How to get started with Armored Core on PC? Get up to speed with FromSoftware’s game by following this guide

This year, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco will release a game quite different from the ones we’ve been accustomed to over the past decade. This is Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, which was announced during the last The Game Awards gala with a cinematic trailer. The franchise of wicks It is quite prolific (it came to be published annually) but taking into account that it forms a niche and has also been missing since 2013, the most normal thing is that you do not know much about it.

Inevitably, with such a good track record that the Japanese team has earned, one cannot help feeling —at least— some curiosity about what is going on behind the scenes. If this is your case and you want to get more or less up to date with the Armored Core games, then I have a tip for you: run away from past deliveries as if the devil carried them. Because? Well, due to a mixture of technical complications, narrative issues and because you have a rather interesting alternative.

I explain. The “old” ACs:

  • They only came to PlayStation, so they are played by emulator (they don’t always go well)
  • Verdict Day multiplayer is still active, but only on the Japanese PS3 server
  • The original control schemes are extremely convoluted
  • They changed a lot in terms of mechanics, design, rhythm, etc.
  • They do not share a common history, each installment stands on its own

For these reasons, I would not recommend anyone start Armored Core with old episodes, especially being able to use the collective knowledge that is available to anyone on the internet. For putting my two cents into that huge digital library, below are some observations that might prepare you a little better for the kind of gameplay to come with AC6. Hopefully, you’ll discover how wonderful (and complicated) its sci-fi universe is.

About the story and setting of Armored Core

As I said above, the Armored Core games they are not narratively connected each other, saving the odd minor detail (for example, Patches the Hyena began his career in AC For Answer, 2008). In all of them we play the role of a mercenary who provides his piloting services to multiple private companies or military organizations in exchange for money: it is what is called internally a Raven. They fight aboard a vehicle whose name is easy to guess.

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The wicks that star in the game are called that because, although their appearances vary greatly depending on the pieces they are attached to, the designer Shinji Kawamori (a key figure for the genre, inside and outside of video games) determined that all of them would enjoy some artistic cohesion if they were built the same: one assembled core, literally. So, when creating and customizing yours, always start from the same point.

Japanese image of Armored Core V (FromSoftware)

Promotional screenshot for Armored Core V describing the customization. Image: FromSoftware

Beyond this, the world building gets a bit chaotic: with its nuances and differences, at the end of the day we’re always talking about mega-corporations pitted against each other for control of the energy resources of an apocalyptic universe. The specific case of AC6 seems to be slightly more fanciful than usual, with that Star System on Fire originating from a mysterious substance (which curiously is called Melange, “mixture” in English, the same as that of Dune).

On the gameplay and design of Armored Core

A saying circulates on the internet that sounds like a meme, but it is quite accurate: Armored Core is going to spend an hour in the garage, customizing your wick and doing tests, so that later they destroy you two minutes into the mission and you have to start over. They’re tough games, frankly; and half the time is spent studying the summary of the next mission you’re going to do to make sure you have the right weapons and armor to meet your needs.

The controls They’re also a bit tricky, because you’re basically driving your character, not their vehicle. So much so, that the Japanese players made a strange type of grip on the controller fashionable, holding it upside down to have better access to the crosshead. That is an exaggeration and chances are that when AC6 hits stores, it will be infinitely more accessible than in the past; but it is still a curious detail to take into account. Let’s get to more serious things.

Promotional image of Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (FromSoftware)

A new type of weapon appears in the AC6 trailer. Image: Bandai Namco / FromSoftware

Since there are a few installments in the series, the gameplay evolved between episodes: energy shields were introduced at a certain point, and later—when Hidetaka Miyazaki made his directorial debut on FA— Mobility it sped up a lot. There was also an attempt to focus on multiplayer with AC5 and Verdict Day, but the new installment will not be like that: it will return to the classic scheme of linear missions preceded by a debriefing.

We also know that AC6 will not have a cooperative, it will not be heavily influenced by Souls and that it will have a versus mode For those interested in PvP. It will not be the main focus of the game, yes. Hopefully, it will recover the Arena mode from the previous ones, which would be something like the endgame for the PvE section. However, what you should know in broad strokes is that it will be a traditional AC with the characteristics that we have described above. We’ll see what they surprise us with.

Discover AC through Daemon X Machina

Daemon X Machina isn’t a fantastic game, but it’s a pretty decent one. It has an 88% approval rating among Steam users, and you may already have it in your library on the Epic Games Store because it was released for free on that platform at one point. And from my humble perspective, it is the best front door you have right now to discover at least a part of the magic of Armored Core: it’s basically something like baby’s first AC. A rescue attempt by Marvelous.

They are completely different IPs, without any kind of narrative connection, but linked to each other: DXM is something like a “spiritual successor” of AC, said in quotes because at the moment of truth they have many important differences, but it works just the same for us because the title is based on the same bases than that of FromSoftware. You have missions preceded by a briefing, a hangar to tune up your fuse, and fast-paced action with large or complex weapons.

There are a few differences between Daemon X Machina and its “master” Armored Core—in how loot is shared, for example—but I think all or most of them are actually beneficial for players. newcomers: you might like to know that the missions are a little more forgiving in DXM, or that their controls are relatively easy to understand both on controller and mouse and keyboard; you can get a few pieces randomly and you don’t spend too much time in the workshop.