Armored Core 5 PS3 review

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It really takes some doing to make a game where you’re a flying 25-foot-tall robot with rockets for feet and mini-guns for arms dull like sipping asparagus soup. So congrats to From Software, because it’s churned out yet another snorefest of a mech-murdering sim with all the sleep-inducing properties of a premium horse tranquiliser. I don’t know how it does it.

Wait, of course I know. It’s because every Armored Core since PS1 has been resolutely pap. And cue the big surprise: numero cinco is a load of mechanised cobblers, too. The root of this shooter’s problems lie in a total lack of variety… plus the fact that guns are pitifully insubstantial… and every single city you rampage through feels like Noddy’s Toytown.

Still, the amount of customisation options for your giant metal man nearly rivals WWE 12 – just replace Hulkster bandanas and tiny wrasslin’ pants with paintable railguns and dozens of missile types. So that’s something, right?

No amount of mech decals sporting purple dolphins or dinosaur skulls can compensate for the staggeringly repetitive main story campaign, of course. When you think about From Software’s excellent CV, which includes Demon’s and Dark Souls (both of which showed huge invention with their clever online messaging systems), it’s hard to fathom that the action on show here belongs to the same studio.

There’s not a single unique thought under this android’s bonnet. All missions ever ask from you is to clear areas of enemies until there’s nothing left to vaporise with your Transformer-style arms. Forget puzzles. Forget thoughtful pauses. Unrelenting, samey death is the only thing on the menu tonight at Chez Armored Core.

It’s not entirely awful. Scaling buildings with your previously mentioned rocket feet gives proceedings an enjoyable verticality. Smashing houses, tanks and ’copters is also empowering like breaking fine china with a giant smashy mallet. But with the most annoying AI this side of Johnny 5 and one-note combat, ACV is repetitive robot rubbish. You’d be better playing the Metal Gear Rex vs Ray fight in MGS4.

Note: At the time of writing, we weren’t able to access the game’s online components. We’ll be publishing multiplayer impressions as soon as we get our hands on a retail copy of the game.

Our Score

Score: 4