Excerpt: As long as there's been a Sony PlayStation, there's been an Armored Core. The first one was published six years ago, in 1997. It is, in my opinion, the finest series of games to have been published on any console. The basic structure of the series has remained consistent. You play a Raven, the mercenary pilot of a massive mechanoid known as an Armored Core, in a post apocalyptic world where mankind has abandoned the surface to live underground.
Excerpt: The concept of ‘Mech’ combat is great. Take your puny, withered form, and strap it into a 20ft hunk of metal, complete with various weapons, hydraulic limbs and an on-board toaster and teasmaid to provide you with much-needed sustenance when you’re undertaking some of those longer missions. Of those missions, yours is generally to eradicate the enemy scum as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that the world can live on in metallic harmony.
Excerpt: For a game with some serious history, it's fair to ask whether newcomers to the series will be able to appreciate all the leaps and bounds made over the years. The answer is that very little has changed in the series, apart from minor updates to the look and sound of Armored Core when it made its first appearance on PlayStation 2 last go 'round.
Excerpt: How many times can one person play the same game? At least six, evidently. While I still call myself a fan of From Software and their Armored Core series, I think I've finally reached my breaking point. I've taken all five of the previous games to 100% and beyond. Its safe to say that I know these games inside and out, and there's no doubt that I've enjoyed being along for the ride.
Excerpt: Armored Core 3 is the latest mech-based combat game in the long-running Armored Core series. And just like its predecessors, AC3 is just as much about mech hardware customization as it is combat. You’re able to build your robot from the ground up with various weapons and parts. The sheer variety of possibilities in this regard rivals the customization options of even Gran Turismo 3.
Conclusion: Armored Core 3 will no doubt feel like mana from heaven for fans of the series, but is unlikely to win many new fans with its average graphics and aged controls. The game's unfortunate fixation with finance (you feel like a money-grubbing pawn for much of the game) and the fact that you have to work hard and long to get a decent AC will also put off the casual mech driver out there.
Pros: Hundreds of parts means an almost infinite possible number of different mechs., Turning the basic AC into an awesome war mech is a satisfying experience.
Cons: Average graphics and clunky controls., It'll be AGES before you can afford the best weapons and upgrades.
Summary: While Armored Core games are normally for the fans alone, Armored Core 3 opens up the game for new and old fans alike with near-limitless ACs, branching storyline and action-packed fun. Definitely worth a look if mechs float your boat.