Despite the popularity of FromSoftware’s Soulsborne games, the developer has confirmed that this is not the formula it will use for Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon.
FromSoftware has become known for the style of game commonly referred to today as Soulsborne. But with the upcoming Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, the developer has stressed that it is not trying to make another Soulsborne game. This will be good news for hardcore fans of the long-dormant series who may have feared that the new Armored Core would be just another Dark Souls with mechs.
Although it’s been almost a decade since the last instalment, Armored Core is still FromSoftware’s most prolific franchise, with 15 separate releases between 1997 and 2013.
Armored Core VI was unveiled at The Game Awards last week. The question immediately arose whether the new game would be closer to the famous Soulsborne formula than its predecessors.
During an interview with IGN, this question was posed to FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki. He stated that the developers made “no conscious effort” to make the game more Souls-like. Instead, he said that the “essential direction” of Fires of Rubicon is to re-examine for the modern age the core concepts that make Armored Core special, namely the process of assembling and customising the titular mechs and the “high level of control” over the finished creation.
According to Miyazaki, this high degree of freedom and the way it can radically change the gameplay is the “real driving force” behind Armored Core VI. Moreover, it has been confirmed that Fires of Rubicon will not be open world. Instead, it will have a mission-based structure like previous games. Miyazaki admitted that the developers will still apply “know-how and experience” from making their last games.
Boss battles will be the “highlight” of the game
IGN’s interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki and Masaru Yamamura covered a lot of ground. The developers talked at length about the upcoming Armored Core game. On the subject of boss fights, Yamamura said that “boss battles are the highlight of the game in this title” and loosely compared Armored Core VI’s boss fights to those in FromSoftware’s previous games. As he put it, “the player reads the enemy’s moves and then plays games with them.” This is also in line with previous Armored Core games, where the more enormous bosses had specific moves that could be anticipated and prepared for.
Armored Core VI will not be open-world so players will be thinking more about individual missions regarding their equipment and strategy.
Rather than having a single, preferred build, it will likely be essential to tailor the mech to the needs of each mission. Especially when it comes to bosses. Armored Core bosses are often of varying strengths. Some were deadly melee fighters, while others used missiles and frequent reloads to defeat the player. As in the Souls games, players will need to recognise the patterns of each boss. As well as how best to approach them.
It has been nearly ten years since the last Armored Core entry. So the reveal of Armored Core VI was a pleasant surprise for fans of mech games. Hopefully, FromSoftware’s incredible success will draw more attention to the genre. Who knows, maybe they will succeed in breaking the dominance of the MechWarrior franchise…
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