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New Armored Core VI Fires Of Rubicon Gameplay & Release Date Trailer Reminds Us Why Giant Mechas Are Still Cool

Bandai Namco and From Software just launched a new Armored Core VI Fires Of Rubicon gameplay trailer. While it’s 3 minutes long, it’s definitely showing off a lot of giant mecha-versus-the-world kind of action.

With the phrase “let the last cinders burn” echoing in your mind, you’re a Raven (Armored Core pilot) thrust into the planet of Rubicon, destroying enemy mechs in your way using your custom Armored Core. And just like any From Software game since the Demon’s Souls era when they arose from obscurity, you’ll be fighting faster and/or bigger robots than you. Giant bipedal transports, turrets, centipede-like mechas, a robot with missiles coming out of its vertical body and has two shields; whatever you imagine, From Software probably has them.

For long-time fans, customization and Arena will be featured in the retail version of the game. Speaking of which, the trailer also comes with a release date: 25 August 2023 for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles. This means fans of customizing Armored Cores for oodles of hours, challenging mecha gameplay, and oblique storytelling will not have to wait next year for their fix.

Check out the trailer and full game feature description below (via PlayStation Blog):

Engage in High-Speed Mech Combat

You play an augmented mercenary piloting a huge, customizable mech. Yet while the pace and structure of mech-piloting action fundamentally differ from other games in the studio’s catalogue, players can rest assured that the smooth, responsive controls they’ve come to expect in FromSoftware games is still here–just in a different context. Think giant, heavily equipped robots with the ability to zip around across ground and air, reacting at lightning-fast speeds to attacks and threats while trying to one-up dangerous foes with even more firepower at their disposal.

Rubicon The Ruined Planet

Armored Core VI is a new story that takes place on the planet Rubicon, where a powerful energy source called “Coral” has been discovered. But this isn’t stuff that looks pretty in aquariums–Coral is extremely volatile, and it’s already caused a massive disaster that nearly turned all of Rubicon to ash many years prior. But those futuristic megacorps just can’t resist the siren song of Coral and continue to war for it to this day.

The various areas of Rubicon are filled with contrasts, as the hollowed-out industrial ruins from the aforementioned disaster smolder beneath a shiny shell of state-of-the-art mining constructs encasing the planet.

“It’s an intricate and multi-layered world, brimming with mega-structures and enormous underground facilities built by its former inhabitants. These structures cover a planetary surface wracked with extreme cold and contamination in the aftermath of the great disaster, and the player will be exploring these various environments as they proceed,” says game director Masaru Yamamura.

The expansive environments will deliver an incredible sense of scale, maintaining the quality we’ve come to expect from FromSoftware’s world-design maestros. And with your Armored Core’s (AC for short) advanced movement skills, you’ll be able to explore these large, open spaces to your heart’s content. You’ll be encountering lots of different scenery and objectives as you advance through the game’s mission-based progression structure (like previous entries).

“There will be missions where you’re fighting across sweeping battlefields–very combat-oriented,” Yamamura explains. “But you’ll sometimes be recovering data logs from wreckage and doing other side objectives too.”

New Combat Features

Assault Boost – One of the biggest new features in Armored Core VI is an instantaneous switch between long-range gunfighting and close-range melee, thanks to a button-activated movement skill called the Assault Boost.

“Assault Boost is an offensive action that helps close the gap between enemies and lets you quickly go from long distance to close range,” Yamamura tells us. It will also provide some incredible chain abilities when fighting, as he describes vividly: “Say you activate Assault Boost to make your approach while using machine gun fire and a missile salvo to stagger the enemy, then use your pulse blade to score a direct melee hit once you’re up close.”

Stagger – Another addition to the series’ combat is a “stagger” element: if an AC takes too many hits over a short period of time, its Attitude Control System will be overloaded, making it vulnerable for a short time. Both continuous hits and big, powerful strikes will cause stagger damage, encouraging you to keep up the pressure on the opponent. The damage inflicted to an enemy’s stagger gauge varies from weapon to weapon. It can also be affected by factors like distance, adding additional strategy in equipping and using these armaments in combat.

We asked Yamamura how the pace and feel of the game compares to previous entries.

“The average movement speed across the game is somewhere between Armored Core 3 and Armored Core 5,” he replies. “But Armored Core VI has been developed to bolster the changes of tempo and combat. With instantaneous bursts of speed and sudden changes of tempo, combat can often reach the dizzying heights of say, Armored Core 4.”

Fight Challenging Bosses

The series’ big boss encounters are back, and the metal monstrosities you’ll encounter look bigger and more intimidating than ever.

“There will be a rich variety of powerful enemies of all shapes and sizes,” says Yamamura. “Huge combat helicopters, heavily armored mobile turrets, and unmanned heavy demolition machinery that’s programmed to indiscriminately crush intruders. Armored Core VI will offer a number of explosive battle experiences that challenge players to fight against the odds and overcome these ginormous, more abnormal mechs.”

In addition to these larger bosses, you’ll even fight against other ACs and humanoid mechs in high-octane duels. And in grand FromSoftware tradition, it may take several attempts and some experimentation with your AC’s equipment to fully learn and adapt to a boss’s quirks. So better prepare yourself, as Armored Core VI will offer numerous cathartic explosive battles that’ll truly test your skills.

Build the Perfect AC

Customization is a key part of the Armored Core experience. You have access to an assortment of parts to upgrade and fine-tune the power of your AC. Four slots for holding weaponry–one in each hand and two on the back–give you a lot of space to experiment with custom loadouts.

What kind of weapons are we talking about? Bazookas, gatling guns, split missiles, plasma rifles, and all the perennial favorites. There are a bunch of new close-range weapons, too.

“One aspect we focused on in I is melee weapons, exclusively equipped to the left hand,” Yamamura continues. “These can include a cluster bomb thrower, a chainsaw or pulse blade, lances, and other more idiosyncratic weapons. Since the main weapons are firearms, the melee weapons are more focused on that strength of individuality.”

Add in custom paint jobs and liveries and you’ll be able to create a unique AC that’s all yours.

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