In this interview, we speak with the game’s producer Yasunori Ogura and director Masaru Yamamura to discuss how they came to develop Armored Core VI, details about the game’s story and worldview, as well as its unique feature mechanical assembly, action, and more.
We were absolutely determined to make Armored Core
PlayStation Blog: This is the most recent entry in the series since Armored Core: Verdict Day, which released in 2013. Tell us how you brought the series back to life after ten years – when did initial planning and development begin?
Ogura: First, I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support of the Armored Core series over the years, especially our fans, who have been waiting ten years since the previous installment, Armored Core: Verdict Day.
As for the process that led to the development of this title, our company president Hidetaka Miyazaki, myself, director Yamamura, and many other members of the development team really wanted to create a new Armored Core game. We also nurtured a very talented team of people through our experience developing other titles, so we basically had no reason not to move forward with developing a new Armored Core.
So around 2018, in the early stages of development, Miyazaki and a few others established a small team of early directors who went back and re-evaluated the foundations of the Armored Core series and began development of a prototype that helped them determine the direction of the game. New Entry. After the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in 2019, Yamamura joined the project and took over as director. Full-scale development started around 2020.
In the meantime, because we had several projects running at the same time, we had to allocate internal resources for the development of other titles. Which in turn resulted in a ten year long wait for this game.
Key Armored Core Experiences: Assemble the perfect mech and outplay enemies in intense mech action.
PSB: You talked about how you went back and re-evaluated the foundations of the Armored Core series to create a new action game. What fundamental aspects of the series do you think make the game unique and captivating for players?
Yamamura: I think the key experience of Armored Core can be summed up in one word: assembly. In a broad sense, assembling can be seen as a type of character creation, but the gameplay that requires players to constantly optimize themselves in response to the challenges the game presents is unique. It is much more than a game feature: it introduces players to the joy of robot customization, gives players a sense of connection to their robot, and also allows them to immerse themselves in the game as a professional mercenary who has to adapt and adjust the game. weaponry between various missions. I think all of these elements together define Armored Core and its worldview.
PSB: Were there things you decided to intentionally change or not change compared to previous games in the series?
Yamamura: One of the things we didn’t want to change was the breadth and complexity of customization and assembly. We didn’t want to simplify any of the components that gave players the freedom to create and refine their unique mechanics.
On the other hand, too much complexity carries the risk of turning away new players. Therefore, the tutorials and the introduction of new features in the earlier segments of the game are quite detailed compared to the previous games. I think this is one of the things we decided to change.
A unique worldview and story that affirms humanity, and a pragmatic approach to life and death.
PSB: What was the catastrophe that engulfed Rubicon, the frontier development planet this game takes place on, and the surrounding star systems? Can you tell us more about the history and background?
Yamamura: The catastrophe was caused by the explosion of the new Coral energy source and is called the Fires of Ibis. It not only engulfed Rubicon and surrounding star systems in flames, but also caused severe and deadly contamination of the biological environment.
However, this large-scale combustion had a certain pattern of directivity, and there were areas of the Rubicon that survived the disaster. The Rubiconians, who are the descendants of the immigrants who originally inhabited and developed this planet, survived the catastrophe. However, they are now forced to live in hostile conditions as if imprisoned on their planet because a public interstellar organization called the Planetary Lockdown Authority has sealed off the planet and other affected star systems.
Then, the alien corporations who learned that the corals that were supposed to have been destroyed by the Ibis Fires had resurfaced decided to move to Rubicon, exploiting the breaches in the planetary blockade, to fight for control of the substance.
Master Assembly and find your best match to get the job done
PSB: What were the key focal points for the assembly feature that allows players to create their own mech?
Yamamura: We focused on making sure that the assembly function affects not only the parameters of the mechanism, but also the gameplay and feel as an action game, especially the leg components that determine the movement of the mechanism. For example, if you put four legs on your mechanism, you will alter the basic action of the mechanism, allowing it to hover and stay in the air. For weapons, our goal was to make sure each weapon had unique firing styles, recoil, and bullet patterns. Compared to previous titles in the series, players will be able to assemble mechs to their liking not only based on appearance and parameters, but also to match their play style.
On top of that, players can assign four different weapons to the controller’s side buttons (L1/L2/R1/R2), and in principle they can all be used at the same time. The Stagger* system comes into play with this, as players can create different builds based on strategies and coordinated attacks using multiple weapons. For example, players can strategize on which weapon to use for impact damage, which weapon to stagger, and which weapon to deal direct damage when the enemy is staggering and vulnerable. This is a new feature that encourages players to think more about their weapon choices, so we hope you have fun being creative and finding your best weapon combinations.
*A combat system where attacks will stack hit damage and once it reaches its limit, the attitude control system will overload, making robots vulnerable for a short time.
PSB: Do you have any tips on general game mechanics or the build feature for players new to the series?
Yamamura: We have implemented a Target Assist feature to make the game more intuitive. When this feature is on, it will automatically focus on enemies within a certain range of your screen, and you don’t need to hold a button every time you encounter an enemy. You will keep yourself busy with the three-dimensional traversal and multiple weapons, so we hope that players will make use of this feature and have fun piloting the robot.
For Assembly, switching to a better generator is always a good idea. If you have a generator with high EN capacity, you’ll have room to bounce and fly around without worrying too much.
For those who find it difficult to use multiple weapons at the same time, I recommend melee weapons like blades. It’s a good entry weapon as melee weapons deal high damage, and there will be less to control because you won’t be able to use other weapons when you’re wielding your melee weapon.
PSB: Do you have any messages for all the fans excited about the release?
Ogura: It’s been ten years since our last game in the series, and I’m deeply honored that we can finally keep our promise to everyone. Armored Core VI is a new mech action game that retains the fun of the Armored Core series at its core, while incorporating the ten years of knowledge and experience we gained from working on other titles. We hope that fans will rediscover the greatness of the Armored Core series and that those who are playing for the first time will enjoy this new version of the combat shooter created by FromSoftware today. We hope to make this game a step forward for the new Armored Core series.
Yamamura: I am very sorry for the long wait. Our team has been hard at work creating an Armored Core title that offers both the same fun experience and exciting new elements that only we can achieve today. I appreciate all the new players waiting for this title and all the fans who have not forgotten about the Armored Core series for the last decade. Thank you so much. See you in Rubicon!