Namco Bandai Games America Inc.’s Armored Core V for Sony Corp.’s Playstation and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 is a decent action title that incorporates a new persistent online world to recruit comrades and take over the world or enter in a small campaign skirmish.

Developed by From Software, Armored Core V includes a Story Mode with 10 story missions and 83 smaller ‘Order’ missions that can be played solo offline or online with a friend.

Armored Core V

The bulk of the title centers on team-based online play for up to 10. Players can create a custom online team and have online members join to capture territories. In addition, users can defend territories using AI drone or via team battle.

Online team recruitment is manual. With no automated feature to quick match a band of soldiers together, its main component is tougher to launch than need be.

Teams can earn team points via Territory (Attack) Missions. Team Points determine territories can be attacked and when the endurance value of the territory it reduced to zero, it can be conquered.

For users who want to jump straight into action without the strategy, Free Battle offers quick multiplayer matches for up to 10. In addition, a Mercenaries option allows players to be hired as part of team to earn currency.

Mech controls are solid. Armored Core units are agile and can boost, hop, and dash well in combat. Like prior titles, each AC can be fully customized with more than 500 custom options, from left and right weapons to heads to cores. Weapons are divided into Kinetic (physical), Chemical (chemically reactive) and Thermal (physical impact) for added customization. In addition, users can save up to 50 AC configurations.

Offline missions are standard with added cinematics in story missions to compliment ‘search and destroy’ Order missions. Online team combat is sufficient with solid netcode and wide-open battle spaces, though a lack of radar and imbalanced opponents hamper the battle. When a less customized AC battles a fully customized opponent, the former can be toasted in less than 10 seconds.

The graphics engine is standard at 30 frames-per-second. The AC units hold impeccable detail with fumes that blow open small parts of the AC and complex construction. Though the frame rate can dip below 30 frames in action, including online battles.

Armored Core V is a standard installment of the franchise. Hardcore fans will revel in online team battle and customization components, but new recruits may not sustain the heat of battle.

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