Armored Core V Review
Posted March 26, 2012 by Rick M (255)
From Software once pumped out an Armored Core game almost every year since the series first debuted on the original Playstation. However things slowed down for the series after they found success with their game Demon’s Souls and there hasn’t been an entry in the series since For Answer was released in 2008. Now the series is back for it’s fifth main installment, Armored Core V. Sometimes all a series needs to feel fresh after being oversaturated is to take a break for a few years. Now, did the time off work this game?
The answer to that would be yes and no. Armored Core V has made some nice new additions to the series, but there are some problems. Lets start off with the story. Well, actually it’s not really worth mentioning. Aside from the great looking opening, the story is largely incomprehensible which leads to wonder why effort was put into cinematic and extra voice acting with such bad writing. Nothing will be missed by skipping the cutscenes. If looking for a good story, this game is not the place to look.
The presentation otherwise is well done for the most part. The visuals look good technically but the environments are drab looking and mundane. It makes sense that most of the battles would be in city and industrial areas but it would be nice is more effort was made into making areas distinguishable from each other at first glance. The ACs(the name for mechs in the Armored Core series) look good though with a lot of detail. The voice acting and music are good but nothing stands out too much.
After a short intro mission, Armored Core V begins with players being encouraged to create or enlist with another team. Doing this is recommended because the multiplayer can be the most fun experience of the game. There are several types of missions or sorties to go on.
Order missions are best to start off with for anyone new to the series as they are the easiest in the game. The problem with them though is that they are short and very repetitive, most of them are boring and short but there are a lot of them. They often last no longer than a minute or two. Also, this is where most parts for customizing ACs are found so these missions are a necessary grind. This is the main issue with Armored Core V, a big part of the game is customizing your giant killing machines and repetitious grinding is required to do so. It would be much better if more was available to buy from the shop to start with. Unfortunately all it has too start off with are basic weapons and lots of decals for either decorating your AC or creating/editing team emblems.
AC customization may seem pretty perplexing at first with all the parameters to watch for but it is one of the most satisfying parts of the game. Just about every part of ACs can be customized: head parts, body parts, arm parts, leg parts, boosters, etc. There is a lot to tinker and experiment, as well being able to edit the colors of just about every part and decorate with decals. Weight, maneuverability, and defense will all have to be taken into account when tinkering ACs as well as firepower, ammo capacity, and such for weapons.
As mundane as they can be it really is recommend to do the Order missions, both for getting parts and getting accustomed to the gameplay and controls. With ACs being able to be equipped with several weapons and load outs at once, along with boosting, hovering, and switching between scan/combat mode the controls can seem pretty complicated at first. After learning the ropes, though they work very well and the only bad thing to say is that camera can get in the way once in a while but it’s not a big issue. The controls are tight with a working lock-on system and the combat is fast and fun. If players can get through grinding the Order missions, they are in for a great experience.
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