Armored Core V

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a game by FromSoftware, Inc.
Platforms: XBox 360, Playstation 3
Editor Rating: 8.3/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.6/10 - 10 votes
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See also: Mechs Games, Armored Core Series
Armored Core V
Armored Core V
Armored Core V

The popular mech combat franchise is back – this time with a grittier coat of paint and higher stakes than ever before. Armored Core V is FromSoftware’s answer to a market where hyperrealistic shooters are gaining traction. Featuring more realistic mech designs and sturdier controls, this entry might not be well-suited for those accustomed to mecha anime.

Those patient enough to learn the complicated basics of piloting a mech in Armored Core V will be rewarded with an incredibly detailed simulator. However, if what you’re looking for is a more arcade experience, then these are not the droids you’re looking for.

Mech Warfare

The Armored Core series has had a complicated time finding its niche audience. For a time, it seemed like these games were some of the best giant robot simulators in the market, but that approach quickly proved ineffective. Later games, like Armored Core: Formula Front, simplified the formula, while at the same time striping it of what made these games so unique.

Armored Core V aims to rectify this situation, taking the core gameplay to its simulation roots. The mechs in this game feel more like tanks than anything else, and while that might sound great to armored combat aficionados, they’re terrible news for giant robot fans.

This tactical shooter is heavily rooted in realism, which is something rare to see in mech simulators, especially in Japanese ones. However, fans of giant mechs shouldn’t fear: the giant robots here are still every bit as outlandish as we’re used to seeing in other Armored Core games.

Moving Freely

Despite the robust look of Armored Core V’s mechs, these robots are surprisingly nimble and easy to control. The developers seem to have focused their efforts on making this game feel as flexible as the earlier entries in the series. One thing to keep in mind is that these mechs are anthropomorphic, which gives them some limitations when it comes to holding their weapons.

Changing weapons must be done much like a human would, which leaves your mech open to attacks while the swapping animation plays out. With this comes a tactical element to combat, as players will have to balance when to change weapons to avoid the most damage.

Customize and Conquer

With over 500 pieces available to build your Armored Core, customization in Armored Core V is amongst the best we’ve ever seen in a mech game. Players can have up to 50 Armored Cores saved in their inventory – a great incentive to experiment with multiple parts and combinations.

Each weapon has a different type of ammo that can prove more effective against specific Armored Cores. Arms can be kinetic, chemical, or thermal – and that’s just the basic gist of the game’s complex combat.

The truth is that Armored Core V remains as technical as ever, proving to be an amazing game for fans of the series – if a divisive one for casual players. This is a game that will definitely be enjoyed to a greater degree by fans of simulation games, leaving behind those players looking for a more traditional mech anime affair.

8.5

Armored Core V is a return to its roots for FromSoftware’s mech simulator. Its mechanics are as impenetrable as ever, but dedicated fans will definitely have a blast with this game’s powerful mechs

Pros:

  • Impressively detailed mechs
  • Astonishing variety of customization parts
  • Tons of tactical commands
  • Entertaining multiplayer

Cons:

  • Dull color palette
  • Repetitive campaign

Download Armored Core V

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

FromSoftware's long-running giant mech combat simulators return with an even more realistic take on the formula with Armored Core V. Now released for the seventh generation of consoles, the Armored Core series has never looked this good before – and it comes packed with the series' trademark complexity for good measure.

Despite the "V" in its title, this is actually the fourteenth entry in the series – and it shows. While the franchise has never been what I'd call "accessible," Armored Core V might be one of the best starting points for newcomers to the franchise, and should also be a great new entry for veterans of the series.

Ground Tactics

If you've heard of the Armored Core franchise before, you might remember it as a series that featured some cool-looking Japanese-style mechs capable of flying through the air and shooting all sorts of futuristic weaponry. Games like Armored Core: Formula Front and Armored Core: The Last Raven come to mind, for example.

That said, Armored Core V goes for a more realistic, "modern warfare" approach to the series concept. There are still giant robots and futuristic weapons, of course, but they now control more similarly to tanks than anything else. This might be the reason why tactics are now the focus of the game.

In Search of the High Ground

Instead of the vast, open landscapes seen in previous entries, the topography in each level of Armored Core V is much more complex. While verticality is still pretty much nonexistent, players will have to observe their surroundings more frequently than they did in previous games.

The player's mech loadout has also received a sizeable upgrade this time around with the inclusion of Ultimate Weapons. These "high risk, high damage" arms can finish an opponent in a single blow, but they can only be used once per mission.

These small changes are enough for Armored Core V to feel like a more tactical – and at times slower – game than its predecessors. Whether or not this makes the game better or worse is up to personal preference.

Not For Everyone

As much as I love the concept of commanding an army of giant, customizable robots, it's difficult to recommend Armored Core V to every type of player. While other games like Custom Robo feature a similar concept with a much more approachable foundation, the Armored Core series was never about being kind to new players.

Things like the complicated controls, obscure mission briefings, and tons of values and mechanics that are just thrown at the player right from the beginning might overwhelm most new players who just wanted a game about giant robots.

Armored Core V doesn't appeal to everyone, and that's okay. There's a very dedicated cult following out there that will find that this game, while it might diverge a bit from what the series is known for, is still an enjoyable challenge that rewards careful planning and skilled maneuvering.

8

Armored Core V might not be for everyone, but fans of the franchise will have a blast with this new take on the long-running series.

Pros

  • New tactical gameplay rewards more strategic plays
  • A good variety of parts to customize your mechs
  • Great military aesthetic

Cons

  • Some gameplay mechanics lack a proper explanation
  • Very difficult, even for seasoned players
  • Muddy textures and poor performance in some scenarios

Snapshots and Media

XBox 360 Screenshots

Playstation 3 Screenshots

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