Armored Core 6

Armored Amount 6: Fires of Rubicon review

FromSoftware does it again.

(Image: © Bandai Namco)

Our Verdict

The coolest mechs in gaming history anatomy the amount ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° ) of an intense, focused activity game.

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After FromSoftware's absurd run from Souls to Sekiro to Elden Ring, Armored Amount 6 is a near-radical departure: short, relentlessly paced missions, affectionate retries, and an allotment armory that makes it bright you are a one mech army instead of some awful little guy. Its angular access holds it aback in a few accessory ways, but a big account bold this asleep set on what it is and what it is not is a adored affair in 2023.


What is it?  Absolute mecha activity
Release date August 24, 2023
Expect to pay  £50 / $60
Developer FromSoftware
Publisher Bandai Namco
Reviewed on Intel Amount i5-13600K, RTX 3070, NVME SSD, 32GB DDR4-4000
Steam Deck Playable
Multiplayer? Yes
 Official site

It may accept taken FromSoftware a decade to acknowledgment to its adulation of mechs, but it was account the wait: Armored Amount 6 is a "we're aback on our bullshit" bang dunk.

This would be a abundant activity bold in any year, but I'm decidedly ardent with Armored Amount at this exact moment in time, sandwiched amid ballsy 100-hour RPGs and afterward the boilerplate success of the great Elden Ring. It could hardly be added Elden Ring's opposite: instead of actuality dumped into a advanced accessible world, you baddest missions from a card and again arrange your mech afterwards a abbreviate briefing. Missions are usually over central 10 account and are 100% protein, either casting you beeline into a abbreviate agitated action or peppering beyond environments with snack-sized action encounters that culminate in 1v1 showdowns adjoin added ACs or massive bosses. Afterwards each, abiding to the card to boggle with your AC and buy new genitalia is a well-earned exhale.

I can brainstorm concocting these scenarios in a adolescence sandbox, staging my activity abstracts for action aloft clammy parapets and backward brazier mountains and again animadversion them over one-by-one with my admired Gundam. Bethink authoritative the sounds of explosions and laser beams with your aperture as your toys met their operatic ends? 

Armored Amount 6's missions are that simple in architecture and that blood-tingling in action. It allows you to breeze calm the pieces of your ultimate mech and again manifests those absurd backyard battles with a blush and neon blooming afterlife apparatus (should you accept to go agrarian with the acrylic options) that can accomplish it rain lasers and hellfire, no aperture sounds needed. AC6 prizes annihilation as abundant as accomplishing the fantasy of aerodynamics one of these immense metal machines and activity abundantly air-conditioned while you do it.

Fashion cores

After a decade of authoritative amateur about advantageous immense adversity, FromSoftware has fabricated one in which you're an acme predator

This is Top Gun: Bohemian for anime nerds like me who grew up bugged by Adaptable Clothing Gundam instead of F-14s. I will accept to absorb the abutting few months abstinent myself from abduction Animosity chats to allocution about the delivery of these mechs, and the little jolts of blitheness I got from watching anniversary alone thruster change administration as I skated forth the ground. And watching the hot bonfire ablaze out and axis to beef back continuing still. And the neon blossom of a claret brand felling a average mech or an absolute battleship in one answerable up blow.

I consistently acquisition one complete aftereffect to hyperfixate on in a FromSoftware game—in Aphotic Souls, it's the bwaaam of attrition with your shield, a complete so concussive it gives "anti-tank rifle" rather than "little guy accepted his arm through the air." It's ludicrous, but it additionally makes absolute faculty for the best able complete aftereffect in the bold to comedy back you are, for aloof a moment, actually invincible. Center through Armored Amount 6, I begin it: for the abutting 12 hours I alternate every mission with the DUN-DUN of a Songbirds, a shoulder-mounted cannon that fires two anti-tank circuit in a adverse burst.

Each attempt packs six times the atomic ability of a distinct missile and far added appulse damage, sending heavily armored four-legged mechs addled back I account a apple-pie hit. With Songbirds army on anniversary accept I could alike alternate administration in a distinct volley—DUN-DUN, DUN-DUN—opening them up to added accident from a carve of my laser blade. That staccato access became the afterlife bell for every added mech on Rubicon until I formed credits.

Helping advertise the "hell yeah mechs rule" accent is Armored Amount 6 actuality FromSoftware's aboriginal PC bold to abutment anatomy ante over 60 fps. While it's still defective some of the accretion and whistles we like in avant-garde PC games, like DLSS or FSR upscaling support, the bold ran fantastically on my PC (Intel Amount i5-13600K, RTX 3070) with the 120 fps absolute enabled, calmly sailing accomplished 60 fps and alone abashed back I got too activate blessed with the Beef screenshot key.

This is apparently area I should say the cartoon aren't that absorbing for a avant-garde big account game, and that the presentation is adequately bashful compared to a Cyberpunk 2077 or Sony's Spider-Mans. But aggregate on the mechs is so acquiescently activated I can't say I was agitated by the about simplicity. Back I approved Armored Amount 6 on the Beef Deck, I was able to get amid 40 and 60 fps by axis all the settings bottomward to low. It's actually playable on the Deck, but I was anon aching the accident of that brittle angel I got on my 1440p monitor, and how abundant of the mech detail I was missing on those lower settings and abate screen. I adore the beam of the activity weapons and the smoke trails on a flurry of missiles too abundant to be squinting at a handheld.

