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    Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

    Game » consists of 2 releases. Released Aug 25, 2023

    After over a decade, FromSoftware returns to their mecha combat series with another reboot. As a mercenary under the stolen callsign "Raven", customize your AC and take part in corporate warfare on the remote planet Rubicon 3.

    Armored Core VI Early Impressions Thread

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    ALLTheDinos

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    I hadn't seen this in its own thread yet (although the QL comments and recent forum post about the AC series from ArbitraryWater have contained good discussions). While my play time is fairly limited thanks to two young children, I've been digging the game a lot and playing it pretty much exclusively since Friday. Here are my stray thoughts so far:

    • I really, really like the structure around the missions. As someone who has pretty short gaming intervals, being able to tackle a large number of them in less than 10 minutes enables me to dip in and out without having to think too hard. Also, it greatly encourages replay, so I always feel like I have something fun to do.
    • The controls took me a while to get used to. I blame Everspace 2, which felt just similar enough at the outset that I kept reflexively hitting that L-stick boost. Dodge on X / Square button also took some time thanks to Elden Ring and Remnant II being another pair of games I've played within the last few weeks. I feel like I'm good now, though.
    • Boy oh BOY do I love the tank build. I thought I'd always want the mobility (and for many enemies I still do), but there's nothing more satisfying than rolling in with dual gatling guns and straight-up IGNORING the amount of fire I take. I've never felt closer to being a Souls boss than when I'm overloaded on weaponry.
    • The setpieces work for me because they don't overstay their welcome, and I can replay the ones I most enjoy as often as I like. I feel like a lot of AAA games want you to linger far too long on stuff like that massive desert mech because they took a long time to create. Downing the thing in under 5 minutes makes me feel godlike, so the enemy reactions to my efforts feel all the more genuine.
    • Balteus is no joke! I've seen some people get extremely frustrated with it, and it was experimentation that worked for me. I was convinced that my tank "ignore" build would work if I just played it right, but the second and third phases of the fight kept wrecking me. I went for a more agile build and kept toying with weapons until I found things that felt powerful enough to end the fight on my terms. I would say don't focus on breaking that shield, because the real damage you need to do is during its stagger. I used laser rifle, pulse blade, 8x missiles, and plasma missiles on a bipedal build to clear the boss fight, for what it's worth.
    • Key to the above point is being able to switch loadout before reloading a checkpoint. I don't know how I could have beaten Balteus without that.

    Bottom line, this is my current front-runner for GOTY (mostly because I haven't had time to dig as much into Baldur's Gate 3 as I'd like). But it could easily end up staying at #1 through December based on my experience so far. Interested to see what other people's thoughts are so far!

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    Efesell

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    #2  Edited By Efesell  Online

    Barring a couple of iffy missions in the mid-game (The one stealth mission fan on every dev team strikes again) I've been having a hell of a time with this game. The bosses are the high point but the overall structure is just really solid so even if there is something that's not quite as solid it's over in 20 minutes and on to some other mission instead.

    Building the mech is fun, and the variety of options you have is pretty good but I did quickly feel like I could put together a solid tier list of everything and it's a pretty small list of things that you really wanna use. Aside from one or two bosses though it's not difficult enough that you couldn't just build something just to be cool and still get through the game.

    Tank build is absurdly powerful in all scenarios but I can't stand it aesthetically so my go to build for most the of the game has been Oops, All Shotguns instead since I can't load some of the heavier stuff.

    For real though, who put that fucking stealth mission in there.

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    nophilip

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    #3 nophilip  Online

    It's truly an incredible game. I'm also rolling all tank all the time and having an absolute blast. The mechs are incredible responsive and fun to control - even the giant tank treads. Staggering fools with my grenade cannons and then point blank dumping on them with dual gatling guns never gets old.

    Also worth mentioning - the art in this game is magnificent. Maybe my favorite mech designs ever and some really great desolate landscapes and disintegrating infrastructure. The Coral fire stuff also is a really cool effect.

    I will say I'm struggling to pay attention to almost any of the story, which is unusual for me, but that's not taking anything away from my pure joy at just how fun this game is to play.

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    CyrusRaven

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    Armored Core 6 is sick as hell. Double shotguns double plasma cannons agile mech supremacy!

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    TheRealTurk

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    It's my first AC game and I'm mostly having fun. I enjoy the parts where I'm bombing around in a mech and blowing stuff up. The actual assembly of those mechs, not so much.

