Armored Core 4 - Reviewed by Texas Raider
 
OVERVIEW

As you all know Armored Core 4 came out in the USA on March 21st... Since then for the most part I have been playing it and enjoying it immensely this is a game that has been a long time coming and I welcome it.

For Armored Core fans, and to a slightly lesser extent Chromehounds fans, it is easy to catch onto, though some interfaces have changed, with a little determination you can get into the swing of things. However, it does take some getting used to for new players.

STORYLINE

The storyline is pretty decent, while not on par with Ace Combat 4 & 5, Halo and Halo 2 Lost Planet and Gears of War. It is still not overly bad and gets the job done

GAMEPLAY

The game itself is typical Armored core as far as enemies and surprises. The missions are fun (If not a tad touch easy to accomplish (Though not as easy to get an S ranking especially when you play hard mode), you still have area boundaries that you can exit and fail the mission, including Altitude (Yes, you can boost out of the combat area)
You no longer have a Targeting reticle but instead your Fire Control System locks onto a target and directs your fire there This has it's pros and cons...
Pro: you can more easily lock onto an enemy...
Con: If there are multiple enemies it sometimes does not allow you to lock onto what you want... The only time this is a real problem in multiplayer is when dealing with missiles which you can also lock onto (this makes the game irritating and challenging, but to me it is just a minor quirk). Other than that it is for the most part a matter of skill of the pilot and the type of Mecha you build.

CONTROLS

Control setup is also VERY top notch allowing for FULL Customization (Either pick Custom A or Custom B Control configurations) This allows you to set up your own control scheme that fits you... However you must also pay attention to default control readouts in the manual so you know which buttons originally did what so that you can translate that to your current controls scheme for button combos that allow things like quick turns and the discarding of empty weapons.

Also note that you can even modify your movement controls (Thumbstick controls) and this is how you invert your Y Axis (I.E. Down on the stick is look up and up on your control stick is look down).

Getting these controls down is important since you can use every button on your controller in combat with the exception of the start, back and center XBOX Button and with full controller customization this allows a configuration you are comfortable with.

ONLINE

But as usual the real fun happens when you get enough parts and build your Killer Mecha to fight another person with in multi player on XBOX live. In previous versions this was only achieved by 2 player split screen or system link, so the whole online play thing is new to the series.

In Multiplayer you can either do Player or Ranked Matches (I have not really dabbled in Ranked Matches so I am not certain how they work) The multi player matches (At Least in Non Ranked Matches) are limited though 1 on 1, 4 player Team battle 8 player team battle 4 player battle royale and 8 player battle royale matches are often fast paced since there are no respawns. Typical matches are around 5 minutes or less though I have seen some last longer... There have also been some issues about weapons balance.

Lobbies are also mildly buggy, sometimes dropping people (sound familiar Mechassault Players?). However if someone does begin to drop the room does not launch (This can be frustrating but also on the bright side it means if Quad (for example) is in our room if a lot of us play armored core and drops we don't have to shut down the game it just returns us to the lobby (Now don't get me wrong sometimes it takes a while to do this and sometimes it drops players easily while sitting in the lobby) However I think some of those bugs will be worked out in the future

Another good note (at least in Player Match Lobbies) Most players are relatively laid back and friendly. There are a few assholes but the majority I have met I am very impressed with as far as overall attitude and friendliness

However I consider this just the start considering that new updates (Called regulations files) seem to keep coming. Currently we are on regulations ver 1.35.  Right now the regulations seem to be working to balance the weapons for fairer game play, but new regulations or perhaps download content could allow for more game types and perhaps fix some of the annoying (yet acceptable) problems that I have listed... The game is not even a month old yet so It deserves a chance

I am not certain when the Next field report will be but rest assured my Master Forgers, fellow Metal Commanders and all House members I have high hopes about our future deployment to the world of Armored Core 4

Apr 7, 2007


Texas Raider
Metal Commander: Iron