Armored Core 4: Anybody playing?

The Gamespot review made it look somewhat interesting, I specifically wanted to know how much mashing is involved in playing. I got Chromehounds last year and enjoyed that til it was clear the mp was broken.


EDIT: is the link to the review

I think I’m going to pass. Spastic compared to CH, I’m assuming.

The Gamespot review says they took out heat management. How can you have a mech game without heat management?

The Gamespot review also contains sections which are diametrically opposed to what the 1up review says. On top of that, the average review seems to favor what 1up says.

1up says the UI for customizing your mech is horrible and painful, while gamespot says it’s streamlined and easy. Hrm!

Also, that is the most poorly written gamespot review I’ve ever read. That was almost IGN caliber bad.

First off, Chromehounds had little heat management. It came down to throwing a spare radiator on your hound if you had space, if not it it wasn’t the end of the world.

As for AC4 the reviews are uneven and I didn’t see any indication of a metaverse in multiplayer so it seems like a rental to me.

I read the review last night, and it seems they still haven’t caught this little editing mishap:

A lot of the finer tuning can now be done automatically, which also helps. For instance, instead of being awarded points to individually tune parts, you are now allocated fractional regulation system (FRS) points by completing the game’s chapters, as well as completing the game’s data packs. Giving the CPU control here won’t be as efficient as fine-tuning everything yourself, but it certainly simplifies the process and makes the whole system more approachable.

To make mech assembly even more transparent to newcomers, a lot of the finer tuning can now be done automatically. For instance, instead of being awarded points to individually tune parts, you are now allocated fractional regulation system (FRS) points by completing the game’s chapters, as well as completing a data pack (discussed below).

Maybe they went for the action first - management later approach. How different are Chromehounds and Armored Core 4 from lets say… Mechwarrior? (3 and 4 in particular)

Chromehounds is more like MW3. MW4 was actiony and ditched a lot of the simulation feel from the game.

I’ll grab it later for $30 or so, when I get a chance.

Chromehounds is $20 at Best Buy this week, if you like games that say “Single player? Fuck you!”

Thats tempting, is there much of a community?

So did anyone pick this up? I don’t want to be the first. It’s the kind of game where I might like it despite the issues… but I’d really like to hear from people who’ve played it before I go dropping money on it.

I’ve always been a fan of the AC series, but I got to wait about a week before I pick this one up. Unless there is a pirated copy in india already.

On second thought, I bet there is.

Theres still a decent amount of people playing.

re AC4, once again it looks like From Software has completely ignored any critiques from the press or input from their fanbase and cranked out the same exact type of game as the very first title was. I’m happy that I dumped my pre-order on this. It’s Blockbuster for me.

If you pick up CH, fel free to join our squad, 80proof.

I posted this over at Gaming Trend:

Today a friend and I grabbed copies of Amored Core 4. His copy is the PS3 version, while mine is the xbox 360 version.

I’ll just skip to the chase and say that the game is definitely not worth $60.

The graphics are solid and sometimes beautiful, the customization screens are fabulous, the controls are infinitely better than previous titles, and the overall production values are actually quite high. Unfortunately, the Achille’s Heel of Armored Core 4 rests squarely on the shoulders of the godawful missions. Quite simply, they are far too short. I played the first 13 mission and none of them lasted over 90 seconds. Some were as short as 30 seconds. If this was a game for the PSP or DS I could understand that design decision, but on an actual console it is laughable. Missions this short have absolutely no sense of dramatic buildup. You are simply dropped into a hotzone, and you come out with all guns blazing in an environment that is claustrophobically small due to invisible walls that keep you from exploring all that wonderful cityscape featured in the graphic engine’s respectable draw distance.

