully customized mech into battle with other players. Armored Core VI’s campaign is where From Software is focusing its previews thus far, and more details on multiplayer will come at a later date.
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