Epic Moments in Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon

Some games make you feel absolutely epic. They give you gripping missions, set compelling stakes, and deliver the most adrenaline-pumping, memorable moments that make you feel like an absolute badass. Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon was that game for me last year. In a year with Baldur’s Gate 3 and Breath of the Wild 2, Armored Core 6 had me cheering and screaming the most in 2023.

Armored Core 6 is a mech piloting game where you’ll play as a mercenary on a planet called Rubicon. Armored Core 6 lets you build and pilot a giant robot strapped down with as much artillery as you can handle. You’ll take missions and slowly learn more about your purpose on this planet as a corporate struggle for a powerful resource called coral escalates. Buckle up Raven, because Rubicon has a lot in store for you.

A players mech flies into battle

Landing in Armored Core 6

If this is the first Armored Core game you’ve ever played, don’t worry. Armored Core 6 literally drops you right into a new story. You don’t need to have played any Armored Core games before this one to get the full experience. 

This game’s opening has you hurtling past a giant orbital laser into a quarantined planet to steal credentials so that you can start working as a mercenary on Rubicon. After landing on Rubicon, the game gives you a series of missions to introduce you to the setting and the way things work. After the initial tutorials, the game amps up the stakes and builds set piece after set piece that will leave you breathless with your jaw on the floor. 

Some moments are so awesome you’ll want to go back and play them again. There is an option to go back and replay any mission you’ve already completed. This feature also allows you to go back if you want a higher mission score. This can also be helpful if you missed an item or a hard enemy you didn’t get the chance to kill.

Ending Up Infamous

While, for the most part, this is a third-person shooter, choices do matter in this game and can even influence what ending you receive. At certain times you’ll have options to choose between different missions, which can dramatically alter the course of the game. Most mission choices in Armored Core 6 are low stakes and determine what kind of epic fight you’ll have. When your choices really matter near the endgame, the game will let you know by having your allies lay out two different routes during cutscenes.

Armored Core 6 also has ways around missing out on endings or missing out on missions you wanted to play. Once credits roll on one playthrough of Armored Core 6, you’ll be sent back for a new game plus. Playing through the game again will allow you to pick all the missions you didn’t complete and even introduce more missions. Playing through the third time will even unlock an ending only possible by completing the first two. Just make sure you’ve completed the arena or Allmind will be disappointed.

On a new game plus playthrough of Armored Core 6, I recommend doing every mission you haven’t played before and taking each new option. The new and alternate missions introduced in new playthroughs of Armored Core 6 are a highlight. They keep things fresh and exciting even while replaying the same game.

For those of you coming into Armored Core 6 for the promise of epic moments but not sure if you want to play it several times, I recommend taking the path set out by Handler Walter near the end of the game. While not the ending I personally chose on my first playthrough, this ending has some of the coolest, most heart-wrenching fights in the game. If you can survive the emotional damage, you’ll come away as a legendary figure, having faced some of the strongest threats on Rubicon.

The cover art for Armored Core 6

The Coolest Moment: Borrowed Wings

I understand that calling Armored Core 6 “the coolest game last year” is a bold claim, and I am prepared to back it up. But talking about the coolest moment in this game will also spoil it. This is your chance to go and play this game before coming back for some advice on how to overcome what is arguably the most iconic enemy in the game.

Remember when I said the first mission in Armored Core 6 has you stealing credentials to work on Rubicon? Well, identity theft is a serious crime, and the person you stole your new life from is not happy. This adversary is here to teach you the very real consequences of your actions.

The lead-up to your fight against True Raven is incredible. In a change of pace, you’re told before the mission that you’ll need to defend a location. In order to do so, you’ll be given a squad of helpers to assist you.

Going into the mission with thoughts about protecting friendlies and having to fight airborne ships, you’ll instead survey a broken battlefield. The fight is already over and both sides were destroyed. An unfamiliar voice on the comms plays, seemingly speaking to you until the camera pans up and reveals the voice is speaking to the one mech responsible for the carnage of the battlefield, the merc whose identity you stole. This adversary just so happens to appear on the cover of the game. Yeah, you’re in for the fight of your life.

