What? You don't know what armored core is? You poor deprived soul.
You want to know what Armored Core is? Okay then.
ARMORED CORE IS PEOPLE IN CUSTOMIZABLE GIANT ROBOTS BLOWING THE HELL OUT OF EACH OTHER.
What? you want a more in depth, detailed description? fine.
Armored Core is another people in giant robots blowing up other people in giant robots sort of game, but the feature that sets it apart is the customization.
You pick every individual body part: Head, Legs, Center Torso (Core), and Arms. That sounds a LITTLE better than most generic mech games, Right? But it's a lot better than that. To make things interesting, you also choose the generator, which supplies energy to your AC (Armored Core, name of the giant robots in the game...Hence the title....Armored Core)
which is crucial to your survival, a radiator, which is also crucial, because it keeps you from overheating so easily and helps you recover from it quicker,
and an FCS, Fire Control System, which is basically your means of acquiring your target. You also pick a booster, which determines how fast you can go and how much energy that will cost. These parts are all required to use your AC, but there are also a wide array of optional parts that come in handy, such as
extensions, which can be anything from support missiles which fire alongside any other missiles you have when you use them, or boosters that will cause you to do anything from a quick turn to a backward evasive thrust.
You can also equip inside parts, which are anything from missile decoys, radar decoys, ECM pods (disrupts enemy lockons) and even mines, generator jamming rockets or napalm rockets, neither of which is incredibly accurate
or powerful but each cause various harmful effects for its target, making it more of a help for your other weapons than an actual weapon. The other optional parts are obviously your weaponry. There are four slots for weaponry,
left and right back slots and left and right arm slots. Each one is unique, because the right arm has a wider array of long range weaponry and generally has stronger weapons, but the left arm weapons can be used in conjunction with back weapons
or the right arm weapon interchangeably, and not only that, but the left arm can equip laser blades, which, when used, causes a short beam of energy to pulse from the blade's, well, projector I guess you could call it, for just enough time to take a chunk out of
the enemy, and what it lacks in range, it makes up for in damage. The left arm is also the only slot able to equips shields, which come in the form of energy or solid (with solid being the only useful one, because energy continually drains energy while in use. That's bad.)
which lower damage significantly (as long as the projectile hits the shield, it'll do next to nothing to you). As for the back weapons, they too are unique in that they both have the exact same weapon selection, which, in general, are bigger, beefier versions of the arm weapons.
For example, the back-exclusive laser cannon has better range, damage and ammunition than the hand held laser rifle, just as the plasma rifle is to the plasma cannon, and the grenade launcher to the grenade rifle, etc. There are even weapons that take up both back slots,
such as the powerful linear cannon, which makes up for its lack of ammo with its insane impact damage (besides, who wants to screw with a guy who has a huge cannon on his shoulder that shoots a huge surge of blue energy?) However, most of them are a lot heavier than their arm counterparts, and weight is a bigger issue there
than it is even in real life, which I'll get into later. Other than that, most of them require you to kneel for you to fire them (which means you sit there and take all the damage through the nose) unless you have specific leg parts....Which I'll also get into later. Actually, I'd might as well get it out of the way now..
Legs come in 5 types: Bipedal, which is basically your humanoid 2 legs, known for their overall balanced specs, reverse joint, which look like humanoid legs with the knees half-bent and backwards, which are overall really good parts in my experience (aside from not looking cool, but who cares) there are also caterpillar legs,
simply put, tank legs, big, heavy and slow, but has rock solid defense and can use back cannons while moving. Another leg type that can also use back cannons on the move are quadrupeds, 4 legs. Definitely cool looking, and really fast. Their only downside is maximum weight (again, getting to that later) and energy drain (...that too)
The other type is hover, which has low defense and load capacity (max weight) but is insanely fast and has a built-in booster.
As for the weight thing, that's an interesting bit of realism they put in the game, which limits your parts to a certain maximum Wight, depending on your legs and core. That's one of the key features that makes a part good or not, for legs it's how much it can hold, for everything else it's how much it weighs. Energy drain also ties into this.
each part has a specific amount of energy drain, which takes away from your generators output, and the higher that is the more your energy gauge drains (usually meaning how long you can boost before you have to stop, again this is crucial). The combination of both of these, as well as the parts specs (damage, reload time and ammo for weapons,
defense points and AP for arms, etc). While I'm on the subject, AP is also an important factor. It's basically the equivalent of health or energy in most other games: You take hits and it goes down, you die when it's empty. Rather than a bar or segments, AP is a number in the high thousands (higher depending on your parts).
This also adds to a parts value. Overall, all the previously mentioned factors create a general balance (There are still parts that are overall really good, and others that just plain suck) with, for example, some parts having high defense and AP but high energy drain and weight as well, or some with low weight, good stuff and high E drain, etc...In general,
taking a look at any part, odds are every other part will be the same overall deal, take some off of one or two stats to boost another one or two (sometimes, two stats will be low with one stat being extremely boosted) and in general, each part in its category has its perks depending on what kind of AC you made.
Making a balanced AC and taking it into battle with the satisfaction of knowing you made a good AC and blew up every other AC is half the fun of the game.
The basic gameplay revolves around being a raven, a mercenary in a giant robot who is hired by various corporations to do different jobs, ranging from "attack them" to "steal that" to "stop them from stealing that"....You get my point. You don't even take a side. You can help corporation a attack corporation B and destroy a key facility of theirs, and right after,
go and destroy corporation A's base/giant weapon/platoon for corporation B. Really fun. In missions, your primary enemies are MTs, which are basically non-customizable weak robots that, more often than not, won't take more than a few shots to destroy. In short, one big strong cool looking robot against a bunch of weak dinky looking robots. Yep, that about sums up the general mission, with added twists every time (don't destroy this, keep them from getting to this point,
Kill that guy, etc) and if that wasn't enough, you can also compete in arranged one on one matches against other ravens in the arena for money as well. In the arena, you start at the bottom, and can only challenge ravens below or one rank above you (thus, you progress by beating them in order from worst to best) and each raven has his
own story. I don't remember all of them, obviously, but there are many unique ones. Some are greedy and conniving, some are in it for revenge, some are in it to finance something (business, help keep family off of the streets, etc) and some are just plain weird. I distinctly remember an arena opponent in Armored Core 2, who was ranked at number 11 (in that game, the ranks went from 1-50 with 50 being the worst)
and was obsessed with the number 1 to the point that being ranked 11 was better than ranked at number 1 because 11 has twice as many 1s in it. Yeah, you're gonna be dealing with psychos, terrorists and the talented. Welcome to Armored Core. Sometimes you'll even encounter ravens in missions, either as friends or enemies (sometimes, you don't know you'll fight an enemy raven until late in the mission).
There's also other fun stuff, like coloring your AC. you can edit the color palette to your liking, so you can have your own unique look. You can even edit an emblem, which goes on your left shoulder, unique to you (or you can use sample emblems which is quicker).
What does this add up to? One hell of a game if you ask me. Give it a try for yourself.