Kaushik here, this time with a piece about a video game. A new installment in FROM Software’s mecha series, Armored Core, this one is called Armored Code: Verdict Day. I got into the Armored Core series pretty late, but I’ve since fallen in love with it. As a fan of mecha, this game is pretty much the pinnacle of customize-able mecha action. If you’re a mecha fan, or even a fan of in-depth, fun game play, this game might be for you! So let’s dig in~
The setting for this game is on the ruined planet Earth. There are several factions vying for power in this desolate planet, with their main engine of conquest called ACs, or Armored Cores. Basically, they’re your mecha. You take your mecha, and buy or find parts throughout the game, outfitting your machine how you see fit to handle the various missions the game throws at you. The plot is honestly not a big part of the game, nor is what is offered particularly interesting, but the game play more than enough makes up for it.
The framework this game takes is an interesting one. As you start the game, you pick one of the 3 major factions vying for power. From the outset, this game takes a “seasons” approach, in that a major focus of the game. After picking your faction, you either join or create your team. From these teams, working for your faction, you work against the other factions. Generally in the form of regular battles, you vie for power and territory. It’s quite an interesting system, and really promotes teamwork and communication. As a game design, it’s great fun to play around with. And even if you don’t have human friends to play with, there are robotic partners you can create called UNACs, which are so heavily customizeable you might prefer them to your human compatriots.
The game play is definitely intense. You have a variety of weapons to pick from, and you can have up to 4 arm weapons equipped at once. Additionally, up to two shoulder weapons and one ultimate weapon. You can customize your machine anyway you like, from a beefy tank to a lightweight sniper with every option in-between available to you. Besides the weapons and armor, there’s an extensive painting system and emblem system, where you can really decide to personalize your machine. For people that enjoy that kind of stuff (like me) many hours are wasted just getting the right look. It can be quite addicting!
The combat itself is quite fun. Especially when you play in a team, the game rewards strong teamwork quite heavily. You can spot for your teammates by laying probes over the map, you can turn the tides with jamming equipment, etc. There are many more non-combat options than one would expect from a game like this. The game play is fast-paced and intense, with quick boosts and huge jumps, you have to keep up with and target your enemy best you can, and make sure you have the right weapon for the job when you need it. As long as you play smart and/or skilled, there isn’t any situation you can’t overcome, which is something I appreciate.
The graphics are not amazing, but they do look good. The game gives off a gritty feel, and that’s definitely emphasized by the graphical style. You’re struck with dull, muted colors most of the time, and that reflects with the dark and grimy world the game takes place in. While the graphical quality may not approach some of the crazy high-budget title, they are definitely serviceable and can look pretty good in some parts.
The sound in this game are great. The sound effects of your mechs as they move and attack feel satisfying as you go through game, hearing your weapons go off in quick succession and landing on their targets. But one of the things that really gets me is the music in this game. You don’t really expect a game like this that’s so heavily focused on its game play elements to have a good soundtrack, but the mission themes and even menu themes are really quite good. Definitely one of my favorite video game soundtracks in recent memory.
I haven’t beaten the game yet, but Armored Core Verdict Day offers a lot to me personally as a mecha fan, and if you’re a fan you should definitely give it a shot. And even if you’re not, this game does some really interesting stuff with its online play and its heavy customization aspects are really awesome if you’re into that kind of stuff. Definitely a game that embraces a lot of new things in a good way, but keeps certain things familiar and fun as well.
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