FromSoftware has revealed a few more details on Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon, but above all else the studio really wants you to know that it's not a Soulslike.
Long-time Armored Core fans have been fearful that the new entry in the series would be taking cues from the success of Dark Souls - after all, FromSoftware has spent the past decade making little except new Soulslikes. In a new interview, IGN repeatedly asked FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki and Armored Core 6 director Masaru Yamamura if the new game would be taking Soulsborne cues.
"No, we've not been making a conscious effort to try to direct it towards more Soulsborne type gameplay. First of all, let me just make that clear," Miyazaki says. "The essential direction of [Armored Core 6] was to go back and take a good look at the core concept of Armored Core and what made that series special. So we wanted to take the assembly aspect, assembling and customizing your own mech - your AC - and then being able to exact a high level of control over the assembled mech. So we wanted to take those two core concepts and reexamine those in our modern environment."
Okay, but Yamamura also directed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Asked what lessons carried forward from that game into AC6, Yamamura says "there are no elements directly referring to Sekiro, but I feel both titles share the same essence of battle such as aggressive, speed change and action-oriented fighting."
Armored Core 6 does have a system where you can sort of overwhelm an enemy with a continuous attack, and the "the force of impact can break the enemy's posture and inflict a large amount of damage - a critical hit", Yamamura explains. But he's quick to distinguish this from Sekiro's counter system. "Rather than calling it a counter mechanic, what we want to stress is this reason to continue attacking and to continue on the offensive."
You may be able to recognize some elements from the Soulsborne lineage in Armored Core 6, but Miyazaki says things like mystery and a sense of darkness are core to FromSoft's DNA, even going back to games like King's Field. But Armored Core 6 retains the mech-customizing, mission-based structure of its predecessors.
Armored Core fans have been eager to introduce all those Dark Souls and Elden Ring fans to the series, and it seems that AC6 will be a solid jumping-on point for new players. Yamamura says that this is "a brand-new setting and a brand-new story for players to enjoy."
If you missed any of the details, you can check out everything announced at The Game Awards 2022.