Armored Core V Review

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Game: Armored Core V
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Reviewed on:

STORY

Once you’re part the initial boot-up sequence, you’ll be greeted with a video that steers your mind into the mayhem and destruction that awaits. If you’re a fan of the mech-filled series, you’ll watch the video with a smile on your face, whereas if you’re a newcomer, it introduces you nicely to Armored Core V’s war-ridden world. It’s your stereotypical war story, with both sides taking the idea of size and power to extreme measures, designing their own enormous fighting machines. From massive tanks to large AC units, each side prepared anything and everything to win the war. Even though multiplayer is Armored Core V’s main draw, the story featured in the single campaign is neither deep or particularly engaging. However, if you’re so inclined, it should do enough to keep you motivated until the campaign is complete.

GRAPHICS

Whilst going into battle with massive AC units might sound appealing, when you actually get into a battle (more on that later) you’ll be greeted by some extremely pale and boring environments. You’re supposed to be taking part in an epic, global battle, yet “thanks” to the poor visual design of the environments, you never really feel that is the case. The textures, in particular, are really poor.

Thankfully, when you’re partaking in combat, the Armored Core V manages to somewhat deliver in the graphics department. Shooting off rocket after rocket in your massive mech feels immensely satisfying, thanks to some impressive visual effects. It’s just a shame that the environments are lacking the same visual polish.

SOUND

Unlike the visuals, Armored Core V most definitely excels in the audio department. Even when you’re loading up the game, you’re immediately greeted with sounds that suggest you’re about to enter an epic battle, giving you the feeling that you’re an important part of the forthcoming fight for survival.

On the battlefield, the clunky sounds that blare out of your speaker as your mech trudges around the environment are more or less spot on. The same sentiment can also be applied to the sound of rockets whistling of rockets past you and blowing up your enemies. If you’ve got a decent surround sound unit, you’re in for an audio related treat. The commands and comments of your computer system sound authentic too, almost making you feel like your in a mech unit yourself.

GAMEPLAY

For a game that’s highly reliable on online play, Armored Core V feels outdated and poorly executed. Whilst it might not excel to the point of perfection, the core gameplay is mostly entertaining. However, the online component fails to take advantage of that and deliver an enjoyable multiplayer experience. Unless you’re regularly playing with friends, you’ll spend hours upon end sitting in online lobbies waiting for something to happen. At the time of writing, this is the case even when many other Armored Core V owning players are online. It’s a shame, as when you do get into a match, the multiplayer action is quite fun.

As for single player campaign, for the most part, the missions are fairly enjoyable. You’re put through your paces at a reasonable pace, with tutorials available at the start that ease you into the game’s mechanics. The game does a good enough job of guiding you through, with detailed explanations and even the odd video clip detailing what action is required to be performed next. There is a lot to take in at first, but with a bit of time and effort, you’ll eventually manage to tackle most challenges thrown at you, both online and offline.

It’s all part of the large team-based aspect of the game, meaning everything you do in Armored Core V helps your team grow in strength and stature. However, if you find yourself playing the game on your own, you will eventually start to find yourself frustrated at the lack of options available. This is where the online aspect should really kick in, but (more often than not) it fails to do exactly that. Taking your team around the world to do battle, or simply taking part in a solo Battle Royale game mode might sound like a lot of fun, but if you’re stuck in single player then that enjoyment fails to materialise.

LONGEVITY

As mentioned previously, Armored Core V is a game that heavily relies on its online component. If the servers are improved and more players pop on to take part in battles, then you could be partaking in some epic mech action for a while. However, if you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum, Armored Core V could become boring very quickly. As stated before, at the time writing, it’s more negative than positive regarding the online side of the game, and that isn’t particularly great whether your a fan of the series of newcomer, especially the latter.

VERDICT

If you’re a series veteran and intend to regularly hop online with friends, then you’ve probably already decided if you’re purchasing Armored Core V or not. The core gameplay remains largely unchanged, both online and offline. However, if you’re new to the series, you’ll probably want to rent Armored V rather than buy it. Whilst the mech-based combat is quite fun, the game doesn’t do enough to attract and then keep hold of new players, especially when it comes to online.

6/10

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