Armored Core: Verdict Day

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Armored Core: Verdict Day Game Poster Image
Hunger Games-like death match with mech shooters.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Armored Core:Verdict Day wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

The post-apocalyptic game is about fighting for the remainder of Earth's limited resources by climbing into giant mechanized robots ("mechs") and battling rival factions. This isn't really an ideal game for positive messages other than teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game focuses a lot more on the action than on the story and characters. Little is known about who you are and why you're fighting other than to take control over resources.

Ease of Play

Unless you've played your fair share of Armored Core games in the past, mastering the controls takes a while. Sure, there's a mandatory training section, but this game isn't as accessible as other third-person shooters.

Violence

Though not bloody or gory, the game focuses heavily on combat between giant mechanized robots and vehicles, with humans piloting them for the most part. Weapons include assault rifles, machine guns, rocket launchers, and high-tech energy weapons for destroying each other during frenetic action sequences.

Sex

Players can customize their mechs, and one option is a silhouette of a girl dancing with a pole.

Language

Mild profanity can be heard in some of the dialogue sequences, including "damn," "bastard," and "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Armored Core: Verdict Day is a "Teen"-rated third-person shooter that pits giant mechanized machines against one another. Think of it as a Hunger Games-like battle to the end, in a kill-or-be-killed scenario. It's clearly science fiction, and the combat is between giant mechanized robots ("mechs") and vehicles, but humans are piloting them (mostly). Gamers have access to a variety of weapons, but there is no blood or gore. The game also has mildly suggestive imagery (a silhouette of a pole dancer) and light profanity.

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What's it about?

Similar to the Armored Core games that preceded it, Namco Bandai's ARMORED CORE: VERDICT DAY is a third-person shooter that lets gamers take control over a squad of giant mechanized robots ("mechs") and fight against other mechanical beasts and vehicles. The post-apocalyptic story, where "the world has been thrown into chaos," tells of the planet's depletion of natural resources. So surviving factions are teaming up to fight across Earth, using deadly Armored Core units, to take control over these resources required to secure their future. Through massive firepower and tactical teamwork, you can play with and against computer-controlled enemies or team up for cooperative ("co-op") and competitive multiplayer matches over the Internet, supporting up to 20 fighters.

Is it any good?

Yes and no. On one hand, this new disc delivers some intense gameplay, slick graphics that push the aging consoles to their limits, and engaging matchmaking and multiplayer support. You can customize your mechs in a myriad of ways, including upgradeable weaponry, parts, and aesthetic options -- and the Operator Mode is still thrilling for those who prefer a top-down view to tactically command a full squad of Armored Core units (by setting waypoints, marking targets, and receiving in-cockpit viewpoints as they happen).

Still, although the artificial intelligence (AI) is better than last year's Armored Core V, the missions are still repetitive and unimaginative, the controls can sometimes be tricky, and the user interface is in need of a refresh. Unless you're a huge fan of the franchise and want to support everything Japanese developer FromSoftware cranks out, save your money and instead pick up the older Armored Core V second hand for $18 or less.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of media violence. Is this violence different from other games since it involves big machines (but with humans inside)?

  • How do you determine how much time you should allot to playing video games?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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