FromSoftware explains that Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon will be heavy on boss fights, mech customization, and story-based missions.

FromSoftware has been busy pioneering the soulslike sub-genre since 2011, but Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon will mark a return to its mechanized warfare roots. IGN conducted an interview with Armored Core VI director Masaru Yamamura (lead designer of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice) and studio president Hidetaka Miyazaki for new details on the game, following its reveal at The Game Awards 2022. They explained that the game will preserve the studio’s iconic boss fights and high customization while bringing new elements to the table, too.

“Boss battles are the highlight of the game in this title,” Yamamura said. “The essence of the battles, in which the player reads the enemy’s moves and then plays games with them, is of course provided, as is typical of FromSoftware. In this title, both the enemy and your own machine are aggressive and violent in their attacks.”

The Armored Core series hasn’t seen a release since the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 era, but FromSoftware still wants to maintain its overall identity in this next release. In other words, while FromSoftware has undoubtedly evolved as a studio since its last mech game, the team never made a conscious effort to turn Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon into a soulslike. Miyazaki explained that, just as in previous games in the series, one of the project’s driving forces will be how it allows players to create their ideal mech builds for different missions. However, players can still expect the studio’s challenging gameplay as they master each mission and iron out their builds.

“The essential direction of [Armored Core VI] was to go back and take a good look at the core concept of Armored Core and what made that series special,” Miyazaki said. “So we wanted to take the assembly aspect, assembling and customizing your own mech — your AC — and then being able to exact a high level of control over the assembled mech. So we wanted to take those two core concepts and reexamine those in our modern environment.”

As for structure, players shouldn’t expect Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon to carry on the massive open-world design seen in games like Elden Ring. Instead, Yamamura said the sixth entry will continue with a mission-based structure as it tells a “completely fresh new story” with “no direct links with previous games in terms of continuing story.” We don’t know much about this new story, but we do know that it takes place in the wake of a great catastrophe on a planet called Rubicon 3.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon was only just announced, but we won’t have to wait too long to see more. Expect it to launch for PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S in 2023.

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