For newcomers to FromSoftware’s mech collection, Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon would possibly sound like an impenetrable late-series sequel that refers to deep lore from the ’90s. Really, no one’s anticipated to know where Rubicon is and why it is on hearth. The mecha collection spans 13 video games and 7 spin-offs, a few of which have constructed on each other, however Armored Core 6 tells a brand new story that does not comply with from Armored Core 5 or its sequel, which got here out again in 2012 and 2013.

That decade-long Armored Core hiatus unsurprisingly began at across the time Darkish Souls turned a phenomenon. FromSoftware has principally spent the previous 10-plus years inventing and iterating on the “soulsborne” style, which has led to hypothesis that Armored Core 6 might be subsumed into that lineage. Chatting with IGN this week, nonetheless, FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki mentioned that there is been no “aware effort to attempt to direct [Armored Core 6] in direction of extra soulsborne sort gameplay.” Whereas the information FromSoftware gained creating its darkish fantasy hits has gone into Armored Core 6’s improvement, it is actually all about “assembling and customizing your individual mech,” he mentioned.

“So the true impetus for this challenge, I believe, or no less than one of many actual appeals for me, comes from that facet of meeting,” Miyazaki instructed IGN. “And with the ability to actually freely assemble and customise the mech, I believe is what we actually extremely concentrate on in Armored Core. And having mechs or mecha as a theme, it is actually about that top stage of freedom that adjusting every particular person half offers, and the way that impacts the gameplay and the properties of your mech really in fight.”

Miyazaki’s remark barely contrasts with the Armored Core 6 advertising blurb, which guarantees that FromSoftware’s mech game know-how might be supplemented by the “groundbreaking gameplay discovered within the developer’s current motion video games,” however he appears primarily to be referring to the general construction. Armored Core 6 will not be open world like Elden Ring, nor will it contain a collection of campsites. Its singleplayer story mode might be mission-based, and after every mission, gamers could have the chance to purchase new mech components to adapt to the subsequent problem. There’ll even be a separate multiplayer versus mode.

Concerning fight, I think about now we have some prolonged Souls-Core comparability video essays in our future, however for newcomers to Armored Core, I believe a very powerful distinction to make is that it is an motion game, not the MechWarrior-style sim some PC players could affiliate with customizable mech fight. AC6 would be the first Armored Core game to launch on PC.

“There aren’t any parts straight referring to Sekiro, however I really feel each titles share the identical essence of battle reminiscent of aggressive, velocity change and action-oriented combating,” mentioned Armored Core 6 director Masaru Yamamura, who was Sekiro’s lead designer. “For this title, by persevering with to assault even the strongest enemy, the power of impression can break the enemy’s posture and inflict a considerable amount of injury—a important hit. That is the place to begin for the sluggish and quick velocity change of the battle, and when mixed with long-range firefighting and close-range melee fight, the enemy and his machine have interaction one another violently, making a extra aggressive and dynamic battle that solely mechas can have interaction in.”

(Picture credit score: FromSoftware)

Concerning difficulty, Yamamura mentioned that Armored Core 6 is meant to be “on the difficult aspect” with “intense and difficult mecha battles,” however that the issue will abate at instances to alter up the tempo. 

“It depends upon the enemies you are arising in opposition to in these missions,” mentioned Yamamura. “It depends upon the way you need to assemble your mech. However that is one strategy we needed to have, is to have the participant resolve how they needed to assemble and the way they needed to strategy every mission, after which to have this good steadiness of stage of problem all through the missions and all through the marketing campaign.”

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon has a Steam web page, however no launch date or system necessities immediately—it is coming someday in 2023. 

IGN’s full interview with Miyazaki and Yamamura is fairly prolonged, and accommodates extra particulars than I’ve repeated right here. My favourite remark comes from Miyazaki, who mentioned as a part of a response to a query concerning the studio’s choice for apocalyptic settings that “a vigorous brilliant setting is just a little bit past FromSoftware’s functionality or experiences as a developer.” I really like the concept that making good worlds is simply too laborious, and I imagine it, nevertheless it’s a humorous commentary from a developer that revels in going so far as it may well within the different route. Within the case of Armored Core 6, the official site says {that a} disaster on Rubicon 3 “engulfed the planet and the encompassing stars in flames and storms, forming a Burning Star System.” Sounds fairly tough.