More Reviews
REVIEWS God of War Collection (Vita) Review
God of War brings its PS2 heritage to Vita, and the results are more than a bit baffling.

Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunk Review
I was confident in my Dark Souls abilities. Then From Software released new Dark Souls II DLC.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Release Dates
Release date: 08/19/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14

MotoGP 14
Release date: 09/01/14

LATEST FEATURES Water, Water Everywhere: 15 of the Best Water Worlds in Gaming
Lots of water worlds suck, but not these ones, and they're completely Kevin Costner-free.

An Updating List of PlayStation 4 Updates We Want
Sony and Microsoft have been updating their consoles regularly, but we wanted to share our own ideas for updating the PS4 firmware.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
Coming Soon

Read More Member Blogs
Call of Duty will never be the same
By oneshotstop
Posted on 07/28/14
       We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...

Armored Core 5 Review

danielrbischoff By:
GENRE Simulation 
PLAYERS 1- 10 
PUBLISHER Namco Bandai 
DEVELOPER FromSoftware 
T Contains Mild Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Laying the heavy-mech groundwork

I may not know every Armored Core fan, but I at least know where the franchise's appeal starts and ends for the laymen. Namco Bandai has cranked out 19 Armored Core games since 1997, and the series hasn't exactly ever hit a high point from outside its most dedicated fans.

Still, with Dark Souls under its belt, From Software has an opportunity to buck this trend with Armored Core V. To this end, they've created a game that straddles the line between "streamlined for new audiences" and "more of the same for the fans."

When you first boot up AC V, you'll be asked to join an online team (or create your own) for which to contribute your efforts. Don't stress over the choice you make here, because you've always got the option to realign your allegiances. And while you may never play with the other members on your team, it's comforting to know you're not playing the game alone.

In creating your own team you can set a color scheme, create a new emblem, and even choose how new members can join. Within your team you can trade parts, which is Armored Core heaven for long-time fans of the series. The series has always had a large focus on an ever-expanding garage, but swapping parts with friends makes the volume of components worth it. What's more, if you make a friend in trading among your team, you can both join together to take on story missions in cooperative play.

Right off the bat, you can hop into the single-player story or pick up a multiplayer match. There are only 10 core story missions, but AC has never been about what's happening in the dystopian, destruction-oppressed future. It's about leaving a trail of burning, smoking heaps behind you.

To that end, single-player delivers in spades. While past AC games have allowed smart players to spec out a mech with high armor and tons of firepower, the missions in V actually play better when you add a little nuance to your rig. Some missions can be Dark Souls-difficult if you're not mobile enough or you don't have enough missiles.

Using Boost Drive to climb a skyscraper for its vantage point or bouncing between two buildings make for grasshopper-like agility that a tank-tread mobility system just won't compensate for. You'll have to slow down for heavy weapon use and your rotation speed will suffer, but the movement speed is worth it in many situations.

Using Scan Mode provides two bonuses to players willing to switch away from combat mode. In Scan Mode you can deploy recon drones that detect enemies through buildings and you'll recharge your energy twice as fast. This gives players a choice previous AC games neglected. It might sound silly to play a giant-destructive-mech game stealthily, but somehow getting the drop on an enemy by climbing the skyscraper separating you two works. It works really, really well. That nuance in strategy has been missing from previous AC games, making V a noticeable step up.

Even the abundance of weapons and modifications have gotten an extra edge in differentiating kinectic, chemical, and thermal weapons. These make for a delicious rock-paper-scissors style balancing act, forcing users who want to guard against all three to take a significant hit in over all defensive points.

These kinds of choices extend into multiplayer at a fever pitch. Single-player missions allow you to learn and make changes to your mech when you have to try again. Multiplayer requires on-the-fly customization, creating a fervor of activity in the garage in between matches.

Five-on-five multiplayer matches include Conquest Missions that require teams to defend or attack objectives and compete in outright deathmatches. These focused team battles combine with the Kinetic/Chemical/Thermal balance to make a very real necessity to work with your team.

As amazing as all of this sounds, I still have to temper my opinion of the game with an outsider's viewpoint. The density of the game's systems can be a huge turn off, and while the aesthetics are admittedly fantastic, the menu systems can be unintelligible.

If you've ever played and enjoyed an Armored Core game before, you have to buy V now. No questions asked. It's the best the series has ever seen and the online mode is balanced and deep, providing legs it desperately needs to contain a community. Even if you've never played an AC game before, now is the time to try. We're entering the golden age of mechs trying to blow each other up.

Copy provided by publisher. Review based on Xbox 360 version.
Armored Core 5
  • Everything you love about AC
  • You didn't know you loved it, but you do now
  • Dense customization... possibly too dense
  • Rock-paper-scissors weapon and armor balance
  • Japanese, US, and European servers segregated
  • 5-on-5 multiplayer, cooperative missions
  • Parts matter
  • Still might not be for everyone
Reviews by other members
No member reviews for the game.

More from the Game Revolution Network

comments powered by Disqus


More information about Armored Core 5
Also known as: Armored Core V

More On GameRevolution