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Armored Core V Review (Xbox 360)

Posted by , 37 days ago
  Armored Core V
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Item reviewed: Armored Core V on x360

The Armored Core franchise has historically been about a neat idea: the player gets to be a mercenary with their very own modular giant robot that they can customize to their heart’s content. A very basic plot, a reasonably lengthy single-player campaign, and split-screen versus play were about all it needed back then, and those who got into it were really devoted; a few gaming magazines even ran regular columns featuring fan-submitted designs. Armored Core V mostly sticks to the familiar formula, but has placed a much greater emphasis on the online experience.

Armored Core V (Xbox 360) Set in a bleak sci-fi world, this third-person shooter gives you a ’junk’ robot, some starting funds, a basic tutorial, then turns you loose. The robots of the game, the titular armored cores, definitely take inspiration from faster paced, agile machines in anime productions such as Gundam and Macross. Most cores move around on ’hover-jets’, and are capable of incredible thruster-assisted leaps while raining down a constant barrage of fire. Nonetheless, cores have a lot of weight to them and it takes a second to get turned around; some of the ’heavy clumsiness’ in BattleTech/MechWarrior’s battlemechs or Front Mission’s wanzers is present here as well, so most cores end up sitting in a happy compromise of being pretty agile, but also suitably heavy and durable. Excepting very heavy designs, the emphasis is on enough speed to keep things exciting.

While the action could be summed up as "shoot enemies, dodge their shots", this overlooks how much detail goes into the player’s core. Even at its most basic, core design gives you tons of choices just on the weapons alone. Shotguns, pistols, sniper rifles, swords, heavy cannons, gatling guns, missiles, and more often than not an energy-based equivalent of most of these are all available. The sheer variety of weapons allows you to play to your strengths or even carry a gun for nearly any situation, though weight/power consumption limits prevent you from carrying everything; you will have to make some compromises.

And that’s just the start of customization. You can pick several different types of legs, some more suited for speed while others are heavy and slow but provide extra stability when using heavy weapons. Then you have to consider which of three damage types you want your body and limbs to resist better, pick out targeting systems that favor fighting at different ranges, decide whether you want better acceleration or higher top speed from your boosters, and more. When you’re all done, you’re free to give your war machine a name, detailed custom paint job, and even your own emblem. This is your ride, and investing yourself in it is one of the most enjoyable things in the game!

 Our Rating for Armored Core V Review (Xbox 360)
8.0
Replay
Customizing your giant robot and fighting online is the sort of thing you’ll come back for again and again. The offline play is not particularly great, but is an okay way to kill some time.
7.0
Graphics
While rather ’washed out’ and gritty, there is enough detail here to make weapons and environments convincing. What really helps is the ability to give your core a custom paint job, one where almost any color scheme is possible.
8.0
Sound
Subtle but good music goes nicely with deep, powerful weapon effects. Bullets fly, hulking metal war machines crash into one another, explosions rock the area, and it all sounds just fine.
8.5
Gameplay
The action manages to land a ’just right’ mix of mobility and weighty, mechanical clumsiness (with suitable durability accompanying it) on most core designs the player can make. Of course, you’re free to design your robot mostly as you wish and this allows for several different styles of play.
8.5
Multiplayer/Online Content
Though the various modes are poorly explained, fighting against others online is a blast once you know what you’re doing. The action stays smooth most of the time, and working with a team is satisfying.
8.5
Overall
Armored Core V would probably be interesting just because it fills a niche for mecha fans that few other active games can, but it’s actually a good game regardless. It will require some trial and error (or study online) to figure out how to play properly, but is definitely worth the effort!

Rating: 4.0, votes: 2



 
 

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