Conclusion: In the same way I hoped that Tony Hawk’s Project 8 would really resonate with me for a change and get me to enjoy the skateboarding genre more, I had hoped that Armored Core 4 would be versatile and innovative enough to get me to enjoy the mech action/strategy games more. Alas that wasn’t the case, as I found that many of the foibles that pushed me away from long sessions of previous AC titles still exist today.
Excerpt: Armored Core 4 is the latest mech game to land on next-gen systems, and after the mixed fortunes of stable mates Chrome Hounds and Gundam Target in Sight we're in need of a good one. Mechs, for the uninitiated, are in essence huge robots. Usually taking a vaguely human form and operated by a pilot in their head or at the centre of their body, they are mostly bipedal, and always covered in huge armoured plates and enough firepower to make an Apache attack helicopter look...
Excerpt: Although the Armored Core series has managed to hold a core audience for nearly 10 years, the series has never been really good at appealing to a wider, mainstream audience. Armored Core 4 makes several attempts to grab this audience while still catering to its core. The result is a game that is good, but not great. Armored Core 4 is more of an artistic achievement than a technical one.
Conclusion: With that said, there isn't a whole lot of choice for match fans on the latest generation of consoles at the moment; and with that in mind, AC4 will probably sell regardless of the flaws outlined above. From Software have effectively cornered the market on the 360 with this release and last year's fairly well-received ChromeHounds, but this is a genre crying out for a dose of originality and a solid implementation.
Conclusion: If you're a fan of Japanese mech games, you may be able to squeeze a little bit of fun out of Armored Core 4. But if you aren't a particularly big fan of the genre, don't expect to have much fun with this game. With a boring and hard to follow story and incredibly short missions that play out on levels you've already played several times, the single player portion of Armored Core 4 is mediocre at best.
Excerpt: First Impressions My reaction is Right from early arcade games such as Virtual On, robot battle games have drawn hordes of fans to suit up in 10 foot mechs and trudge along the battlefield to war. With the launch of games like Mechwarrior, players were put in command of bulky, slow moving mechs with tonnes of weaponry and ammunition, as compared to the agile and humanoid mechs that appeared in Virtual On.
Conclusion: If you’re new to the franchise forget about the ‘4’: this is the best place to start. It’s balls-to-the wall action meets simulation, wrapped in mech goodness, but there’s rust here too.