Armored Core 4

Infobox VG
title = Armored Core 4


developer = From Software
publisher = Sega, 505 Games
designer = Hidetaka Miyazaki
composer = Kota Hoshino
engine =
released = PlayStation 3:
vgrelease|JP=December 21, 2006 |NA=March 20, 2007 |PAL=June 28, 2007
Xbox 360:
vgrelease|JP=March 22, 2007 |NA=March 20, 2007 |PAL=June 22, 2007cite web| url = http://img.game.co.uk/ml/3/3/0/9/330905ps.gif| title = http://img.game.co.uk/ml/3/3/0/9/330905ps.gif| accessdate = 2007-06-22| author = [http://www.gamingextreme.net/category/uncategorized/page/ Willzay] | date = 2007-06-08| work = [http://www.gamingextreme.net/ GamingExtreme - Home Of The Extreme!] | publisher = [http://www.meltingpx.com/ meltingpx - Home] | quote = [http://img.game.co.uk/ml/3/3/0/9/330905ps.gifhttp://img.game.co.uk/ml/3/3/0/9/330905ps.gif] Armored Core 4 - Europe 22nd June … Platforms-Xbox 360]
genre = Vehicular combat game
modes = Single player
Multiplayer
ratings = vgratings|CERO=A |ESRB=T |USK=USK-12 |PEGI=12+
platforms = PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
media = Blu-ray Disc, DVD
input = Gamepad
picture format = 720p (HDTV)
480p (EDTV)
480i (SDTV)

"Armored Core 4" is a video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is the 12th installment of From Software's "Armored Core" series, despite being titled "Armored Core 4". "Armored Core 4" is set in the future, where a great war has left the nations of Earth devastated and their respective governments taken over by corporations. The game features a system for personalized customization of the player's mech and an online mode where players can battle each other over the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. The game is similar to the "MechWarrior" series and is the spiritual sibling to From Software's other mecha-based game, "Chromehounds".

Gameplay

Gameplay in "Armored Core 4" is divided among several modes, where the player can build an AC unit for combat and test its abilites.

*Assemble - In this section, you build your AC from the current pool of available parts. This works differently than in previous installments of Armored Core, in that there is no longer a Shop area of any kind. Instead, all the parts that are currently available to you are listed in the garage, whether you own them or not. Parts you do not own are marked "DATA ONLY". By pressing square (PS3) or X (Xbox360) with a part selected, you can view a screen that shows the cost of the part and the amount of money you currently have. You can then Buy the part if you don't own it, Sell it if you do, or hide it, so that it is not displayed in the normal parts list when building your AC.

*Weapons - This is just a shortcut to the Weapons section of Assemble.

*Paint - As the name implies, this section is for changing the color of your AC. You can change the color of any and all elements, except for boosters, generator, and FCS.

*Simulation - To use Simulation you must first obtain one or more Data Packs. These are given as rewards for clearing chapters. Simulation is essentially Armored Core 4's version of the Arena found in many previous Armored Core games. A single data pack contains simulation data for one or more enemy Nexts. When you defeat a Next in a Data Pack, you are given a monetary reward, with an additional monetary award for defeating all the Nexts in a given Data Pack. Other rewards are also available, and include items such as parts for your AC, Memory for tuning, and even new Data Packs. One thing to note about Simulation mode is that you don't need to buy the parts in your schematic to use it. A schematic made entirely out of unpurchased, "DATA ONLY" parts can be used in Simulation without penalty. You will still have to buy the parts to use them in a normal mission. There is no penalty for losing in Simulation mode, and no cost for repairs or ammunition if you win.

*Test - Launches an AC test simulation. As with the Simulation mode, you do not need to actually purchase the parts in a schematic to use it in a test simulation. By default, there are no enemies in the simulation. You can add enemies from the pause menu by choosing Select Targets and then choosing the targets you'd like. Targets available include a squad of MTs, a small group of Normals, or a single Next. Only one type of target can be active at a time, and changing target types restarts the test.

*Tutorial - Selecting this option launches the tutorial from the start of the game.

*Schematics - This category is in essence your library of various AC designs. You can have up to 5 different sections to keep certain designs separate if desired. There are also pages for Enemy designs that are acquired by beating them in the Simulator, Company Standard designs, and one reserved for other players designs that have been traded to you via online.