    This game really could have done with a lot more UX focus, because the menus are all pretty terrible. Which is bad given how much you need to be in them. It just does a poor job overall of fronting the numbers that are actually important in an intuitive or useful way.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    #6  Edited By AtheistPreacher

    I've played it pretty hard since release and just tonight I finished getting the third and final ending to the game. It might sound crazy that I've already played the campaign three times, but you'd be surprised how fast it goes once you no longer have to scour stages for combat logs and hidden parts (and also start skipping briefings and cutscenes you've seen already). It took me three days to see credits, but then only a day each for the second and third plays. Some of the missions can be completed in about two minutes, especially if you've done them before.

    As several people have already mentioned, the tank builds are really, really powerful. Almost disappointingly so. Once I settled into tank treads with dual gatling guns and dual "songbird" grenade cannons, I pretty much just steamrolled everything. Any other build felt like I was unnecessarily handicapping myself, and I never really ran into any enemy for which that build didn't seem like the answer... with the possible exception of the late-game boss IB-01: CEL 240, who seems hard regardless of what your build is. But even for that fight I kept things mostly the same, only switching out my songbirds for stun needle launchers, which it turns out are even better than the songbirds for single targets.

    At this point I've done everything except S-rank all missions, and it's left me feeling... a little cold? I enjoyed the game well enough, but S-ranking everything just sounds like a slog, nor do I feel any need to keep playing through the story. And I'm not much for competitive multiplayer in games like this. So after five days I think I might be done with it for good, I just don't really see myself returning to it. It'll probably still end up on my top ten games of the year list, but not with much enthusiasm.

    I suppose I'm not too surprised. Though this now seems to clearly be the best entry in the series (For Answer remains a strong second-best from what I recall of it), I remember enjoying the hell out of that first game as a kid—partly, I think, because I'd simply never played anything like it before—and then slowly getting less interested with each sequel. Ultimately I think mech games just aren't quite my cup of tea.

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    TheRealTurk

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    @atheistpreacher: Is there any point to S-ranks beyond the S-rank? I was kind of operating under the assumption that you'd be rewarded with parts or something if you did enough of them. If it's just to get a big "S" on the mission screen, though, I think I'll skip it.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    #8  Edited By AtheistPreacher

    @therealturk: Nope, there doesn't seem to be a point to S-ranking missions unless you want the trophy/achievement for getting them all. It's the only trophy I don't have and I'm not going to bother. Parts are all gotten though buying in the shop, completing training exercises, collecting combat logs, defeating arena opponents, or finding on missions. Worth noting that you'll need to play through the campaign at least three times if you want all parts; I consulted an endings guide after my first play to make sure I was picking the right choices.

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    ALLTheDinos

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    Today I finally beat Sea Spider, which I thought was harder than Balteus. I really do love this game but those boss walls are even more brutal than Sekiro at times. Maybe it’s my fault for digging into Sea of Stars enough to get rusty.

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    infantpipoc

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    #11  Edited By infantpipoc

    @allthedinos: I beat Balteus in New Game Plus now, and it was a milk run. The challenge of first playthrough certainly comes from the players not having powerful enough weapons. Other than that, it's a big dude which means it's easier to shoot than enemy Armored Cores further into the game. Heck Sulla gave me more trouble than Balteus in NG+.

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    infantpipoc

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    Today I finally beat Sea Spider, which I thought was harder than Balteus. I really do love this game but those boss walls are even more brutal than Sekiro at times. Maybe it’s my fault for digging into Sea of Stars enough to get rusty.

    Finally beat Sea Spider in New Game Plus here. Yep, this one is tougher in NG+ as well. Tried out 3 combinations of late game weapons before beating it.

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    ALLTheDinos

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    @infantpipoc: Sea Spider has that classic style of “I know this is coming but I did just the wrong things leading into it, and now I spent way more healing than I wanted to”. My first thought when I was fighting it was the Capra Demon, because I kept hitting walls and objects while trying to strafe it. I really needed to pilebunker the living hell out of it whenever I got an opening, and it took me a while to get the hang of locking / unlocking for the perfect shot. That said, holy crap what a thrilling boss. The cutscene that follows is also my console background now.

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    infantpipoc

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    @allthedinos: Oh, the way that thing pounces. Also I found Plasma sword's double slash to be more effective than a pilebunker's single strike. The thing is easier to kill with high explosives.

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