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Armored Core V

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Harakiri Tiger's Photo Harakiri Tiger 04 Feb 2010

Armored Core V is the latest installment of the Armored Core series for the PS3 and XBox 360. It was confirmed at the end of the last Armored Core Championship Tournament on January 10th, 2010. The official ACV website opened to the public on January 14th, 2010.

Armored Core V still uses the same basic system that is present throughout all of the Armored Core games, that is the missions presented by corporations and the ability to customize your own mech via the head, core, arms, legs, and so on. ACV also follows a new central theme, violence, and is no longer focusing on speed. This is supposed to be accomplished by making the in-game scenes feel more gritty, by making ACs seem more fantastic and armored, making explosions and weapons generate larger effects, and focusing on the brute strength a new age AC can bring to the battlefield.

ACV is a fully online game. Even single player mode is online to allow for some basic interaction with the online persistant world created by ACV. That's right. Persistant world. Much like an MMO, the ACV multiplayer world is persistant. You can take over pieces of the world map, install defensive weaponry and support, and then proceed to attempt to take over more territory (which is likely player controlled). Meanwhile, some hostile group of players may decide to take over your claimed territory by launching an assault on it. Even more importantly, players can mount attacks on your territory when you may be offline and sleeping in your bed or masturbating in your bathroom. In these instances you will rely on your defensive weaponry and support units to protect your territory. It can get quite messy.

ACV multiplayer mode carries a heavy focus on team combat. Each team consists of a small number of AC pilots, up to four, and one operator. The operator functions much like the operators of the old AC games by providing up to date information on what's happening on the match scene. Operators are given a special screen and view and do not actually pilot an AC during the match. Even though ACV carries a heavy focus on the new MMO style persistant world and team play, it retains a strong ability to be played solo. Solo play, while not giving you the full rewards that a team can achieve, is promised to still remain fully viable. To succeed at solo play, though, you must be a very capable player as your team will consist of only one player.

So far there has been no information on how story mode (single player) will be tied to the online world. It may just be special trophy rewards or any number of small things that would resemble achievements in other games or it may even be something like a piece of territory, defensive batteries, or special parts for the player who completes story mode. We can only speculate.

The story of Armored Core V is completely seperate from all other AC universes. This is a whole new setting (again) with a whole new background so that it ties in properly with the gameplay. It is not related to the AC1-AA story arc, the AC3-LR story arc, or the AC4-fA story arc.

To help bring the focus in AC battles away from AP chipping and dodging and more into the realm of raw destructive force, they have implemented a new part category known as Overed Weapons. These Overed Weapons possess the power to single handedly turn the tide of a battle, even going so far as to potentially one-hit kill the opposing AC! One of these super weapons has already been displayed in a number of screenshots and in the first ACV trailer. It appears to be a large back-mounted 6-bladed chainsaw, seemingly super-charged with energy or heat. The successful use of an Overed Weapon is, supposedly, very difficult. Use of this chainsaw Overed Weapon seems to require the AC to fully interlock with the weapon during combat. This would surely make the activation of your Overed Weapon very risky.

**Important Note**
No new information on the Overed Weapons has been released and the AC developers have redone most of the original ideas they had for ACV with the advent of the new focus on multiplayer they decided to incorporate. The Overed Weapons may no longer exist in the game in the way they were originally intended, we will have to wait and see if there is any further information regarding this new part category.


Armored Core V also features a totally revamped approach to the detail level of the Armored Core series. In ACV, the scale of ACs has been shrunk to half of their height from previous installments. This allows the AC to interact with more of the world environment. Things such as hiding beneath bridges, overpasses, and buildings as well as utilizing alleys and roadways are now more easily accomplished by ACs due to their smaller stature. This also allows for the ACs to interact with a more believeable environment. No longer are doors in random factories required to be enormous just to fit an AC. This also allows for more combat in outdoors settings since buildings can be normal-sized and maps can be smaller, yet feel bigger.

The development team is focusing on creating an environment that has both intricate horizontal and vertical spaces in it for ACV, as opposed to the very linear and flat stages of previous installments. The addition of mission goals that update as you play and multi-objective missions will help to facilitate a less linear story environment, as well. Overall, ACV promises to bring a more detailed, dynamic, and immersive environment than ever seen before in previous Armored Core games. Even the AC garage has been updated to allow you to change what it looks like. You can now adjust it to look a specific way by taking away or adding background objects and scenery.

Here are some comments about Armored Core V by the Armored Core series creator, Toshifumi Nabeshima.