This alone makes the game one of the most frustrating I’ve ever played, because the actual combat is wonderfully dynamic and incredibly fast paced. Unlike Western mech games, the mechs in Armored Core are supremely agile and move with incredible grace and fluidness. You’ll spend most of your combat time boosting and strafing, narrowly missing the streams of missles and plasma fire that snap past your cockpit as you return fire with your own stable of deadly weapons. Unfortunately, just as you acclimate to the speed and feel your adrenaline kick in, the mission ends. Or you get killed because you accidentally boosted to an area outside the boundaries of the cramped mission landscape. In another strange design choice, several mission have you take these super agile mechs and just -STAND- on a waterefront or bridge and shoot down waves of incoming enemy fire. Compounding this frustration is the fact that these are some of the LONGER missions.

After completing a mission, you are rewarded with money, various upgrades, and a ranking. After that it is back to the wonderful customization screens which allow you to change just about any possible area of your mech. There are a significant number of upgrades available for your mech, and a player could easily spend hours just cycling through choices in weapons, radar, jammers, emblems, color schemes, etc. It is truly a tweaker’s heaven. Its just a shame that an hour of tweaking is rewarded with less than one minute of gameplay. So, in essence, Armored Core 4 can be divided into 85% of your time will be in loadout screens, 5% will be watching obtuse storyline elements, and the remaining 10% will be in combat.

In regards to the differences between the PS3 version and the Xbox 360 version, the most obvious was the framerate. In scenes with intense firefights the 360 verion was visibly smoother than its PS3 counterpart. This is not to suggest that the PS3 framerate drop was crippling to the gameplay, as even with that difference both versions remained very playable. Also, as seen in various Internet videos, the PS3 version is slightly more washed out and brighter compared to the very DARK screen on the Xbox 360. In fact, on the 360 I had to turn up the brightness toggle several steps to make myself comfortable with the screen. Graphically both games are nearly identical, and despite reports that the PS3 version suffers from more jaggies, neither my friend nor I saw any true difference. As I had mentioned in a different thread, buy the game based upon your controller preference.

Speaking of which, despite my contempt for the sixaxis controller in comparison to Microsoft’s offering, both games were responsive to any and all commands. You have the option of choosing from a few preconfigured mappings, or you can remap ever single button on the respective gamepads. At first I remapped by weapons to the trigger buttons, but I soon discovered that boosting and strafing is SO important that I returned them to their default face button settings.

Overall, Armored Core 4 is another one of those games with a few moments of brilliance inevitably hampered by several poor design decisions. This game would have been superlative if From Software created missions that were something more robust than 1 minute ADD sessions of high tech combat.

Buy this game if:
-You love tweaking mechs and don’t care about combat
-You are a complete mech junkie that can look beyond some very large design flaws

AVOID this game if:
-You hate frantic gameplay that demands swift response times
-You can’t stand tweaking and retweaking your vehicle in a garage
-You want complex gameplay missions that slowly build in intesity and length
-You are looking for the next Mechassault, Mechwarrior, or Chromehounds

Thanks for the write up. I’ll go cry now.

What? That’s crazy. And I don’t even like mech games.


How often do you play? I’m getting that mech urge again.

That wasn’t an exaggeration. The missions really are that short. As another kick in the teeth, part of your ranking is based upon the speed in which you finish the level. So that 90 second level really needs to be finished in 60 seconds to get an A ranking.

This also leads to one other small complaint. You destroy the enemy mechs so quickly that there isn’t even time to visually inspect or enjoy looking at the enemy mechs. You’ll never really see another mech limping around or staggering through the air belching smoke from its wounds. As is probably similar to real world fighter combat, most of the time you’ll be engaging an enemy that is a small blip in the distant horizon. You’ll launch your missles and quick boost to safety. Or if you are a melee mech you basically quick boost in, slit the other mech’s throat, and boost away from the explosion.

If combat had been slowed down slightly, and if the mission length was increased, this would have been a AAA title. The city maps simply scream for extended gametime because they look absolutely wonderful. You really feel like a Robotech pilot as you slide like quicksilver in between towering buildings, watching enemy missles try to track you around tight corners.