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PS3 Game Review

Armored Core: Verdict Day


Format: PS3
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
RRP: £39.99
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 27 September 2013

In an apocalyptic war, the world has been all but devastated. The survivors have fallen into three factions, all desperate for the dwindling resources of the planet. Their desperation leads them to build powerfully destructive mechs, vulnerable on their own their highly adaptable chassis make for an overwhelming force when grouped into teams.

Armour Core: Verdict Day is a continuation of the Japanese Mech series for the PS3, published by Namco Bandai.

Review imageLike the combat in the game, Armour Core takes no prisoners. The game is in two parts, a storyline, of sorts, is there to play, but the real focus of the game is the online experience. Usually this makes me sigh, as it limits the game to either scrabbling around to find other players who will let you join or just losing out, being left with a so-so single player option.

Armour Core has taken a different route for its online game. You can still get together with friends, but you also have the option to form your own team of AI Mechs or even rent yourself out as a mercenary. This flawless bit of logic means that there is no barrier to everyone engaging in the on-line experience.

If you’re a fan of the series then there is a welcome addition, you can import your Mech from the previous game. However, if you're new to the series then this game is going to take some time to get to grips with. On the plus side, the Mech’s controls are easy to learn and once you get comfortable firing your guns, flying, sort of, and laying down drones your good to go.

Review imageIn truth your going to get your arse handed to you on a plate a lot of the time. Even at the easiest settings this is a tough game. Charge forward into a fight and you will lose in about thirty seconds; tactics play a large part here. The single person missions can become a bit repetitive, boiling down to killing everything in the field, without dying, but you’re going to need the revenue to build up your Mech, especially if you’re considering going on-line. To make things a little easier, you eventually get to add an AI Mech to your armoury, or you can invite an on-line pal to help out.

The gameplay areas are ok, there are buildings to hide behind or stand atop, craters for you to hide in and you’re going to need them all. The actual arenas are not overly impressive, more functional that aesthetically pleasing, although the cut scenes make more of the Mech’s than does the actual game. That said, the game does offer you ninety missions, spread across seven continents.

Review imageAs you progress through the single player game, your mercenary will earn cash for each successful mission. This cash can be spent on a bewildering amount of upgrades, allowing you to create seemingly infinite variations from your 150+ options.

Each upgrade has its plus and minus bonuses so it may take some time to work out what’s worth spending money on. This is not made easy as the interface is unnecessarily complex. To help you along there are copious notes, hints and a manual, I suggest you read them all, as the game get harder, not easier, the further you get into it, but the joy of overcoming the opposition is also greater.

It’s a dark and confusing challenge, with explosions littering the arena; you have to keep a very cool head. I’m not sure that this is one for the casual player as to get the most out of the game you are going to have to invest a lot of time, but for fans of the series and hardcore gamers this will make a welcome addition to their games library.


Charles Packer

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