Bandai Namco’s Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon is one of the most interesting upcoming PS5 games out there. It’s something of an attempted revival of FromSoftware’s action-heavy mecha shooter series, coming almost exactly ten years after its predecessor. So, it’s been a while since we’ve played a new Armored Core game. While that’s not a bad thing at all, the Armored Core 6 release date drops after a decade of FromSoft producing some of the best games of all time – for example, Elden Ring and Bloodborne.
Why is that a problem? Well, soulslike games like this offer up gameplay that’s wildly different from what the Armored Core series is known for and what we’re getting in Armored Core 6. So, despite claims that the studio is going to use what it has learned from the last decade to deliver an excellent Armored Core game, there are concerns that a lot of that is going to be lost. However, if this mecha shooter adopted the Titanfall series’ pilot gameplay mechanics, it could deliver an excellent Armored Core experience that preserves the gameplay that makes its soulsborne titles tick.
If you’re not sure what you’re getting into when you play an Armored Core game, all you need to know is that it’s nothing like FromSoftware’s soulsborne titles. As you can see for yourself in the Armored Core 6 gameplay footage down below, the gameplay being presented to players in this upcoming Xbox game is fast and very furious.
In Armored Core 6, you’re locked into your mecha with an unholy amount of explosives and weaponry at your disposal – and, to be fair, it is a lot of fun. You’re still going to want to avoid damage, like you would in a Souls game, but this Armored Core’s combat is all about free movement and overwhelming attacks. When you look at the grounded high-risk gameplay FromSoft has perfected over the last few years, it pales in comparison.
So, how is FromSoft going to take what it has learned and apply that to Armored Core 6? Should it even try, really? Would that actually improve upon the Armored Core experience?
Well, we certainly think it should – why waste all that expertise? Armored Core 6 has the potential to be the best of both worlds – a fast-paced mecha shooter and a grounded soulsborne – and Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall series holds the key as to how FromSoft can do that.
If you’re still wondering what we mean, we are, of course, talking about how Titan mechs are treated as vehicles in the Titanfall series. This, as you may already know, is in stark contrast to the Armored Core series, in which you are the mecha.
For example, when you’re playing Titanfall 2, you can take advantage of nimble pilot gameplay with fantastic traversal mechanics alongside explosive Titan mech combat – something that’s not too dissimilar to the gameplay of Armored Core 6. If you’re in a Titan, you can hop out and call in another when it gets destroyed. If you’re running around as a pilot, you can take advantage of anti-Titan weaponry to deal damage to the hulking machines, hijack them, and – of course – take down other pilots while they’re unarmored. We know Armored Core games are all about machine-to-machine combat, but this could be the evolution the series needs.
Of course, there would be some challenges to overcome – especially when it comes to balancing. If you stick an enemy Armored Core 6 mecha in Elden Ring, you’re going to struggle to take it down. That much is clear, even with magic and spells.
However, introducing this mechanic would also importantly increase the threat and danger presented to players ten-fold, at least. Soulsborne games are known for their high difficulty and challenging combat, yet Armored Core 6 seems like a rather dramatic step away from that. We think finding a way to increase the challenge presented to players in Armored Core 6, and staying true to FromSoft’s existing portfolio, without turning the player into a glass cannon is what this series needs. Introducing Titanfall’s pilot gameplay could do that.
We’re not necessarily saying that introducing this dynamic to Armored Core 6 is going to make this one of the best games of all time, but it would be far from a bad thing – if done right, of course. You can find out more about the Armored Core 6 Premium Edition right here and read up on all the best games like Armored Core ahead of Armored Core 6 right here – if you want to prepare yourself for some mecha action.