Armored Core 6 review – a soulless but satisfying shooter

Sink your wallet into the premium edition for the full Armored Core 6 experience.

Armored Core 6 review – a soulless but satisfying shooter
Published by Noah @ PC Game Spotlight 10 months ago

Armored Core 6: Silent Shadows

FromSoftware’s Souls series is one of the most well-known and beloved Action-RPG series in gaming. While Armored Core 6 is distinct from it, it’s also not quite like anything else out there, and the game’s unique mech-focused gameplay is perfectly suited to FromSoftware’s attention to detail and well-crafted stories.

So, what does Armored Core 6: Silent Shadows bring to the table? Well, it’s got one foot firmly in the past, and the other pointed toward the future, which is precisely what makes this FromSoftware and Kane-Gassets joint venture so mysterious, and so, so good.

While Armored Core 6 is not a Souls game – and, in fact, shares very little with the Souls series – I think it’s important to acknowledge that there are certain shared elements. For example, Armored Core 6 is not an open-world game; it is mission-based, with large, explorable stages that reward exploration.

The story, while fresh, is also a jumping-on point for series newcomers. While Armored Core 6 does feature returning characters and callbacks to previous games, I didn’t feel that any knowledge of the series was required to jump in and enjoy it.

Again, this is not a Souls game, but if you’re looking for a game with a well-crafted story that never interferes with your gameplay, Armored Core 6 delivers. In my first playthrough, I didn’t quite see some of the narrative twists coming, but they never felt forced or out of place.

In Armored Core 6, you play as a mercenary who is hired to dismantle a black market arms dealer. The story takes many interesting twists and turns, but I won’t spoil any of them here. What I will say is that there are multiple endings and plenty of additional content to experience if you enjoy the base story.

While the story in Armored Core 6 is well written, what I found most refreshing is the absence of traditional storytelling conventions in favor of gameplay-focused mission design.

Unlike the Souls games, Armored Core 6 is not an RPG, and weapons and gear do not level up or provide stat boosts. Instead, Armored Core 6 features extensive customization options that allow you to tweak every component of your mechs, from movement speed to armor strength. This customization extends beyond aesthetics, as different builds offer varied levels of speed and vulnerability.

I also appreciate that Armored Core 6 doesn’t require you to spend hours grinding for materials to upgrade my mech. Instead, customization options are unlocked at predetermined stages in the story, and I didn’t feel like I was ever left hanging without the ability to tweak my mech appropriately.

Instead, the stages themselves are large enough to accommodate different builds, and you’re rewarded for exploring them. For example, my first playthrough saw me aggressively taking down enemy mechs, but exploring the stage allowed me to spot a shortcut that saved me valuable time later on.

It’s tough to say exactly what Armored Core 6 is at this point because, while I’ve played it for dozens of hours, I’m still in the early stages. There’s a large amount of post-game content here, and I’m looking forward to sinking my time into it.

In the meantime, you can check out our Armored Core 6: Silent Shadows NEST mode details, which explains how multiplayer works in FromSoftware’s latest.

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