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‘Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon’ delivers fast-paced mech combat this August

FromSoftware also teased the upcoming title’s story and gameplay details.

FromSoftware / Bandai Namco Entertainment

Fans of the long-dormant Armored Core series can look forward to the franchise’s return before long, as FromSoftware announced today that Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon launches on August 25th. In addition, there is a new trailer and fresh story / gameplay details that shed more light on the upcoming mecha-based title.

Announced at The Game Awards 2022, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon is the franchise’s first mainline game in over a decade. Fresh off the success of the acclaimed Elden Ring, FromSoftware had previously said the new entry is a reboot that will take advantage of the developer’s expanded resources to make the Armored Core game it always “wanted to make” while honoring the 26-year-old franchise’s roots, according to president Hidetaka Miyazaki. “What we are aiming to create with AC6,” game director Masaru Yamamura told Xbox Wire, “is a new mech action game as a product of what the current day FromSoftware can output.”

Armored Core VI’s story is set on the planet Rubicon, where a precious but dangerous resource called Coral is discovered. Having previously been turned to ash by a massive disaster (thanks to Coral), Rubicon is a world of “hollowed-out industrial ruins” only barely concealed beneath a corporate “shiny shell of state-of-the-art mining constructs encasing the planet.” Whether the game flies or not, that’s a fun premise with plenty of opportunities for staggering set pieces (which you can see in the trailer) and real-world metaphors with present-day relevance.

Gameplay screenshot from ‘‘Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon.’ The player-controlled mech (right) has its jetpack turned on as it dodges fire from a giant mech in the distance. The sky is dark and purple, gunfire and explosions all around.
Gameplay screenshot from ‘‘Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon.’ The player-controlled mech (right) has its jetpack turned on as it dodges fire from a giant mech in the distance. The sky is dark and purple, gunfire and explosions all around. (FromSoftware / Bandai Namco Entertainment)

“It’s an intricate and multi-layered world, brimming with mega-structures and enormous underground facilities built by its former inhabitants. These structures cover a planetary surface wracked with extreme cold and contamination in the aftermath of the great disaster, and the player will be exploring these various environments as they proceed,” game director Masaru Yamamura explained to PlayStation blog.

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New gameplay features include the new Assault Boost, a button-triggered skill that lets you instantly switch between long-range shooting and melee. “Assault Boost is an offensive action that helps close the gap between enemies and lets you quickly go from long distance to close range,” Yamamura said. “Say you activate Assault Boost to make your approach while using machine gun fire and a missile salvo to stagger the enemy, then use your pulse blade to score a direct melee hit once you’re up close.”

The developer says it’s building on and fine-tuning the franchise’s familiar customization. “The main thing we focused on in AC6 was to make sure that this customization element is not just about the parameters going up and down and numerical values; we want to reflect these changes in customization in the way the game and action feel as much as possible,” said Yamamura. “For example, you obviously you have the head, core, arms, and leg parts of the AC. The leg parts in particular control the mech’s movement and so these will change the basic behavior of the AC depending what type they are. Like, tank-type legs will be able to perform drift turns. Weapons will differ in terms of how they fire, how much recoil they have, and how the projectiles behave. We’ve been conscious of how this all affects the game feel and the individuality of different builds.”

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon launches on August 25th, and you can pre-order it now (in a $60 standard edition or $70 deluxe edition) for PlayStation 5 / 4, Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One and PC.