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Fran Ruiz

Everything we know about Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon — Release date, plot, gameplay

Still from the video game Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. A giant white mech robot down on one knee in the ruins of a building. They are holding a giant gun.

After the gargantuan success of Elden Ring last year, FromSoftware are back with the sixth mainline Armored Core title, the first entry in the long-running mecha franchise in a decade. With a rebooted story and setting, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon aims to produce a new generation of pilots and re-enlist veterans.

Like in previous installments, players pilot mechs called Armored Cores which can be customized using credits and parts that can be adjusted to better approach a wide variety of combat missions. While the main attraction is a mission-based, single-player story campaign, player-versus-player online multiplayer is making a comeback too.

Before we land on Rubicon 3, you might want to check out other sci-fi genres in gaming with our lists of the best space exploration and space horror games. Likewise, we’ve got plenty of other IP-focused video game suggestions with the ranked lists of the finest Alien, Warhammer 40K, Marvel, DC, and Star Wars games of all time.

What is the Armored Core VI release date?

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)
  • August 25, 2023.

After a handful of development rumors and making a splash in December 2022 with a striking teaser trailer, the game remained date-less until late April when it was revealed that Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon launches worldwide on August 25, 2023.

What platforms is Armored Core VI on?

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Despite its robust visuals and ambitious scale, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon is a cross-gen release. The game will be available to play on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC (Windows).

Visual or gameplay-related differences between the last and current-gen console releases haven’t been specified, but players should expect higher resolution and framerate targets on the newer hardware. We also haven’t heard about the inclusion or lack of cross-progression and cross-play for the multiplayer portion of the game.

What is the plot of Armored Core VI?

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Many story continuities exist in the Armored Core series, spread across several main games, spinoffs, and remastered re-releases. However, all of the previous stories take place almost exclusively on Earth or Mars. This time around, we’re going outside the Sol system.

On the remote planet of Rubicon 3, a “mysterious new substance” was discovered. It held the promise of dramatically advancing humanity’s technology and communication capabilities. Instead, for unknown reasons, it caused a catastrophe that submerged the planet and all nearby celestial bodies in flames, creating a burning star system.

Almost half a century later, the substance resurfaces on the contaminated and devastated Rubicon 3, so corporations and resistance groups return to the doomed world to fight over the dangerous resource. In the story campaign, the players infiltrate the planet as independent mercenaries and find themselves in the middle of a multi-faction struggle.

Armored Core VI Trailers

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon’s reveal trailer didn’t feature in-game footage, but it was stunning nonetheless and gave veteran players and newcomers alike an explosive taste of what was coming. It was unveiled during 2022’s Game Awards ceremony, on December 9. You can watch it below:

A second, in-engine trailer arrived on April 27, 2023. It runs for 3 good minutes and packs plenty of mech combat across a number of scenarios, culminating with massive boss fights that will surely be tough as nails. Get your dose of hype here:

As we approach the launch of the game, Bandai Namco shared a story trailer on July 20 which sets the mood and underlines what we should expect from the narrative. Check it out below: 

Shortly afterwards, and exactly one month before launch day (August 25), an extended gameplay demo was shared to let newcomers know it’ll be fairly easy to jump right into AC6. Watch it here:

Armored Core VI Gameplay

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon follows a straightforward mission structure and keeps the tradition of customizable giant mechs going, with parts that can be fine-tuned and upgraded as objectives are completed and credits are earned. The “debt system” from the earlier games isn’t making a return though, and players are now able to repeatedly attempt missions.

The mechs are controlled in a fast-paced fashion – and with a third-person view – around open levels filled with enemies of varying sizes and speed. The Armored Core series is known for being even more difficult than the Souls games, and AC6 director Masaru Yamamura has promised a good challenge, so that’s good news for FromSoftware fanatics. This also means those coming in expecting a more relaxed experience have been warned.

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

About the difficulty and mech builds, Yamamura added: “It depends on how you want to assemble your mech. But this is one approach we wanted to have, is to have the player decide how they wanted to assemble and how they wanted to approach each mission, and then to have this nice balance of level of challenge throughout the missions and throughout the campaign.”

Whether players focus on ranged or melee weapons, it appears Fires of Rubicon will borrow some elements from 2019’s Sekiro, where Yamamura served as lead designer. Enemies have a posture that can be broken in order to open them to critical hits, and this also means the pacing of each battle can be quite different depending on the number of enemies and their size.

As we mentioned in the trailers section, on July 25 we were treated to a 13 minute gameplay preview of Armored Core VI and it looks beautiful. Check it out for yourself to see what the game looks like in action.

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