Armored Core 6 PS5 PlayStation 5 1

FromSoftware is one of the biggest and best developers on the planet right now, and so it can be easy to forget the studio’s more humble beginnings. Franchises like King’s Field feel like a lifetime ago, and even Armored Core – a series upon which renowned auteur Hidetaka Miyazaki made his directorial debut – isn’t exactly a household name. It’s interesting, then, that at The Game Awards, the studio revealed it will be returning to the mecha franchise for its follow-up to Elden Ring.

The last Armored Core game, Armored Core V, launched on the PS3 in 2012 and focused largely upon online play. It was critically panned, but released right at the very beginning of the Soulsborne explosion, with Dark Souls deploying six months prior. Since then we’ve seen games like Bloodborne and Elden Ring establish an entire new genre, so will Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon adopt the same format as FromSoftware’s more recent hits?

“No, we've not been making a conscious effort to try to direct it towards more Soulsborne type gameplay,” Miyazaki told IGN. “First of all, let me just make that clear. The essential direction of [Armored Core 6] was to go back and take a good look at the core concept of Armored Core and what made that series special.”

Miyazaki explained that the construction aspects will return, allowing you to build your own mecha from a selection of different parts and components. “The real impetus for this project, I think, or at least one of the real appeals for me comes from the aspect of assembly, and being able to really freely assemble and customise the mech, I think is what we really highly focus on in Armored Core.”

The project is being directed by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’s Masaru Yamamura, but he admitted there’s no connection between the games: “There are no elements directly referring to Sekiro, but I feel both titles share the same essence of battle such as aggressive, speed change, and action-oriented fighting. For this title, by continuing to attack even the strongest enemy, the force of impact can break the enemy's posture and inflict a large amount of damage – a critical hit.”

Yamamura added that he wants to create an aggressive mindset, where players are encouraged to go on the offensive. But of course, there’ll be a much greater emphasis on ordnance and bullets than pure melee, unlike in FromSoftware’s more modern games. Throughout the rest of the interview, the developer reiterates that this will be a different kind of experience to its Soulsborne titles – it’ll even be mission-based, as opposed to the interconnected levels fans have become accustomed to from the team – but if there’s one major change from past Armored Core titles, Miyazaka says it’s the budget.

“I was the director on Armored Core 4 and For Answer,” Miyazaka mused. “And of course in those days, the level of resources and the cost and the time that we could dedicate to game development was just a completely different ballpark. So I'm extremely jealous of the team today who gets to make this new Armored Core. I wish we had that sort of leverage back in the day.”