New features

"Armored Core 4" has more new features than previous AC games although some of those found in previous AC games were removed. The lockbox normally found from the first AC game up to Last Raven was removed from the HUD. AC's will now automatically lock on enemies when in range. The controls for the game have been reworked from the ground up to provide easier and more efficient play. Also, the environment is now affected by AC battles. For example, an AC moving on sand or on the ground will leave footprints. Buildings and landmarks can be destroyed. Weapons possess terraforming effects, most notably in an unlockable Arctic battle stage. Battlefields are now considerably larger, but relatively barren of details like previous AC games. The player can now fight on water unlike past AC games where you would fall straight to the bottom if contact was made (that is, the player was not given a chance to try to recover). Other changes made from past AC games include that all weapons now do more damage, the heat and overheating game mechanics have now been removed, and boosting along the ground no longer consumes energy, but merely causes your energy bar to regenerate more slowly. A quick boost function was also added which causes almost instantaneous bursts of speed.

Plot

The world experienced a period of rapid population growth, which put a strain on global food and energy supplies. As populations increased, so did the gap between the wealthy and the poor, and so did the unrest within the population at large. Eventually, violence began to erupt and the governments quickly lost control of their populations as their cities were consumed by terrorism and anarchy. People began turning to corporations, complete with private armies, to keep them safe from the chaos.

In the midst of the meltdown, the world's six most powerful corporate conglomerates decided to do away with national governments and install their own brand of rule and law. They launched a full scale war on the nations of the world, which came to be known as the Nation Dismantlement War.

Using advanced Armored Core technology, the corporations decimated the forces of the nations and declared victory in less than a month. With the old nations of the world effectively toppled, the corporations set out to work on a new system of government.

The corporations dubbed their new order as the "Pax Economica" ("Economic [or Corporate] Peace", Latin), a system where loyalty and service to the corporations guaranteed food and survival. Under the Pax, however, people were forced into corporate-run colonies and essentially became slaves serving wealthy corporate masters.

Characters

*Raven: The protagonist of "Armored Core 4". As in previous "Armored Core" titles, the Raven is unnamed and does not speak. The story plays out entirely from his/her perspective.

*Professor Jarnefeldt: As the developer of Next control technology, he single-handedly supplied the core of Anatolia's livelihood with his many technical advancements . His death left Anatolia in a state of economic crisis.

*Emil Gustav: Though a member of Professor Jarnefeldt's Next tech development staff, his true talents lie in the world of politics. Following the Professor's death, Emil assumes responsibility for the Colony's welfare and proposes that they sell the Nexts. With this in mind, he asks the Raven to act as the Next's pilot. He was voiced by Dwight Schultz for the US version.

*Fiona Jarnefeldt: Not only is she Professor Jarnefeldt's daughter but she also worked as the Raven's support partner (operator) in the field. Though she understands the necessity of Emil's plan, she is unable to relieve her feelings of guilt at using the Raven, she also seems to have feelings for him/her. Both She and the Raven together leave Anatolia after the war. She was voiced by Kari Wahlgren for the US version.

*Joshua O'Brien: An old friend of Fiona's, this former AMS test subject now works as a mercenary for Aspina. He pilots the Next White Glint. It is tuned for extreme mobility with a high degree of AMS compatibility. He is ranked at #40. Despite his gentlemanly calm nature and somewhat apathetic aura, he continues to fight to protect his tiny homeland. He was voiced by Daryl Kurylo for the US version.

*Amazigh: He pilots the irregular Next Barbaroi for the Maghrib Liberation Front. Born and raised in Africa, he stands as an iconic hero to Maghrib and the other anti-establishment forces in Africa. He's pushed Barbaroi's performance to the limits despite extremely low natural AMS compatibility, enduring a tremendous amount of psychic shock. He works alone to avoid contaminating his comrades. He was voiced by Jeffrey D. Sams for the US version+
*Sus: He pilots the irregular Next Asyut Minya for the Maglib Liberation Front. He is generally seen as Maghrib's second best pilot. He was voiced by Bumper Robinson for the US version.

*Mido Auriel: She pilots the Next Null. She is ranked at #30. Because she possesses special psychic traits, Mido became one of the elite Linx pilots. She trained with Omer after the National Dismantlement War. She was voiced by Masasa Moyo for the US version.

