I guess they had enough money left to make another one. What a goddamned shame, eh? Armored Core Verdict Day falls short in terms of quality in the exact same way Armored Core V does, but I suppose having a sequel for the sake of a sequel trumps the drive to output quality video games. From Software? Ubisoft? You need to stop. In the same way Soul Calibur V demolished their beloved weapons fighting franchise by adding one-dimensional Naruto character parodies, you have succeeded in dramatically altering the base nature of your game in favor of… what, exactly? Is the strategy to make terrible games that any average joe can pick up and play so long as he has a horde of online friends to play with? Okay, enough with the vagaries. Let’s get down the reasons.
First and foremost, counterintuitive design. As mentioned in my Armored Core V review, the surplus of ready-position weapons doesn’t contribute a damn thing to the game. Nobody wants to stand still while they’re firing. When you come from fast-paced skill and reflex oriented games like Armored Core 4 and For Answer, you want to collect every gun possible to maximize your strategic potential. If the mission recommends long range, you want to have access to sniper rifles and railguns. Common sense, right?
Armored Core Verdict Day, like its retarded cousin, breaks this heuristic trend by forcing the rock-paper-scissors thermal, kinetic, and chemical weapon system. While playing solo, extended and multi-goal missions are unplayable. If you try to carry one of each weapon type, you will run out of ammo and be stuck using a disadvantageous gun that takes several minutes to kill a single resistant enemy. In the former games, I was able to employ adaptive builds that would allow me to function optimally during extended missions, but now it seems Verdict Day demands multi-person specialization.
The new movement system is shamelessly terrible and even more counter-intuitive than the weapon system. The devteam must have been making an inside joke when they said they wanted V and VD to have fast-paced pulse-pounding mass-multiplayer action. Real sardonic sense of humor they seem to have. Glide boost (the new overboost) isn’t even half as fast as the speeds you could reach in 4 and For Answer. ACs are reduced to a laughable crawl at all times (whether walking or boosting), and the kick function at the end of quick-dashes is the Call of Duty equivalent of no-scoping; A pointless and impractical way to hurt people. Additionally, you can’t fly, which is a limp-dick simplification that makes combat all the more tedious. The best you can do is kick off walls and then hover very slowly in your preferred direction. Or you can drop back to the ground where all the shitty combat takes place. Your call.
You want to know why the latest Armored Core games are going to absolute shit? I have a secret for you. It’s called “western mech fighters.” Western mech fighters favor hyperrealistic slow’n’clunky mechanical boxes that look like someone took a car, gave it legs for wheels, and welded guns to the doors. Eastern mech fighters favor humanoid looking mechs that move fast, hit hard, and have fancy looking energy weapons. Armored Core’s transition from eastern to western is unnecessary and very offputting for returning fans. But then again, it doesn’t seem like they want any actual fans. Just money. But that’s the norm these days so that makes it okay, right?
Scott Butterworth of IGN is… rather forgiving in his assessment of Armored Core Verdict Day. It’s obvious that he’s not a legitimate veteran of the series, which really explains this first-impression sounding review. Alas, that’s exactly what the devious moustache-twiddling developers had in mind when they shat this thematically fuckways sequel abomination onto the market. If you REALLY want to experience the best era of Armored Core, you want Last Raven, 4, and For Answer. If you want to be neutral towards the series and regard it as yet another inbred multiplayer pandering fuckfest, play the one that I just reviewed. Mkay? Here’s the link to the better review if you want to delude yourself: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/10/01/armored-core-verdict-day-review