After a decade spent developing the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne, and Elden Ring, From Software is returning to its mechanized roots with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. Don’t expect this new entry in the mech series to adopt a Soulsborne approach to gameplay though, as From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki explained in a recent interview that Armored Core VI’s gameplay will emphasize what makes the series so special.
“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 said to IGN. “The essential direction of [Armored Core VI] was to go back and take a good look at the core concept of Armored Core and what made that series special.”
According to Miyazaki, this includes the assembly aspect and customizing your titular armored core, with From Software looking to reexamine those ideas through a more modern lens. Being able to freely assemble and customize your mech down to each individual part will be “more liberating” than swapping out armor or equipment, Miyazaki explained, with the effects of your decisions being seen in the game and having an effect on how the world of Rubicon changes around you.
Miyazaki won’t be leading development on Armored Core VI, as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice lead designer Masaru Yamamura is helming this project. While Yamamura said that there “are no elements directly referring to Sekiro” in Armored Core VI’s gameplay, he did add that both games share the “same essence of battle” such as aggressive and high-speed action. This translates to a similar posture mechanic, but one that Yamamura says is designed to allow a player to keep pressuring an enemy in order to find an opening.
“For this title, by continuing to attack even the strongest enemy, the force of impact can break the enemy’s posture and inflict a large amount of damage–a critical hit,” Yamamura explained. “This is the starting point for the slow and fast speed change of the battle, and when combined with long-range firefighting and close-range melee combat, the enemy and his machine engage each other violently, creating a more aggressive and dynamic battle that only mechas can engage in.”
Armored Core VI doesn’t have a release date yet, but it is expected to release sometime in 2023 for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One.