Armored Core 4 - first look

The mechs themselves are more maneuverable too. They automatically hover above the surface of bodies of water (rather than sinking), and a new, three-tiered boost system may change everything. There's Regular Boost, a long, slow burn that can send you skating sideways or hovering slowly through the air. Next comes Over Boost, which is basically a long rocket ride that can't be steered but that does move you along.

But the real winner is Quick Boost, a split-second burst that scoots you a short distance in any direction instantly. Think of Quick Boost as a giant robot-sized sidestep or dodge and you'll see how important this move could become - especially in multiplayer, which looks to support eight player, team deathmatch contests (and hopefully more modes Sega hasn't yet revealed). We're actually expecting multiplayer to be the game's biggest selling feature - if all the missions are as quickly completed as those we saw, the single-player game looks to end up being a little short.

Like giant robots themselves, this steel-and-gunpowder-scented actioner probably isn't going to be the perfect fit for everyone out there - but it's going to be pure heaven for a devoted subset of gamers. Maybe that's you, maybe it isn't; it's all good. Just be aware that, when it all hits the post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fan, the AC players are going to be the ones in charge of the giant robots, while the mech-deficient folks will find themselves picking irradiated head lice-pickingfrom the melting craniums of the folksinsick bay. Think about it.