Excerpt: Playing Armored Core V, the latest in From Software’s cultish series of rock ‘em, sock ‘em giant AC (mecha) simulators, was something of an emotional journey. After the dust cleared, our therapist (a former Nintendo gameplay counselor, now in private practice) helped us identify four distinct phases: confusion, excitement, disillusionment, and acceptance. Series veterans will mostly sidestep that first one, but a little confusion is pretty much inevitable for everyone.
Pros: Assembling badass mecha, Raiding with comrades in arms, Impractical machine combat
Cons: Wishing friends were online, Being in-game rich with nothing to buy, The PS3 version’s framerate
Excerpt: When you boot up Armored Core V you'll be asked to create or join a team. These are essential to the game's multiplayer, and unless you've got a group of friends already ready to go you're better off joining another, already active team. There is a campaign for Armored Core V following a rebellion against an oppressive totalitarian government, but it's not really what you came for.
Excerpt: When I owned a PlayStation 2 many years ago I really enjoyed playing Armoured Core 4 and was ecstatic when I found out that Armoured Core V was hitting the shelves. I was even happier when I was asked to review it and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I spent a lot of time on Armoured Core 4 and, although a lot of time was spent on customising my mech, there is plenty of action and strategy involved.
Excerpt: I will outright admit that I'm not a seasoned Armored Core player. I dabbled a bit with the PSP iterations of AC , and despite finding those quite entertaining, they never really initiated me into the world of mechs. So here I hoped that maybe, just maybe, Armored Core V would be that entry point for me to finally understand the awesomeness behind these giant, hulking pieces of heavily weaponized metal. Boy was I wrong.
Excerpt: They might be bipedal robots piloted by humans, but don’t call them mechs--they’re Armored Cores. The series has trudged through many systems with regular sequels and side-stories, hitting the current generation once more with Armored Core V. Can the latest iteration make a mark by shifting its focus to online play? War springs eternal. Various factions are doing what they do best, blasting each other to kingdom come.
Excerpt: It's a dark and gritty future. Governments have fallen and you work for - and answer to - corporations now. You're a mercenary Armored Core pilot scratching out a living in the crumbling ruins of civilization, whether it be in devastated cities, abandoned factories or inhospitable wastelands, and you'll need to seek out and destroy your sworn enemies. And who are they? ...Why, whoever the company tells you they are, of course.
Excerpt: Stepping away from franchise reboot of prior instalments, From Software’s latest offering is a blend of the old and the new, juxtaposing a shift back toward traditional mech warfare against a new territory system that neatly combines singleplayer and multiplayer gameplay.
Pros: Fresh meat for AC fans. Decent depth but still easy enough to pick up and play. Giant robot wars.
Cons: Servers are region-locked. Graphics are shiny in some parts but could do with a scrub up.
Conclusion: The Short Version: Armored Core V is probably the best game in the series to date, but it still suffers from age-old issues. It's no looker, customising your mech is as much of a chore as a delight, and the designed missions themselves are fairly lacklustre. But the new online features, particularly Conquest, make this a must-have title for series fans, and well worth a look if you just want to blow things up with a giant, badass mech.
Pros: Mechs handle very nicely indeed - good simulation balance, Cracking online features, Deep level of customisation
Cons: Awful interface, Mission design could be a lot better, Still not as satisfying as it should be