Both fights (that’s right both) against True Raven are some of the most out-of-pocket spectacle fights in the game. They’ll have you frantically mashing buttons and forgetting everything you know as your counterpart tries their best to stomp you into the ground. Their best is very, very good.

True Raven

Earning Your Borrowed Wings

Certain fights in Armored Core 6 are designed to have you grow in some way. They either serve as a seemingly insurmountable wall to knock down and overcome or teach you something about the game. This first fight against your counterpart is a wake-up call, a fight designed to put you through your paces and test every ounce of your skill. It only gets harder from here, and this is your chance to face down True Raven and earn your name here on Rubicon.

Beating True Raven on your own is an experience I think everyone who plays this game should have. However, if you’re really struggling, here are a few tips to help you out. First: be careful of charging. True Raven has assault armor and is aggressive with it. A full-throttle charge could have you careening headlong into a counter that leaves you stunned and unable to fight back as True Raven slams a Pile Bunker into your soul. 

The second piece of advice: fight fire with fire. If you haven’t realized it by this point in the game, and if True Raven’s performance isn’t testament enough, allow me to enlighten you. The Pile Bunker is one of the best weapons in the game, bar none. Using it against a stunned opponent with their shields down is one of the most devastating single attacks you can do. It absolutely melts health bars. If you’re truly struggling with this first True Raven fight, try using the Pile Bunker when True Raven is stunned.

Honorable Mentions

This game is full of awesome moments that will have you cheering or screaming in delight and fear. There are so many I can’t go over in full detail, but here are a few that you shouldn’t miss. All of these are spoilers in some way, so read at your own risk.

Every single endgame fight is an absolute spectacle and handily earns an honorable mention. Handler Walter’s advice even puts you on a path that has two new breathtaking spectacle fights. If you’re only here for a good time and not interested in multiple playthroughs, Handler Walter’s path puts you against some of the best fights in the game.

“Unknown Territory Survey” is an innocuous-sounding mission name, and it’s not a mission you can avoid. Spoiler warning: it’s Rusty. You’re fighting Rusty. Buckle up and prepare for a wild time against your buddy, especially on repeat playthroughs when this fight gets even more intense.

It’s fun to bully the Redguns. While fighting the Redguns will also be some of the more challenging fights, I highly recommend doing so to create interesting and compelling moments in your game. The mission “Intercept the Redguns” is your first chance to fight the Redguns in any playthrough. Repeat playthroughs also open up options to face down the Red Guns. Choosing the option presented at the dam on a new game plus run will give you these options in spades on any repeat playthrough. Have fun bullying Iguazu.

Finally, while I’d like to give my last mention to the “Destroy the Ice Worn” mission and the “I won’t miss” moment, ultimately, my final shout-out has to go to the “Destroy the Tester AC” mission. This is an early mission, where themes of the game and the reality of your time on Rubicon sinks in. Hats off to you, “Dafeng Student Pilot.” In another game, you would have been the protagonist.

A view of the skies of Rubicon

The Fire Rises

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon was a game that was overshadowed last year. The release of Elden Ring by Fromsoft the year before had people focused elsewhere, and the teaser for the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC had dropped only a few months before Armored Core 6 released. The competition from Baldur’s Gate 3 and Breath of the Wild 2 left Armored Core 6 without as much mainstream attention. Its status as next in a series that hasn’t had an installation since 2012 certainly left me hesitant to try it.

In a year with so much stacked against it, the coolest moments of Armored Core 6 have stuck with me into a new year of gaming. This game is an experience I highly recommend for anyone who wants to feel like the pilot of an unstoppable war machine. Happy hunting on Rubicon!

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8 days ago

Its like you read my mind You appear to know a lot about this like you wrote the book in it or something I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit but instead of that this is fantastic blog An excellent read I will certainly be back

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