Armored Core 2 is the first Armored Core game to be on the PlayStation 2, the game was developed by the same group who did the three original games, FromSoftware.
Armored Core 2 takes place 67 years after the events depicted in the original trilogy of games. The Raven's Nest, along with mega-corporations Chrome and Murakumo Millennium have dissolved as Earth faced its worst ever resource crisis. Mars was colonized and farmed for base minerals as part of a private initiative spearheaded by Zio Matrix corporation. The Earth based regulatory body, the LCC, soon followed and much of the infighting that had brought about the Armored Core era followed them to the red planet, fueled and paid for by the new lucrative Martian industries. A new mercenary body, the Nerves Concord, is formed and the services of ACs and their pilots - 'Ravens' - are once again needed.
It's around this time that Leos Klein, a legendary former' Raven, exits retirement and relocates to Mars. Personally scarred by the events of the corporate wars on Earth, he sees the events unfolding on Mars as precursor to a cataclysmic conflict similar to the 'Great Destruction' that almost eradicated the human species hundreds of years ago. Klein forms the elite 'Frighteners' and embarks on a campaign to 'cleanse' Mars which the player has to prevent.
First Klein unleashes the Disorder units - savage cybernetic remnants of a long lost Martian civilization - on human colonies and hijacks the mammoth STAI Battleship. Although the player successfully deals with these threats it is revealed that they were simply diversions to conceal Klein's master plan. He intends to activate Phobos, which is in fact a massive alien orbital weapon, and use it to attack the Martian surface. The player travels to Phobos and fights their way to the final control room where Klein is piloting an AC with mysterious alien parts. Ultimately he is defeated and Phobos' decaying orbit altered such that the surface colonies survive.
Like the first game, Armored Core 2 is a third person mech fighting game. You can equip your mech with various boosters and jet-packs to gain mobility over the map and can take on several viewing modes. There are both ranged and melee weapons, the combat is similar to many mech fighting games you can see in arcades in waterworld and other amusement parks; lots of strafing and fast movement followed by quick and explosive attacks.
Upon beginning the game, you are run through a training exercise where you learn movement and destroy basic MTs. After the first mission you are introduced Nerves Concord where they register their character and are introduced to the mission hub. Once the Nerves Concord is available the player can participate in the arena where you pit yourself against a ladder of 47 other AC's. There's a large variety in the arena fighters and the difficulty and reward scale up as you go up in rank. AC2 also has a fairly deep custom mech system where you can use your money from missions and the arena to deck out your mech. You choose how your mech fights; choosing from weapons like pistols, rifles, rockets, homing missiles, beam swords, chain guns, etc. You can choose to have legs or have treads.
There is a local multilayer component where you can face off with your friends in the arena.
An independent management body for Ravens in the vein of the old Raven's Nest, the Concord accepts contracts and distributes mercenary jobs. Moreso than the Nest, who professed the same, the Concord stays impartial to most conflicts. The end result is Raven's from different corporate clients often facing eachother in the field.
Seizing assets from the defunct Murakumo, Zio Matrix propelled itself to the number 2 position amongst corporations on Earth, and used the former's existing plans for Mars terraforming to further its extraterrestrial interests. The tenacity with which its Mars branch operates its largely ignored by its Earth-based HQ, so long as profit it consistent. Zio parts are largely defined by curved surfaces, a tendency toward energy weapons and typically couple premium price with high performance.
Having been overtaken by Zio in Mars expansion, Emeraude currently uses violent tactics willingly to retake Martian ground. As the largest AC parts manufacturer on Earth, it specialises in industrial look and feel, competitive pricing and shell weapons over energy-based ones.
Mostly cooperating with the two larger corporations, Balena is the leader in cutting edge tech and offers high-performance internal components such as engines and radiators.
A provisional government established after signing the Isaac Treaty, the Earth Government was focusing to bring order to the subterranean world after the Deep Earth War.
The Large Scale Enterprises of the Central Committee (LCC) is the Earth Government's puppet regulatory body on Mars. Without the military clout to enforce its edicts, the LCC often sits out of conflicts or employs a Raven to its ends.
Headed up by former Ninebreaker Leos Klein, the ultimate goals of the Frighteners, beyond general social upheaval, are unknown. They are a powerful terrorist force comprised of multiple elite AC pilots originally brought to Mars as an Earth Government initiative to bolster the LCC's military influence.
Disorder UnitsA faction of robotic units, presumably built and abandoned by some ancient Martian occupants, Disorder units are given their name by their erratic behaviour in combat. It is revealed that their 'disorder' is largely due to the inoperable satellite station of Phobos from which they take their orders.
PhobosOne of the two moons of Mars, the Phobos is an ancient Martian that was design some kind of superweapon. Its unknown what Phobos's ultimate goal is, it is known that it serves as the controller unit of the Disorder units. It was capable of destroying Mars or damaging enough so that humanity couldn't exist there any more.
Main page: Nell Aulter
The Nerves Concord liason for the player throughout the game, Nell takes a personal interest in the Raven's success.
Leos KleinMain page: Leos Klein
Former Ninebreaker on Earth and head of the Frighteners, Klein is the chief antagonist in Armored Core 2. Brought to Mars by the Earth Government to assist the LCC, it was not long before he revolted and took the Frighteners with him.
Boyle FortnerKlein's right-hand man in the Frighteners, Boyle pilots a heavy AC weilding bazookas and faces the player late in the game.
Remille FortnerTwin sister to Boyle, she sues a light AC with an experimental stealth back unit. She is betrayed on Phobos by Klein as part of his plot.
StrungA Raven who accompanies The Raven during the first mission, and later turns against him when he was order by Klein, but was killed by The Raven.
AresCurrent Ninebreaker in the Nerves Concord Mars arena, Ares pilot a bipedal midweight AC woth the legendary Karasawa rifle, Moonlight blade and large back-mounted grenade cannon.
The score for Armored Core 2 was composed by Kota Hoshino.
|Track #||Song Title||Running Time|
|2.||Opinion Of The Way||3:48|
|11.||Shape Memory Alloys (Remix)||3:39|
|20.||Boield Wars Man||2:59|
|25.||Theme From Armored Core||4:00|
Arena Mode Exploit
On one of the maps in AC2 where the player spawned on top of a very high building and the enemy spawned on the ground down below it was possible to easily win against any opponent on this map by simply staying where you spawned and having vertical missiles equipped. The AI was too stupid to bother boosting up to the roof of the building to attack you so you could easily just keep hitting them with vertical missiles while never taking damage until you won.