Is Armored Core 6 a Soulslike? We Explain in Great Detail

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Is Armored Core 6 a Soulslike? We Explain in Great Detail

Well, is Armored Core 6 a soulslike now? And what does that term even mean in the year 2023? Let's figure that out.


Armored Core 6 will most likely turn out to be a massive hit, even in a year that seems to have a Game of the Year contender releasing at least once a month.

But Armored Core is a series that has been hibernating for the better part of 10 years. Most gamers familiar with FromSoftware's output don't know much about the series that put them on the map in the first place.

And they worry, how much Souls is in Armored Core 6? The answer might surprise you.

An Abridged Rundown of Armored Core

Before there was Dark Souls, Elden Ring, Demon's Souls, or Hidetaka Miyazaki and his obsession with Poisonswamps and questionable hitboxes, there was Armored Core.

Spanning 13 main games, seven spinoffs, and several re-releases Armored Core was considered by many to be the FromSoftwares bread-and-butter franchise. While it never enjoyed the same reverence in the West as the Soulsborne titles, mostly because many of the games were released before gaming became mainstream. It is where FromSoftware developed their signature ‘bite.'

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That's right, FromSoftware games were always sadistic. Armored Core is also where everyone's favorite game designer Miyazaki got his start as a director. And while Armored Core 4 wasn't as beloved by fans as other entries you could say that Miyazaki did relatively well for himself all things considered.

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Which begs the question, what is an Armored Core? To put it simply, it is a series of mission-based action games under the umbrella of the Mecha-Genre (think Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, or Pacific Rim). Celebrated for its fast-paced combat, which will have you dash around in 3 dimensions while having hellfire pouring down upon you.

The series is also known for the ridiculous amount of customization you can put into your own Mech's loadout. Gene Park of the Washington Post once called the franchise the “Grand Turismo of Robots” that encourages you to redo missions faster and better with a variety of load-outs.

And then there's also the PvP component, which some of the hardcore fans consider the real meat of the franchise. So if you're into the heavy customization and high difficulty of FromSoftwares' other output, you won't be disappointed.

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So, Is Armored Core 6 Soulslike or not?

That's going to be a really hard question to answer, given how nebulous the term “Soulslike” has become over the years. If you mean the Combat-aspect, which largely consists of dodging and picking the right moment to attack, Armored Core 6 will feel very familiar to veterans of Souls games. Even if the pace will most likely be much quicker and you'll have to fight multiple enemies at a time.

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If you're into the exploration aspect? You probably won't find as much of the Soulsborne take on Metroidvania. Armored Core is traditionally very linear and mission-based. Some missions have multiple objectives and optional equipment hidden away. Armored Core is more about finishing a mission fast without wasting resources.

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When it comes to stories, Armored Core tends to be less cryptic about its narrative. Usually, these games are set in a conflict with several factions and the player bouncing between them, eventually being set on a path that will lead them to one of many endings. While recent Souls games are kinda like this, Armored Core takes it a step further by adding missions and objectives exclusive to a given path.

And lastly the customization. Many of you will be surprised how Dark Souls and its successor's vast customization and enabling of different playstyles still feel like a downgrade from what Armored Core used to feature. Different mobility types, extra dodges and or defensive options, and even staggering amounts of weapon types are a mainstay of the series.

So if you're into Soulslike games, Armored Core might look and feel different on a surface level. But you'll quickly recognize how much of Armored Core's design philosophy is already part of the Soulslike-experience. It is a FromSoftware game, after all.

We'll have more on Armored Core 6 soon here on ESTNN.

Is Armored Core 6 a Soulslike? We Explain in Great Detail
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More