There should be a band in the credits aloof for the artist who dialed in the way the killing draft in every mission triggers a apathetic motion explosion, addition that burning into 10 abnormal of glory. It's the best important accommodation anyone fabricated in the advance of designing this absolute videogame.

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I don't beggarly that as a joke: afterwards a decade of authoritative amateur about advantageous immense adversity, in AC6 FromSoftware has fabricated one in which you're an acme predator. Admitting you access added able weapons and thrusters and added upgrades, from the alpha I acquainted abundantly capable: borer the quick addition button to contrivance admission missiles, beat a gamepad stick to rocket advanced into a abounding advance "assault boost" that added added appulse to my affray attacks.

Lenient checkpoints let you accouterment about every boxy action with replenished ammo and healing items after retreading your advance up to that point in the mission. Back continuing you can additionally bandy out any AC genitalia in your garage. It's a adeptness anatomy that encourages experimentation—there's no acumen not to accord a bang-up action a attempt with a altered set of weapons or a added or faster AC.

Powered up

The dispersed cutscenes are potent, like an IV dribble of mecha fan service

Purists charge not anguish over FromSoftware activity soft: you can still epitomize missions and accompany S Ranks by acceptable after restarting or demography advantage of a resupply. And this is still a abuse adamantine videogame in spots, with one bang-up abreast the end that took me three hours and dozens of tries to overcome. It was the alone moment that addled me as a authentic 'git gud' accomplishment check, area experimenting with altered builds and strategies acquainted absolutely futile. At atomic for me, that bang-up was an overtuned abnormality alongside so abounding others that were tough, but bigger counterbalanced FromSoftware's accepted appeal for reflexes with a puzzley allurement to boggle my way to absolutely the appropriate mech for the job.

While Armored Amount 6's accumulation card offers stats on anniversary part, while retrying duels adjoin the aristocratic ACs that could fly circles about me I did ambition for added abundant acknowledgment on how swapping one targeting bore for addition would affect my crosshair's accuracy, or how abundant faster my addition barometer would recharge if I congenital a mech with a lighter activity draw. Advertisement the minutia of these systems in article akin Artery Fighter 6's training approach would acquiesce for fine-tuning a design.

Across 25 hours with Armored Amount 6, my alone added cast of disappointment came from the environments, which are beauteous snapshots of a crumbling technodystopia that action no interactivity above a few hidden chests and ashore mechs with tiny debris of lore. On the accomplished AC6's lean, focused attributes is a abundant strength, but there's so much atmosphere in the world's beheld architecture that it ends up underutilized. The articulation in my ear as you action could calmly accept chimed in added generally as I explored nooks and crannies; some of the beyond stages action time and amplitude to blow around, but about annihilation to find.

It's a accessory absent befalling in a bold that's decidedly added on absolute adventure than FromSoftware's RPGs.

That's so raven

There's added in-your-face anecdotal actuality than in all three Aphotic Souls amateur combined, as the leaders of Rubicon's accumulated acquisitive squads consistently accelerate you articulation letters afterwards anniversary action to chit-chat about the after-effects of whatever you've aloof absolute up. The advantage to epitomize missions makes it accessible to avoid in favor of your own stories: Could you grasshopper-leap your way to an cold with a mech congenital for verticality, abrogation the arena defenses larboard in your dust? Could the blubbery billow of drones demography annoying potshots at you in addition mission be wiped out in a distinct advance of multi-lock missiles with a range-focused build?

There's a slight "we adored a agglomeration of money by not activation any of this" feel to best of the adventure arena out in voiceover monologues, but that additionally agency the dispersed cutscenes are potent, like an IV dribble of mecha fan service. They alone brew that button so abounding times, but anniversary time it feeds aback into that amount allegorical principle: mechs are cool.

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As in archetypal Armored Core, I adulation how atrociously AC6 maintains its tone. Pilots do not accept lives alfresco their machines. You will never see a animal being. Every accord is acting as the corporations aggressive for Rubicon's assets will appoint you to backstab the pilots you aloof fought alongside.

The anecdotal branches at a few credibility based on which missions you accept to booty and who you accept to kill—with an insidiously ablaze knife aberration that the adventure aisle I anticipate best bodies will appetite to go bottomward presents some abundant harder battles, with an easier advantage there to taunt you. Annihilation sells accumulated dystopia bigger than blame over those who've ashore their necks out for you. The adventure alike gives you a acumen to accumulate arena afterwards the credits roll: on your additional run, those adamantine choices activate to splinter off into new paths.

After hours of architecture up a alikeness with those choir I heard so abounding times over the comms, I acquainted bad about cutting them down. But not, like, bad bad, because I was aloof there to do a job. I was there for that slow-mo celebrity kill. I was there to get paid, to body a bigger mech, so I could do it all afresh better, faster, and cooler. This is Armored Core. We are adored to accept it back. 

The Verdict
Armored Amount 6: Fires of Rubicon

The coolest mechs in gaming history anatomy the amount ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° ) of an intense, focused activity game.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been accoutrement amateur and accouterments for added than 10 years, aboriginal at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested afore abutting the PC Gamer aggregation in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll consistently jump at the adventitious to awning appetite and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a coil of agent belts in Satisfactory (it's absolutely acceptable a problem), he's apparently arena a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some blurred ASCII roguelike. With a focus on autograph and alteration features, he seeks out claimed belief and all-embracing histories from the corners of PC gaming and its alcove communities. 50% pizza by aggregate (deep dish, to be specific).