The City Police surrounded us. We had nowhere to turn; nowhere to go but forward. As we dodged sniper rounds and took down mechs twice the size of our ACs, the corporation was at our backs, pushing us forward to complete the mission. With no way to turn around, no way to surrender or quit, we trudged onward, our goal to completely annihilate our targets ahead. This describes the feeling of a story mission on Armored Core V.
Armored Core V starts with a screen that pseudo logs into a mech system. From there, the first option is to either choose a team or create one yourself. The choice doesn’t matter; you can always change alignment whenever. I actually got removed from the team I started with and had to select another when I logged back in.
There are ten story missions and over eighty order missions. The story missions are self explanatory. Over the course of the game, story missions will require better equipment and experience to complete. Yes, there are only ten story missions, but even the beginning ones will provide for a challenge. The answer is to complete order missions for more cash, called Au in the game. More Au equals better parts for your AC.
When I first looked at all the parts to customize my AC with, I was honestly overwhelmed. I didn’t want to bother with finding parts that met certain criteria such as weight and energy consumption. Customization is a must, though, as it allows you to conquer stronger enemies and harder missions. Also, there is no option to repair parts. Instead, the game requires purchasing new and better equipment to replace the old.
As far as gameplay goes, it’s straightforward for the most part. The game does provide you with a very limited tutorial. Very limited. If you’ve never played an AC game before, this game will take some getting used to. There is very little explanation for the overall game; the tutorial only includes a few things like how to move your mech and shoot. Had From Software included a full tutorial, AC V could target a much wider audience. Another discrepancy I had was the difficulty of scaling a building. If not aimed right, instead of jumping up the side of the building, my mech would jut off to the side. On the good side, a scan mode was added to direct the player in the right direction and look for potential threats ahead. Otherwise, you lock the target in your sites and shoot as in previous AC games.
AC V’s graphics are not great. The cutscenes were very grainy. Buildings are very flat. When you walk into a vehicle with your mech, they immediately explode, pieces flying everywhere. The best looking objects in the game are the ACs. Needless to say, the graphics do not impress me much.
The storyline in this game is not interesting to me. I don’t know if it’s because you only hear voices and never see the actual people talking or if it’s just plain boring. The story is a bit confusing and hard to follow.
The saving grace of AC V is the multiplayer. There is a one on one ranking mode, but what I really enjoyed was the five on five battle. One member of the five is chosen as the operator, who gives commands and oversees the battle. In the matches I played, both teams went head on until every member of one team was killed. There is no respawning in multiplayer.
Another way to play with your friends only is taking on missions together. The game allows for at least two members per mission. There’s also the option to hire a mercenary, someone who registered in the game to help others and earn Au while doing so. Of course, you can also register to be a mercenary, making extra cash if you help the other guy succeed.
If you are a fan of the Armored Core series, AC V is a must have. You’ll love the customization, multiplayer mode, and gameplay. If not a fan of the AC titles, I suggest not being intimidated and learn by doing. What is not in the tutorial is not impossible to learn, but takes patience. Playing the game will be rough at first, but after getting into the swing of things, you’ll most likely end up enjoying it. Don’t let the difficulty stop you. Grab a friend or mercenary and enjoy!