Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon will reportedly take 50 to 60 hours, utterly dwarfing almost every other game in the series.
That's according to a new video from Fextralife, which attended a recent preview session for the upcoming mech action game and says they "were told that the game would be around 50 to 60 hours long."
This play time raises a few questions. First of all, is that 50 to 60 hours to beat the game, or to do everything in the game? If it's the former, which seems unlikely but isn't out of the question, this is going to be the longest Armored Core game by some distance, at least according to the stats available on How Long To Beat. Here's a breakdown of the core games for reference:
- Armored Core - 8-hour main story, 9 hours for extras, 12.5 hours for completionists
- Armored Core 2 - 11.5-hour main story, 13 hours for extras, 14.5 hours for completionists
- Armored Core 3 - 12.5-hour main story, 17 hours for extras, 20 hours for completionists
- Armored Core 4 - 8.5-hour main story, 11.5 hours for extras, 17 hours for completionists
- Armored Core 5 - 12.5-hour main story, 20.5 hours for extras, 41 hours for completionists
One notable outlier in How Long To Beat's data is Armored Core: For Answer, which can apparently take completionists over 110 hours to see everything it has to offer. That said, this is the freak exception that proves the rule, as its main story is only seven hours and with extras it comes in around 14. The rest of the series hovers around the same play time: 12 hours to beat it, two to eight additional hours if you want to do side stuff, and a bit more still if you want 100%.
Armored Core 5's completionist time is notably higher than the other mainline games, but the likes of Armored Core 2: Another Age and Armored Core: Nine Breaker also get into the 40 to 60-hour bracket. So if Armored Core 6 does take upwards of 50 hours to fully complete, that wouldn't be totally out of hand, but it would still be the biggest overall game in the series. I suppose that makes sense given the dramatically increased development resources that FromSoftware has access to nowadays compared to Armored Core's original run, which ended a decade ago.
Another question hanging over this is: how reliable are FromSoftware's play time estimates? This is the same studio that reckoned Elden Ring would take about 30 hours "without a lot of detours," as director Hidetaka Miyazaki put it.
Firstly, I don't know about you, but I don't know of a single person who beat Elden Ring in 30 hours. It's either glitch speedrunners doing it in minutes, normal speedrunners clearing all core bosses in a few hours, or average gamers getting lost for at least 50 hours. Secondly, if these figures are accurate, ain't no way an open-world behemoth like Elden Ring is shorter at base than a linear action game like this.
Given the history of the series, as well as FromSoftware's description of the game during my hands-off preview, I was also in the camp expecting Armored Core 6 to clock in around 15 to 20 hours for the main story. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about the idea of this thing taking 50-plus hours at base. After Elden Ring's irresponsible breadth, I was kind of looking forward to a reasonably short and linear action game from FromSoftware, so I'll continue hoping that this top-end playtime is rated for diehard completionists.
Check out our hands-on Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon preview for our early impressions.