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Dark Souls and Elden Ring developer From Software could’ve followed up on its success with a new “Souls-like” fantasy title, but instead chose to pick up the torch for one of its oldest cult hits. The superstar studio’s latest game, Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon has just launched on PC and consoles, and promises a new experience for those used to From’s more recent output, as well as a familiar return to tradition for its older fans.
Check out the game’s launch trailer:
What’s Armored Core All About?
Unlike the fantasy-based titles associated with From these days (which include the likes of Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Elden Ring, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice), Armored Core 6 is a new entry in the studio’s beloved-but-niche Armored Core series.
Dating back to the PS1, Armored Core puts players in the cockpits of giant war mecha called “Armored Cores”, having them fight as mercenaries in a bleak, dystopian far-future hellscape.
Often called “Ravens”, the Armored Core pilots are often made to fight and stripped of their humanity, piloting the war machines to serve the interests of megacorporations battling over resources, prestige, and to suppress labor uprisings.
In practice, players will spend time going on sorties assigned by their corporate masters, destroying enemies and fighting massive bosses in a pattern that might be familiar to Souls veterans. The difference here is in the game’s focus on mechanical minutiae.
Rather than a focus on levels and fantasy-based stat points, Armored Core games (Fires of Rubicon included) dig deep into the gearhead obsession with tweaking individual parts and finding the best performance for one’s “AC” in the garage.
Players can spend their hard-earned money on new parts and weapons and tinker with them in the hangar, customizing everything from the head to the toes (or treads, or hover jets) in pursuit of their ideal AC. They can then put them to the test in missions or even in PVP multiplayer matches.
Despite the long gap between releases (the last Armored Core title, Armored Core Verdict Day, released in 2013 on the PS3 and Xbox 360), Armored Core 6 appears to be a faithful heir to this legacy, one that hasn’t always been kindly viewed by players.
Many reviewers of past Armored Core games criticized the game’s fiddly interface and often punishing game loop (which makes it possible to succeed at missions and still go into debt because of the expenses accrued in finishing the job).
Perhaps the changed environment around From Software’s reputation and the evolving tastes of RPG enthusiasts will result in a warmer reception this time around.
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is available on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.