Armored Core: Nine Breaker is a PS2 game in the long-running Armored Core series by developer From Software. Unlike every game in the series before or since, Nine Breaker has no story mission component at all, focusing instead on arena combat and training exercises. The principal objective is to reach the top of the Arena rankings and gold-rank all training programs offered. Despite the decidedly multi-player bent of the game, it offers no online multi-player options, with only split-screen and LAN play available.
Another difference in the game is that there is no purchasing system in place, with AC parts instead earned as rewards for reaching certain milestones in the arena and training modes. As a result, the game has an incredible barrier to entry, unless players import their save file from Armored Core: Nexus, which allows the use of AC parts bought in that game.
The training exercises do not play out like missions in the rest of the series, but rather as a contained test regimen, usually timed and requiring very specific behaviors in order to succeed, drawing similarities to Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions on the original PlayStation.
The game received harsh criticism from players for its lack of story and generally stripped down presentation, making the game feel unusually detached compared to normal Armored Core games.