The Armored Core series revolves around mercenaries called Ravens (LYNX in the latest games), taking on missions using giant customizable robots called Armored Cores, usually at the behest of mega-corporations vying for ultimate control. Very rarely are individuals depicted in the stories of Armored Core games, which usually focus on the broader political scheming between the corporations and the government in their struggle for power.
In between missions, the player is tasked with preparing their Armored Core with the right parts for combat. Each mission usually requires certain attributes for success, and factors such as weight and energy consumption can heavily influence the way a battle will play out.
In order to reward efficiency, the player's reward for completing a mission will be lowered based on the cost of repairs and ammunition spent during play, as well as any special deductions that may occur if certain critical targets are destroyed if the mission calls for limits on collateral damage. On the other hand, missions may reward players going beyond the call of duty with special credits for finding or destroying high-value targets.
Fourteen games have been released in the series, not counting PSP ports of PS2 games, making Armored Core one of the longer running series in gaming. It, like most From Software titles, enjoys limited success and are not often designed for broad-market appeal. The fifteenth game in the series, Armored Core V, was recently released.