Toshifumi Nabeshima said:

I felt that with the previous game, Armored Core: for Answer, we had gone as far as we could with the "speed" concept. Being able to present a new kind of mech hero in for Answer was a rewarding experience, but if we kept on pursuing speed, then the gameplay would start to falter in spots -- most players simply wouldn't be able to keep up with mach-5 combat. So this time we want to retain the core aspects of what makes the series interesting -- and that includes speed -- and also present some new concepts that diverge from the past.

We're going for the sort of violent action that only mechs can deliver. I want to see the sort of hero that could be born from these powerful, violent machines.

Up to now, the battles were centered around how well you could dodge your opponent's attacks while firing away and gradually whittling down his AP. That's fun, of course, but once one side has an AP advantage over the other, it became difficult to come back from that. This system dramatically changes that battle balance.

The stages are going to be a lot more complex and less flat and there will be a great deal more detail applied to them. We want players to experience a you-are-there feel that wasn't around before.

Finally, those who pre-ordered a Japanese release copy of Armored Core: Last Raven Portable for the PSP received bonus materials relating to Armored Core V. One of these bonus materials is a special 60-page AC artwork book containing art from all of the previous AC titles and promotional art for ACV. This artwork book has been scanned by me and uploaded to the ACU Gallery.

The other bonus materials are special ACV parts/items that can be downloaded via PSN/Live once ACV is released in Japan. A special promotional code was given out to those who pre-ordered LRp in Japan to enable them to get this special content. This code was then entered into the official FROM SOFTWARE website in a members only section. Once entered, that person is signed up to receive the special downloadable PSN/Live content using a new code sent via e-mail two weeks before ACV is released in Japan.

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Armored Core V Confirmed Information

- The name has been officially changed from Armored Core 5 to Armored Core V.

- ACV will be for the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 consoles.
- FROM SOFTWARE has confirmed January 26th, 2012 as the release date for the JP version of ACV.
- FROM SOFTWARE has confirmed March 20th, 2012 as the release date for the NA version of ACV.
- FROM SOFTWARE has confirmed March 23rd, 2012 as the release date for the EU version of ACV.
- ACV will be published by Namco Bandai outside of Japan.
- ACV will have a special release edition that comes with a free headset in Japan.
- ACV will have a closed beta test in July of 2011.
- ACV will have a demo released on the JP market a week prior to its full release.

- DLC based on player feedback is expected to help extend the lifecycle of the game.
- Some special DLC material will be for player vanity but will not alter the balance of the game.
- People who pre-ordered a JP release copy of LRp will receive special DLC content.
- People who pre-ordered a NA release copy of ACV will receive special DLC content.

- ACs are now, on average, five meters tall. This is compared to their previous average height of ten meters.
- ACs appear far more armored, aggressive, and fantastic than in previous installments.

- ACV's controls have been simplified as much as possible.
- ACV's mechanics have been made more detailed and difficult.
- The lockbox from previous AC games has returned in a new reincarnation: Lockcan
- The HUD in ACV has been renovated. Much of the HUD has been removed to allow for a simpler, more centered UI. It is completely focused around the lockcan.
- The left side of the lockcan now displays remaining AP. The right side of the lockcan displays remaining EN capacity. The top left and right of the lockcan display remaining ammo, respective of the arm units currently in use.

- Story mode and vs mode still exist.
- New story arc. ACV's storyline is not related to any previous AC games.
- Missions will be more detailed in objectives, story, cinematics, and in visual appearances.
- Missions are, on average, about five to ten times greater in duration.
- There are also about 70 special "Order" missions in ACV, which are significantly shorter than standard missions.

- ACV will be using dedicated host servers for its online features.
- A new MMO-style persistant world multiplayer mode has been incorporated as the focus of the game.
- Control of territory is the main focus of the MMO portion of ACV. Players can gain and lose territory by fighting over it in a persistant world.
- Player controlled territory in ACV can have defensive weaponry and units installed on it to help defend against other players, even when the players who own the territory are offline.

- Players may form teams in ACV consisting of up to 20 people.
- Only five players can participate in a battle at once. This team can consist of up to four AC pilots and one operator. It may also consist of a single pilot and no operator.
- Players can be hired as mercenaries, much like Ravens in older AC games, for territorial combat.
- The strongest team that occupies any specific region of the ACV world will be displayed as the ruling party of that region on the world map. This should help promote competitivity among teams, so they may be recognized as a regions most powerful team.
- All AC classes, AC roles, and parts are balanced with the team based multiplayer in mind, though solo play is still quite viable for the high calibur players.

