It’s a bit puzzling how the anime scene is riddled with adventures that feature giant and destructive mecha bots running amuck, but are seldom found within the realm of video games. Wwith the twelfth installment Armored Core featuring a collaborative effort from Namco Bandai and From Software, however, Armored Core: Verdict Day is looking to reestablish their grounds after having a flaky change of pace their last few releases.
Some fans of the series were disappointed in the latest entry, Armored Core V, a game of literally the same structure as Verdict Day that lacked any real online experience. Courtesy of the new UNAC system, this new rendition of Armored Core has now switched focus entirely on competitive online play, as they use three separate factions for pilots and their AC’s to engage in the battlefield.
Under this same system, players will be able to have their own AI team to accompany them to the fight, which is especially essential for those who don’t have any clans full of human players. Your computer team can be tailored to match your strategy and even offer some great set-ups against an online opponent. Compounded with the speed of a giant mech gliding through sky and pavement, much of the battles consist of a huge exchange of missiles and explosives between enemies, all with a very satisfying frame rate. This is even more rewarding when players are able to switch between attacking during the heat of battle and giving commands to fellow teammates.
The game also seems to be an extension of ACV’s customization assets. There are a lot of parts to be had and used here, some of which are exciting to use, such as the “Weapon Arms,” saw-like limbs that would give Alisa Boskonovich a run for her money. The more you use your customized AC and the more your mecha will learn the ins and outs of your playing style, which is a strikingly similar engine to Forza 5’s “Drivatar” mechanism.
Armored Core: Verdict Day looks to right the wrongs of its previous nightmare, and until the title hits retailers, that’ll be determined by the diehard fans who have bought every edition of the series. Sure, the graphics are stellar and this mech game has the potential to stand up against the Gundam Wing’s and the Front Mission’s, but this franchise gets power from its community. With the game making it slightly easier for veterans and newcomers to come together, it’ll be interesting to see how much the Armored Core fanbase will grow with the release of this next installment.
Peep Armored Core: Verdict Day when it releases on September 23 for Xbox 360 and PS3.