Look guys, I’ve got a new ride! -An Armored Core V Review-

Aug 28, 2012

So I got my hands on some AC:V, no…no not Assassin’s Creed, but Armored Core: V. Be forewarned, I might be a bit biased here. I will not lie; I’ve loved the Armored Core series to bits and pieces and is one of 6 games I’d gladly buy a collector’s edition of (sadly, no CE was released here for us Flips).

So how did it fare in the crazy cycles of generator maddening madness? Read on!
MINOR SPOILER ALERT!

First off, let’s go with the changes. You’ll notice that your AC has been shortened by 5 feet. Yep, it’s now a meager 5 foot machine instead of the usual 10 feet. Why the change? No one actually knows but with a small bot, using buildings as shields has never been easier, and believe me, you’ll be using buildings as shields A LOT. Shoulder weapons have now been integrated inside the arm unit. What used to be shoulder units are now BAY UNITs which is just a mere holster. That’s right, now you’re only limited to using three weapons at a time, one on each hand and the mounted missile. When your ammo runs out or by a button combination, then you switch to your BAY UNIT load. Some gamers might find this sad (I know I did), but the challenge kept me going and in time, I’ve learned to like it. Your AC rarely walks anymore as you can activate a mandatory boost which has your AC skating around. What we used to use as BOOST (I.E. the one that consumes energy) is now the OVER BOOST of previous games, this made it fun for me. It’s like running Knightmares! Lance—let’s not get sidetracked.

A new feature, the SCAN MODE allows you to do what its name says. You can scan enemy AC parts, see how many ammo they’ve got left, search for potential weakness, send out recon units to see where enemies are and have improved speed and energy regeneration at the cost of not being able to use weapons. Hence, dancing between Scan Mode and Combat Mode is now part of the things you gotta worry about.

Right then, now we go to the story. Now any gamer with Armored Core sense, or has played any FromSoft games would know that FromSoft isn’t really fond of telling a story. They’d rather have you discover it by changing timelines and timeframes. Such was done with AC:V. You play a little in the future first and play the stages of past then you finally realize what the heck is going on (and even then, STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON). But it’s part of its charm, vague words like “Experiment” and “Human” come to mind that you aren’t fighting humans in the first place. These attention to very little detail surely make gamer brains run rampant. Like previous AC games, you are the unnamed, unknown protagonist whose AC skills bring anything it touches to ash. I don’t remember being called RAVEN throughout the game which would make sense considering that a previous game released saw the end of all RAVENs by the protagonist LYNX (which is also just a nickname, mind you).

Plotwise, it’s simple: You ride, you ride hard, you destroy and unknowingly save the world. All in all, the story wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but it’s fun to think about. Not for you if you value stories in games.

The sounds of the game are alright. The Music’s nothing too memorable, besides you would barely hear it against all the realistic beeping and bumping of fictional monitors and other Armored Core devices going off to warn you about missiles, how low your energy is and stuff like that. Fun part is, your AC has a built in voice that tells you the system is ready or damaged, with 3 voices to choose from (2 female voices and 1 male voice). Yolu also get static when you get hit, with the game screen momentarily flickering and showing that your AC is damaged. That being said, while the music isn’t noteworthy, the SFX are. But it always has been for every AC game (except maybe AC: Formula Front) so I don’t think this counts.

The main emphasis of any FromSoft game has always been gameplay. Putting two and two together, you can probably tell that the single player on this game isn’t that nice and you’re right. I found the single player campaign of this game the worst of the series. But the multiplayer, OH GOD THE MULTIPLAYER. You form teams to take territories or battle machinations much much bigger than you are. I can’t even tell you how much fun I’ve had in the multiplayer. The gameplay server is smooth too, considering I’m playing here in the Flips while my buddy is in Japan and another in London. I was expecting to DC-death myself somewhere in the middle of a giant fight (considering the internet speed of our country and ping and stuff like that) but never do. Whenever I DO DC, it’s in the menu screen, far from any danger or data corruption or point minus, which is really great. You’re also free to switch teams or work as mercs for other teams by signing up as “Men of Honor”. As a merc though, you can’t communicate with other players via the ingame chat system but it’s all cool if you know Morse Code since a button allows your on-screen emblem to light up and blink. My friends and I found this extremely helpful when we aren’t connected via headsets so we can talk to each other.

All in all, it’s a repetitive game with slightly blotchy controls and more missiles and bullets flying than The Expendables but it always has been. I don’t suggest getting the game if you’re quite the loner or is up for a challenge (IMO, go play AC: Silent Line or Last Raven if you need the challenge). But if you’ve got buds crazy enough to step into an Armored Core with you and try to battle for territories against giant robots, other players from other countries then grab a copy, and while you’re at it. Grab your friends a copy too!

 

VERDICT:


3 out of 5:¬†Playable, despite a mildly-disappointing single player campaign. You’ll get your money’s worth in the multiplayer option though.

This is your friend, your foe, and possibly– a future team mate– and everything else in between, Anonybear and you just got Playkultur’d!

Additional Screenshots:



 

Anonybear is currently enjoying his low mortality rate in Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition for the PC. His deaths were, unfortunately, caused by his meager effort to take screenshots. Apparently, camwhoring in Dark Souls is an offense punishable by death.

External Links:
Armored Core V Official Site
Screenshots courtesy of Kotaku

 

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