Armored Core: For Answer is the thirteenth, yes that many, in the Armored Core series and one that is a bit on the heavy side with configurations and short on gameplay.
Ratings: Graphics amp; Audio: 13/25, Gameplay: 12/25, Creativity 18/25, Fun 12/25
Armored Core: For Answer is the thirteenth game in the armored Core series and the translation from Japanese is the reason for the title. The game is feature rich for those that are into heavy mech suits and customizing them to the gills but light on gameplay.
I have played this game and done pretty well suiting up and getting into the thick of mech fighting but I was very disappointed in the gameplay. You can spend ten to fifteen minutes outfitting your Armored Core, painting the suit and adding decals as well as tuning the weapons and trimming the flight and skating characteristics.
But the missions last five minutes at the most and then it’s back to buy new weapons or try the mission again, short and sweet is not always good. I was very surprised when this trend happened through all the missions and I was very disappointed that the missions were not more lengthy or varied.
Each mission is played in one of several scenes but they are pretty much all the same, flat land or slightly rolling dotted in some levels with destructible buildings. Some levels have you skating across water that does not look like water and hitting ships and other sea based vessels.
You do get a few scenes inside buildings or structures but these are very generic with some pretty bland textures and no hint of variation for most of the scenery. The structures and buildings do not have any wear or damage until you totally destroy the whole thing or make your own mark on the buildings and objects.
Armored Core: For Answer starts you out with a quick tutorial that helps you get used to your Armored Core as well as the control scheme. The levels that follow are in a tree organization were you do not have to complete each mission to move on but can skip some here and there.
You join one of four factions or companies which decides the mech you start with and its off to your first battle of your choice from the beginning. The missions differ in name but in actual execution they are pretty much the same, shoot at anything that moves with or without a co-op teammate and destroy everything you can.
You can play most of the missions in co-op mode which helps some but finding someone else to play with may be a challenge, I did find a few playing but not very many. The missions boil down to total destruction all with you as the central target for everything on the battlefield.
You can either be automatically targeting enemies or you can target them yourself but they are flitting around so fast and many times coming at you so quickly and in such numbers that automatic targeting is the only way to win. The automatic mode works so well that you mainly skate or fly around at random and squeeze off rounds until that weapon’s is empty.
I found that most missions will allow you to do just that until you destroy everything but others have a boss fight that is a bit more difficult. These fights called for either picking the right weapons or the right tactics but tactics usually meant going from a different side of the boss.
Mostly the game has you doing a quick insertion, shoot everything in sight and fade to black for the end of the mission. There was no chance of deciding which way to approach, no backing off to go around or even stopping to assess a situation.
Things happen so quickly and enemies come at you so fast that there is no time in missions to do anything but shoot and move level after level. The game quickly becomes a repeat of the same mission just with different enemies and weapons but without much variety in style or gameplay.
The suit customization is a tech boys, or girls, dream come true; weapons, Armored Core gadgets, paint, decals, trimming the suit for flight, adding new weapons. The variations are endless once you earn some credits and you have level after level of that opportunity.
The general suit you start with already has plenty of changes you can make but when you really get into the game there are hundreds of ways to change your mech. But this does not really matter much when the short missions have you needing the most powerful weapons in order to get anywhere in the objectives. It would have been nice to have more area to work with and a bit more intelligent AI that would not simply rush you on sight.
The graphics are muted and dull for the most part with some very drab color schemes and a general glossed over look to the whole game. The Armored Core suits look great but you always see yours from the rear, getting a nice shot of that blaster jet pack stuff on your back. The other objects vessels and terrain are very plain for the most part with no variations in texture other than to make things obviously different.
The buildings look brand new until you destroy or damage them and even the other Armored Core flitting around look fresh off the assembly line but these are supposed to be battle tested suits. The game would have been better, again with more improvement needed, if things did not look so generic or brand new.
The gameplay is a bit fast and furious but that could have been a good thing but there is not let up until the end of the mission. This gives the feeling of a quick draw battle with you as the only target and having to complete your objectives means being either faster or have better weapons.
Armored Core: For Answer is a game that could have been much more and has a good basis for a great mech game, it just needs some work. I could easily see this game coming out with a quick expansion with some better levels and a bit different approach to the combat and gameplay.
Until then Armored Core: For Answer is an okay game but I would definitely rent this and not purchase, try before you buy here.