Armored Core V

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Armored Core V Game Poster Image
Run 'n' gun in mechanized suit; primarily for existing fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Armored Core V wasn't created with educational intent and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

While there's some semblance of a story here about good versus evil (and you're one of the good guys), it would be a stretch to say the game offers much of a positive message. The focus is on combat, plus you're a mercenary for hire who's doing this for cash.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You don't get to know the character you're fighting as. You're a mercenary who climbs into giant 'mechs -- referred to as Armored Cores, or ACs -- and must fight to the finish against others. Your character kills for cash.

Ease of Play

The game's difficulty level is about average. Some levels are too easy and some are too difficult. There are a number of short missions -- about a minute each -- that can help you to get your feet wet; plus, newbies might opt for the single-player or co-op missions before playing against others in online in head-to-head team-based modes.

Violence

While not bloody or gory,  this game features a lot of violence. Combat is the core game mechanic. You must use all kinds of futuristic weapons to take down enemies wearing mechanized suits (as well as other threats, too, like tanks and helicopters). You know humans are in these because of the radio chatter. Players will aim and fire using thermal and nuclear weapons on a massive scale, as well as destroy buildings and other objects.

Sex
Language

The words "damn," "hell," "ass" and "bastard," can be heard during dialogue sequences, plus there is a strong multiplayer component that supports open chat via a headset microphone.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Armored Core V is a third-person shooter based heavily on combat. As a human mercenary-for-hire, you climb into a customizable 'mech suit called an "Armored Core" and must run and gun through huge maps to destroy enemies. There is no blood or gore but you can inflict a lot of damage with all the weapons in the game. There is loud gunfire, explosions, and destructible environments. The game has some mildly offensive language, too, and unsupervised online chatting in the multi-player modes.

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What's it about?

If The Hunger Games were played between giant mechanical beasts, it might look a little something like ARMORED CORE V. As with its predecessors, Namco Bandai's latest Japanese import pits giant 'mechs against one another in a deadly fight to the finish. Players assume the role of mercenaries who climb into mechanized suits calls Armored Cores, or ACs, and must use weapons of mass destruction to take on computer-controlled or human enemies in huge skirmishes. If you're a fan of the third-person shooter series, you'll likely appreciate the new offering for it doesn't mess much with the formula. But it also delivers massive online multiplayer battles, maps that encourage more tactics to be employed, and about 500 parts to customize your ACs in various ways.

Is it any good?

While it's gratifying to leave enemies in a smoldering heap, the game might be hit or miss for those unfamiliar with the game mechanics, plus there are some other random issues, too. On one hand, hopping, flying, and running your ACs through destructible urban environments is a blast. You can soar from rooftop to rooftop, deploy drones that detect enemies, and use thermal, kinetic, and chemical weapons to inflict damage. When you're victorious, you'll get paid money, minus repair costs, which can be used to acquire more parts. The game supports two teams of up to five players each or players can hop into a single-player story and play through the missions cooperatively in a few different ways.

But solo missions can be easy and repetitive, plus the menus can be difficult to navigate, the story somewhat incomprehensible, and the maps could've been more exciting to fight through. That said, the multiplayer experience is fun and frantic, be it the player-versus-player or team-versus-team "deathmatch" levels or the beefier "Conquest" mode where you must attack or defend territories, earn points per mission, and eventually, take on big bosses. Overall, the B-grade game should satisfy longtime fans of the franchise, though $60 for the disc might be a bit much for what you get. If you can, wait for it to drop in price or pick it up second hand, if you can.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the developers should try something different in the next iteration of this game. With so many Armored Core versions of the game available, and with little change between them, should they try to freshen up the experience? Or is this what players want?

  • What impact does the violence in this game have on you?

Game details

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