It goes without saying that some games are seemingly pick up and play, and its perceived accessibly is a real benefit, helping to popularize it. Whereas others are seemingly way too difficult, hence why attracting new players can equally tricky. It could be argued that the Armored Core franchise is in the latter category.
At Namco Bandia’s Global Gamers Day, From Software’s Toshifumi Nabeshiba was on hand to show off Armored Core Verdict Day. Despite what one might think, the latest AC title is not a sequel to the previous installment, Armored Core V (or Armored Core 5), or so I was told. At the very least, it doesn’t share the same relationship or status that Armored Core 4 and For Answer does.
With each new Armored Core game, the team tries to come up with something new and fresh. And with well over a dozen installments thus far, it has become quite the challenge these days. What’s new this time? A focus on online, squad-based play. Which in turn might help attract new players, or at the very least, lend a hand to existing ones who have it rough.
Nabeshiba explained that there are two types of people who play Armored Core V, or at least try to: people who are good at mech games, and those who are not. And trustily, there is always "a strong player" and "a weak player." A weak player is sometimes able to hang in there, but never gets the sense of accomplishment that those who are simply more proficient, obviously.
Enter the brand new operator mode. Basically, a player is able to create a squad of AI controlled units. The behavior of said computer driven support is contingent upon various factors, such as its classification, though the player can fine-tune these mechs in a variety of ways. Customization has always been the name of the game, but even the AI can be tinkered around with.
Nabeshiba demonstrated the versatility of the AI system, called UNAC, by having human players face off again an entirely AI driven squad, one that has been crafted by a colleague. And it was no contest; the AI mechs handily destroyed the opposition. Perhaps it wasn’t the fairest of fights, since the AI squad was orchestrated by someone who helped make the game, but it was stated repeatedly that Verdict Day is perfect for players who aren’t good at action games, but who wish to still play.