*Anjou: She pilots the Next Orleans and is the #03 Original. Her chief power lies in close combat, where she astounds her enemies with her extremely powerful experimental laser blade. Her Next is tuned for speed and has access to some very powerful prototype boosters. Her skill on the battlefield is almost unparalleled. She has killed the most pilots during the National Dismantlement War. She was voiced by Karen Strassman for the US version.

*Mary Shelley: She pilots the Next Prometheus. Her AC tuned for speed and accuracy to complement her sniping skills. She is the #05 Original. She has been rumored to have killed many pilots during the National Dismantlement War. She was voiced by Karen Strassman for the US version.

*Unseel: He pilots the Next Red Cap. Unseel uses a multi-leg chasis to reduce the extreme kickback of his heavy sniper weapons. He is an exceptional sniper. He is the #15 Original. He is part of Berlioz elite squad. He was voiced by Crispin Freeman for the US version.

*Zanni: He pilots the Next Roughcut. He is quite adept at using his reverse-joint legs to dominate on the field. Zanni is determined to obliterate the competition with his massive firepower, but not at the expense of speed. He is the #12 Original. He is part of Berlioz' elite squad. He was voiced by Dave Wittenberg for the US version.

*P. Dam: She pilots the Next Hilarios. She is considered to be one of the weaker Originals due to her emotional instabilities. P. Dam specializes in the use of Kojima weapons and has a high focus on PA. She is the #21 Original. She is part of Berlioz' elite squad. She was voiced by Kate Higgins for the US version.

*Berlioz: He pilots the Next Supplice. He is considered to be the most talented Original Next. Never underestimating his opponents, he is a respectable and commpassionate person. He is the #01 Original. He was voiced by Chris Edgerly for the US version.

Corporations

The world of "Armored Core 4" is ruled by six major companies, each of whom constantly vie for control with one another. The six companies are the Bernard and Felix Foundation (BFF), Eqbal, Global Armaments (GA), Leonemeccanica, Rayleonard, and Rosenthal. Besides these, several smaller companies worldwide often cooperate with the larger conglomerates for mutual benefit.

*Bernard and Felix Foundation: An integrated military company that has an adversarial relationship with GA. Characterized by highly precise and sophisticated armaments, they traditionally enjoy close ties with Rosenthal.

*Eqbal: An industrial integrated enterprise. Eqbal is known for their solid mass-production system and for unique and unconventional weapons.

*Global Armaments: The greatest integrated military company in the Pacific Rim economic region. GA has a solid reputation for practical and stable armaments and their arms are characterized by simple strength, and have a strong military favor. GA has an adversarial relationship with Bernard and Felix Foundation.

*Leonemeccanica: Develops AC units entirely with energy in mind, both offensively and defensively. The AC's low-drain parts are able to get the most out of their high grade energy-based weapons.

*Rayleonard: An emerging energy company based in Northern Canada that occupies an important place in the development of the Kojima Technology, which is an essential technology of AC units.

*Rosenthal: A military company that was derived from a huge industrial conglomerate.

Reception

Armored Core 4 generally received mixed reviews like other titles although still manages to get more positive reviews than its predecessors. The game received 7.7 (out of 10) from Gamespot, 5.9 (out of 10) from IGN, 8.4 (out of 10) from GameVideos, 7.3 (out of 10) from Game Trailers, 86.5 (out of 100) from GameStats, 5.9 (out of 10) from 1UP.com and 6 (out of 10) from GamesRadar. It has an averaged score of 63% from gamerankings.

The game was generally praised for having newer and better graphics, better environment physics, larger mission areas, faster and more intense battles, better garage system and even sometimes the new set of parts are praised by fans and gaming sites. However, some point out that the game still suffers from many of the problems of its predecessors and that some missions last for a very short period of time; certain missions can even be finished in less than 60 seconds, depending on the player.

References

External links

*en icon [http://www.sega.com/gamesite/armoredcore4/ Sega "Armored Core" website]
*ja icon [http://www.armoredcore.net Official From Software "Armored Core" website (some English content)]
*en icon [http://www.armoredcoreonline.com ACO "Armored Core Online Community" website]
*ja icon [http://www5f.biglobe.ne.jp/~yasuwo/confAC4.htm Armored Core Parts Conference] - A partial list of "Armored Core 4" parts.


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