Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon, the latest installment in the long-running mecha action series, has surpassed the expectations of fans and critics alike. The game, which was released on August 25, 2023, has become the second-biggest launch for FromSoftware on PC, only behind the phenomenal Elden Ring.
A stellar opening weekend
According to Steam database, Armored Core 6 has attracted 156,171 concurrent players in its opening weekend alone. This is an impressive feat for a franchise that was previously considered niche and had not seen a new entry in more than a decade. Armored Core 6 has outperformed other recent FromSoftware titles on PC, such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (125,315) and Dark Souls 3 (129,975).
The game’s popularity can be partly attributed to the success of Elden Ring, which was released in February 2023 and became the sixth most popular game of all time on Steam with a peak concurrent player record of 953,426. Elden Ring introduced many gamers to FromSoftware’s design philosophy, which combines challenging but rewarding gameplay, immersive world-building, and captivating lore. Armored Core 6, being the first title from the developer since Elden Ring, certainly benefited from the hype and curiosity of the fans.
A departure from the dark fantasy genre
Armored Core 6 is a bit of a departure from the dark fantasy RPGs that FromSoftware has been known for in the last decade. The game features fast-paced mech combat in a futuristic setting, where players can customize their own machines and take on various missions and enemies. The game also offers online multiplayer modes, where players can cooperate or compete with each other.
However, Armored Core 6 still retains some of the core elements that make FromSoftware games unique and appealing. The game has a punishing but fair difficulty, which requires players to master the mechanics and learn from their mistakes. The game also has a satisfying combat system, which allows players to unleash powerful attacks and maneuvers with their mechs. The game also has a rich lore and story, which is revealed through environmental clues, dialogue, and cutscenes.
A mixed reception from the fans
While Armored Core 6 has received critical acclaim from reviewers and media outlets, it has also faced some backlash from some long-time fans of the series. Some of them have accused the developer of lying about the game’s similarity to ‘Soulsborne’ games in the lead-up to release, going as far as to call it “Armored Souls”. They claim that the game has lost its identity and originality by adopting elements from FromSoftware’s more popular titles.
On the other hand, some fans have embraced the changes and innovations that Armored Core 6 has brought to the series. They argue that the game has improved upon the previous entries by adding more depth, variety, and polish to the gameplay and graphics. They also praise the game for being accessible to newcomers while still challenging veterans.
A promising future for Armored Core 6
Despite the controversy and debate among the fans, Armored Core 6 has proven to be a commercial and critical success for FromSoftware on PC. The game has also generated a lot of buzz and creativity among the players, who have been sharing their custom paint jobs, tips and tricks, and memes online. The game’s PVP offerings could also extend its lifespan and popularity, as players can test their skills and mechs against each other.
Armored Core 6 is also available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, where it has also received positive reviews and sales figures. The game is expected to receive more updates and content in the future, which could further enhance its appeal and replay value.