- The operator role is a special non-combat role which allows one player to view a large amount of information and act as a central point of team organization during combat.
- Teams may have a single operator, though it is not required.
- The operator has the ability to debrief a team before a territorial war begins and set markers on the map to help players set up efficient routes of attack.
- During territorial war, operators have the ability to change the marker placement on the map, have access to a third person view of both their team's pilots and the enemy team's pilots that are in scan range, and they have the ability to scan any part of the map at any time with a large radius scan.
- Operator scan abilities have a short cooldown.
- Operators receive highly detailed information on enemies after a scan. Since operators are not in the midst of combat, they can accurately gauge opponents and relay any weaknesses they find to the team in a short period of time.

- 500+ brand new AC parts are available to experiment with and use to build an ultimate AC, with more being made.
- There are 11 major part categories: Head, Core, Arms, Legs, FCS, Generator, Booster, Recon Unit, Arm Unit, Shoulder Unit, Overed Weapon
- There are four major leg types: Bipedal, Reverse Joint, Quadruped, Tank
- There is a new class of weapon known as the Overed Weapon.
- Overed Weapons are incredibly powerful weapons that can potentially one-hit kill an opponent. OWs are very hard to use and will require teamwork to function properly.
- There are additional new part types that remain unannounced.
- Damage has been changed from the old shell/energy system to three different new types. KE (Kinetic Damage), TE (Thermal Damage), and CE (Chemical Damage).
- Cannons will require ACs to kneel and get into a highly stabilized position before they can be fired. This position will also place the AC pilot into first-person mode. Tanks are not subject to the kneeling requirement, but also do not have access to the zoomed in first-person mode.
- Missiles and Rockets can only be mounted on an AC's Shoulder slot.
- Hangar Shift is a new feature that allows an AC to swap its current weapon with a weapon in its hangar slot without purging the original weapon.
- You can still purge/jettison weapons.

- Boosting is now a toggleable command.
- Jumping has its own dedicated button in the control scheme.
- Speciality booster movements (Glide, Charge, High, Jump, Drive, and Drift) have been introduced in ACV.
- Glide Boost can only be used when you are near the ground and is very similar to the PS2-style Overed Boost.
- You can perform a Boost Charge, which is a form of special ramming attack such as the Jumping Knee technique featured in the ACV live demo.
- High Boost is a short distance acceleration boost feature, much like the Quick Boost ability of AC4/fA ACs.
- Boost Drive is the ability ACV ACs have to jump off of walls and other objects using their boosters. This can be used repeatedly as a tool to both gain flight height rapidly and to fool enemy FCSs. You may perform a forward leap off any wall at any time to gain further angle/flanking abuse.
- Drift Boost allows a player to glide and drift when they land, as seen in many AC game intro movies. The AC will land and continue to move in the direction it landed in while retaining the ability to turn around without ever changing boosting direction.

- ACV ACs no longer possess a radar function like ACs from previous games.
- ACs now have a special scan mode, which replaces the old radar system. It allows a pilot to receive highly detailed information on nearby enemies after scanning them.
- Players may switch between battle mode and scan mode at any time during combat.
- While an AC is in scan mode is does not have the ability to fight, though it may still move freely.
- While an AC is in scan mode is gains a much higher energy recharge rate.
- ACs can drop Scan Pods, which enable the AC to see enemies that are behind walls out to a specific range for a limited amount of time. Enemies are highlighted with a special outline when they enter the Scan Pod range.
- All AC vision and AC Scan Pod vision from the team is shared with the operator at all times, granting them limited map vision without the need to use their speciality scanning ability.

- The AC garage view is now customizable as well to allow for unique backgrounds for your ACs as you edit them.
- The AC garage now allows for the ACs to be put into special positions and even allow walking or boosting in place. This should allow for very high quality screenshots.


Armored Core V Online Resources

- Official FROM SOFTWARE Armored Core V Website [Japanese]
- Official FROM SOFTWARE Armored Core V Facebook Page [English]
- ACV Debut @ AC Championship Tournament (1up)
- Details on ACV (1up)
-
AC Chronicles Interview (Mecha Damashii)
- ACV Dedicated Servers (Mecha Damashii)
- ACV Closed Beta (Mecha Damashii)
- Leaked Scans by Famitsu (VGChartz)
- Details on ACV (VGChartz)
- More Details on ACV (Destructoid)
- ACV Promotional Art (SCRAWLfx)
- First ACV Trailer (YouTube)
- Second ACV Trailer (YouTube)
- ACV Developer Interview (YouTube)
- Famitsu Mercenary Pics (Famitsu)
- Famitsu Live Demo Summary & Special Info (Famitsu)
- Famitsu Translation Information (Andriasang)
- Large Picture Database (Andriasang)

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