Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon marks the long-awaited return of FromSoftware's iconic mech series after an absence of nearly a decade. The game has garnered predominantly positive reviews since its launch, with its distinctive combat and customization being highlighted as its major strengths. During the hiatus since the previous installment, FromSoftware gained renown for its challenging RPG titles that gave birth to the Soulsborne genre. While Armored Core 6 follows a different path, it has undergone significant changes to its gameplay, missions, and boss encounters, presenting a formidable test for modern gamers. This overhaul, particularly in terms of player approach and combat mechanics, signifies the evolution of Armored Core 6 from the classic series to cater to a new era of players.

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Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon’s stellar customization options feed into its excellent mecha combat 

Armored Core 6 introduces a fresh wave of players to one of FromSoftware's oldest franchises. Emerging from nearly ten years of obscurity, the game rekindles the enthusiasm of fans for the series' exhilarating vehicular warfare. FromSoftware has modernized numerous beloved elements of the series to align with contemporary gaming trends, offering intricate combat strategies and customization choices. These options empower players to leverage their strengths, designing an AC (Armored Core) that aligns with their individual gameplay preferences. Nonetheless, the advantage granted by this high level of personalization is balanced by a considerable surge in difficulty. Despite its accessible façade, Armored Core 6 presents a formidable challenge, even for the most experienced FromSoftware enthusiasts.

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Beating Fires of Rubicon’s campaign unlocks a New Game+ mode

Armored Core 6 Rewards a Less-Violent Approach

Armored Core 6 takes a distinct departure from FromSoftware's contemporary RPG titles. Instead of navigating an expansive open world to achieve goals, the game adheres to the series' prior narrative structure, presenting fans with a roster of targeted missions assigned by various military entities. Nevertheless, the mission maps in Armored Core 6 exhibit greater intricacy compared to those in previous iterations, compelling players to reconsider their strategies and Assembly setups for each individual mission. These maps, along with the primary objectives of the missions, introduce a transformative aspect to the series' conventional combat approach.

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In addition to the regular missions, there’s an arena mode that pits you against steadily increasingly difficult one-on-one fights

Although the hallmark features of the Armored Core series are its combat mechanics and customization options, Armored Core 6 introduces a deliberate approach to engagements. Despite the inclusion of Repair Kits and checkpoints, the game's adversaries possess the ability to swiftly overpower players if caution is disregarded. Armored Core 6 presents a range of strategic choices to players controlling their ACs (Armored Cores), allowing them to detect foes through walls, take advantage of surprise attacks, or opt for improved boosters to entirely evade specific confrontations.

Armored Core 6 Shield Boss
If you turn on the targeting-assist mode you gain the advantage of keeping the camera fixed on a specific target, but you’re less accurate with your shots.

Furthermore, discharging a weapon results in a reduction of earnings from the mission completion reward. Each mission boasts a surplus of adversaries beyond what is necessary to fulfill the core objectives, encouraging players to exercise discretion in selecting their battles. However, Armored Core 6's adversaries also feature a diverse set of tactics, with some, such as the "Unknown Craft," remaining completely invisible to players until they approach a certain proximity.

Armored Core 6's Bosses Provide a Modern Challenge

Armored Core 6 distinguishes itself from being a Soulslike game, yet draws substantial inspiration from FromSoftware's RPG offerings, evident especially in its enemies and boss battles. This influence becomes evident right from the tutorial phase, where Armored Core 6's roots are prominently displayed. The tutorial subjects players to a series of fast-paced combat scenarios, presenting a range of adversaries demanding specific tactics for their defeat. A typical enemy archetype, echoing the title's Soulslike influences, wields a shield and necessitates attacks from behind or a disruption to be vulnerable. Following the triumph over these regular foes, players confront the formidable tutorial boss, the AH12 HC, known for its challenging nature. Overcoming this boss is essential for unlocking fundamental tutorials and gaining access to the main campaign.

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Throughout the Armored Core series, enemies have commonly incorporated futuristic technologies such as advanced helicopters, colossal battleships, and opposing ACs. However, Armored Core 6 evolves the design of bosses to better align with FromSoftware's contemporary presentation style. These bosses boast substantial and otherworldly designs. An exemplar among them is the IA-02: ICE WORM, thrusting players into a confrontation with a colossal worm-like mechanized creature that emerges from the ground, exhibiting erratic movements that cause damage, followed by the release of a sweeping red energy field. Armored Core 6's evolved approach heralds a new phase for the series, fusing both familiar and novel gameplay components that assure longstanding and newfound FromSoftware enthusiasts that the franchise rightfully claims its place within the developer's contemporary portfolio.

Armored Core 6 is FromSoftware’s Most Forgiving Game Yet

Incorporating a checkpoint mechanism, Armored Core 6 introduces an innovative element to its vehicular combat series, offering a swift means of recovery. At the outset of a mission, ACs are equipped with three repair kits, allowing them to restore their AP during combat. While progression in the Story Mode doesn't provide extra Repair Kits, their efficacy can be enhanced. With the attainment of OS upgrades, players can elevate the total AP restoration of each Repair Kit to 6,000.

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Despite the fact that Armored Core 6 undoubtedly presents a challenge, even to the most experienced fans, its latest features mark it as FromSoftware's most lenient release thus far. When facing defeat in combat or returning to a checkpoint, the game permits players to modify their assembly, replenish ammunition, and restock on Repair Kits, positioning them optimally to surmount obstacles.

Armored Core 6 Enemy Ac Fight

Nevertheless, the game still requires players to adapt to FromSoftware's classic trial-and-error gameplay. Those lacking the necessary parts and weaponry for success will still find themselves obliged to recommence missions from the beginning. Despite its forgiving attributes, completing Armored Core 6's missions remains an arduous undertaking, ensuring that both long-standing followers of the series and aficionados of other FromSoftware titles will be subject to a rigorous test of their skills.

>>> Read more: The 8 Best Video Games For Fans Of Mechs & Giant Robots