Armored Core V is the fifth main installment of From Software’s Armored Core mech game series. Despite the Roman numeral, Armored Core V is apparently not a sequel to Armored Core 4 (2007) or Armored Core: For Answer (2008). The game starts off with a whole new storyline, making knowledge of the narrative details of previous installments unnecessary. The plot is not exactly easy to make sense of, however. You’re playing on the side of the Resistance, up against some sort of shadowy, militaristic corporation. Basically it seems to amount to good robots versus bad robots. If there’s significantly more nuance to it than that, it was simply lost on me.
The game is focused on tactics and skilled planning rather than simply attacking an enemy with brute force. Armored Core V is a highly intensive game that’s really not for the casual player. It requires a lot of dedication to gain skills, learn tactics, and build a team. The game can get frustrating for anyone who just wants to sit down and dive into gameplay without much prior experience. This game takes commitment and patience in order to get the most out of it. I’ll be upfront and admit that I have not played the previous Armored Core games, so if you’re interested in a comparison to those, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you’re interested in what a newbie might experience when jumping into Armored Core V completely cold, this might be more helpful. As a newbie, I would have liked an intensive tutorial mode option.
There is not really one ongoing storyline to the game. The ten-mission story mode is worth working your way through if you haven’t played these games before. I found it highly difficult, as each of the base missions has multiple order missions within. The overall setting is an uninhabitable world where machines fight over territory. The game is very customizable. Players can design a giant robot to control, choosing from a wide array of emblems, names, and colors. Weaponry and hardware can be customized as well, but it takes some experience to determine what you will need. The game can be played individually, but can be more fun when played with others while online. Either way, players work with a team to defeat the enemy. Figuring out what to do can be pretty confusing at first. After configuring a machine, players are presented with a map of different missions. The choice seems arbitrary at first, because there is a lot to learn about game play.