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Armored Core: Verdict Day is all about piloting and commanding Armored Core Units—the game’s fancy name for mechs—using their gargantuan size and firepower to lay waste to the opposition on dystopian battlefields. If you hop online, you’ll be able to build a team consisting of five members, with four serving as pilots and one person assuming the title of commander. Much like the position of the same name in the Battlefield series, this player is the chief of operations, using an overhead perspective to position troops and call strategies like some giant, robotic game of chess. Verdict Day also boasts plenty of customization options, including 150 ways to dress up your ACU.
Armored Core‘s strong point certainly isn’t a streamlined interface. In fact, I think a more appropriate title would be Menu Navigation: Takes a Day. After spending what felt like 20 minutes trudging though a barrage of menus and text, I finally had a chance to fire off a few welcome-to-the-party missiles from my boomstick. If you’re like me, and aren’t one for commanding a battle, you’ll find the third-person action sequences— where you’re piloting an ACU—the most enthralling. I must say, my initial reaction when seeing my enemies crumble onscreen at the hands of my powered-up was a lot less satisfying than I remember in previous iterations. As a franchise, Armored Core is starting to show its age, as the action in Verdict Day feels old and outdated.
The game does boast 90 new missions spread across seven continents, but the core concept is lacking enough appeal to get me excited to carry on to the next level. Ultimately, having that much content is great in theory, but I can’t help but feel it’ll equate to nothing more than a lengthy grind in the end. I’d much rather spend my time playing something else.