Armored Core V – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation, TPS
Developer: From Software
Publisher: From Software, Namco Bandai
Platform: PS3, 360

Armored Core V – Review

Site Score
7.3
Good: Loads of customisation options, Easy to learn
Bad: No split-screen, Unclear storyline
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Armored Core V is a mech-based game for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 and was released by Namco Bandai. The game is already the 5th of the series, let’s see what keeps this franchise coming back for more.

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Story:

First of all the story isn’t bad but isn’t good either. You unlock parts of the story when playing through the story missions. During these missions the story is brought to you in a pretty decent way, but half the time you don’t get what the whole picture is about. There is no real explanation what is going on, and to have a fluent story this is quite bothersome. But to give you the general idea, the world has been destroyed by war and you are the pilot of a mech, you go out and kill the baddies, namely a former group of policemen who believe they are the righteous power now. So lead that rebel army with your powerful mech!

More attention to the storyline would have been a plus, but it doesn’t ruin your overall playing experience. This being said does not take away being slightly dissapointed after you see the fairly awesome opening cinematic.

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Graphics:

Armored Core V was developped to look great and it does for the most part. Your mech looks like a polished up Gundam (at least if you tend to be geeky and color them like a wing zero … oh the shame) and every time you alter something to your robot, it remains a beauty to the eye. Your enemies are well made aswell, the bosses are impressive, the personalised mechs are eye-catchers and the low grade enemies are nice aswell. (even though by the end of the game you might not like a few of them anymore!) The levels itself are probably the biggest problem, don’t get me wrong they look very nice but the variety of them is just too low. When doing Order missions you will oftenly fight mechs in the same level over and over again. An honorable mention goes to the simple but very enjoyable HUD. There is no clutter on the screen and you can keep track of everything you need with just 1 thing on your screen. The bars will indicate the damage done to your mech, your enery and the ammo of your weapons. During your missions you will be able to use the scan mode of your mech and this has also been done in a simple yet very viewable way without again too much clutter. Overall the design of the game has been well done.

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Sound:

Armored Core V made sure you will enjoy the musical experience. The music suits the genre and the storyline and is subtle enough to make sure you won’t get annoyed. The fighting sfx are basic but ok. We get treated to a decent amount of voice acting during the missions and this has been done quite well aswell. Personally one of the most fun options when it comes to sound effects is that you can choose between 3 voices for the voice you will hear during starting every mission, the menu at the beginning and warning messages during combat. It’s small but well appreciated bonus.

Gameplay:

The game consists out of 2 types of missions, namely story and order missions each with their own subquests.

The Story missions will guide you through the storyline and will also be the longest missions. These missions will contain a lot of objectives and will also offer you the most impressive enemies, boss fights and the option to repair, restock and alter your mech at garage points.

Order missions are more simple and a lot shorter and all have the same formulae: find and kill your enemies. Most of the time order missions will only last you 2 to 10 minutes, (and 10 minutes will be quite rare) but they make up for the latter in quantity. Yet you will play a lot of these missions again to earn money and complete the subquests. Completing the subquest will earn you extra money and/or extra parts for your mech.

All of these missions can be done on your own or co-op. Yay! co-op! But no split-screen, yay! Wait? What? No split-screen? Indeed the game does not offer you the option of playing split-screen, yet the story missions are so much easier and more fun to play when playing together. Online gaming is a great thing but a split-screen function is still one of the most fun ways of playing co-op. Having no way of playing together on 1 console is a sad thing (and it seems to be a trend nowadays) because the game has been designed to be a co-op game. You either have to convince a friend with the same platform to buy the game aswell or just try to get lucky with random people and hope (and hope you shall!) you will meet that mr. or mrs. special. When playing online you will probably join a random team to finally get your co-op experience on the way. Team play offers you the chance of doing the previously mentionned missions but also help you conquer territories and battle other teams. When battling teams 5 on 5 only 4 of each team get to really fight because one will be the operator telling the others what to do.

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You get offered with hundreds, if not more, ways to customise your robot. You get to pick nearly every part of the mech and you will enjoy testing out a lot of different set-ups because the game offers you a place where you can test your customised mech against enemies or without them. You can choose parts that will defend you against different parts of damage, or that help you with carrying more load or even go as far as choosing the type of legs to help you remain stable when using heavy weapons or sniping. When playing co-op or versus this offers you the chance of making a decent team to fight off enemies or other people. The only regretable part about all this, is that there is no real explanation how everything works. You have to pretty much guess what type of defense does what, how certain types of legs will affect your robot and so on. If you want to learn a lot of great set-ups you will probably spend time looking for guides and tutorials online.

Controlling your mech was a lot less clunky than expected. With the right set-up your robot can feel agile or heavy when playing an armored one. Precise control when boosting or jumping up building will take some time getting used to but if you’re not that used to play mech games you get the hang of it quickly.

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Conclusion

Armored Core V is a great game for players who enjoy mech games and like to go for great gameplay value. Everything this game offers you gameplaywise is pretty much the key for making a superb mech/simulation experience. What tends to unbalance this formulae is the fact that the game is co-op oriented without being able to play split-screen and the story which feels quite unclear and lacking to put the icing in the cake.

Tip: If you’re new to the series, you might need to look up a few guides to get yourself up and running.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Armored Core V - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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