Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon Sparks Nostalgia for MechAssault
The return of Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon has sparked memories of the glory days of MechAssault, with the beloved mech game from the early days of Xbox Live getting some love from the current Armored Core community. Some even mention a fan-made sequel called Wolves, which has me very excited indeed.
There’s been a lot of talk about Fires of Rubicon and its impact on the current state of the Armored Core scene, but I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the effect it’s had on the wider world of mech games. Many of the replies to my recent article on the state of the current Armored Core scene mention fond memories of the early days of MechAssault on Xbox Live. Many others reminisce about the beloved game itself.
It’s not exactly surprising. Though Fires of Rubicon certainly looks and feels different to the original, there’s no doubt that it shares a lot of DNA with MechAssault – its movement is similar, and it features a similar sense of weight and momentum. Combine that with a multiplayer community that’s still very much alive, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for fan nostalgia.
“Yeah, I remember it,” one user writes. “Biggest problem was that the meetups were in the middle of the night for me, so I couldn’t really participate.” Another replies, “Same, I’d love to play it again.”
There’s a lot of love for MechAssault in the replies, with one user writing, “I played the hell out of that game. It was so damn fun despite being so damn difficult.” Another says, “There’s no doubt in my mind that the second game was the best.”
There’s also some discussion about the multiplayer community for MechAssault on Xbox Kai, which was active a few years ago but is now mostly defunct. “It was actually pretty active up until two years ago,” one user replies. “It’s still up and running, but there’s only like a dozen players left.”
There are also a lot of fond memories of the challenging gameplay of MechAssault. “I miss that game so much,” one user replies. “I remember losing so many mechs to the same enemies over and over and over again.” Another writes, “I spent countless hours on that game. I remember getting really good at it and always defeating the enemies, but then the next mission would start with me losing all my mechs.”
Others express disappointment that MechAssault hasn’t made a comeback. “I’d love to see a sequel or even a remaster,” one writes. “I’d even pay $60 for that game.” Another replies, “I’d pay $100.”
There’s also some talk about modding Xbox lights, which I’m 100% on board with if it’s possible. “I’m actually interested in this,” one replies, while another says, “I’m down to [sic] try it.”
Lots of replies mention the ability to exit mechs and steal other mechs as a standout feature. “I remember being able to get out of my mech and take over enemy mechs,” one writes. Another replies, “I also remember being able to enter and exit mechs, even if it didn’t do much.”
There’s also a lot of banter about the superiority of MechAssault over MechWarrior. “I love MechWarrior, but I’ll always think of it as a slower, more tactical Armored Core,” one writes. Another replies, “I always preferred the MechAssault-style mechs to the agile humanoid mechs of games like AC and Gundam.”
One user replies with just “Pfttttttr,” which I think is a really funny, endearing reply that I appreciate a lot. Another user mentions their preference for MechAssault-style mechs over the agile humanoid mechs of games like Armored Core and Gundam, writing, “I’m not a fan of the humanoid mechs. I prefer the mechs that are more tank-like, like the ones in MechAssault.”
One user defends MechAssault, writing, “I’ll never understand why people say it’s bad. It’s super tight.” They go on to praise the online play in the second game, saying, “The only thing that made the second game better than the first was its online.”
I’m definitely a big fan of Fires of Rubicon, but I must admit that it’s refreshing to see some love for the OG of mech games. If you’re a fan, definitely check out Wolves, a fan-made sequel that looks super promising.
If you’re not, maybe try some of those Gundam games like I have.