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Bringing Armored Core into the modern era

Armored Core was a niche but well-respected mecha fighting/shooting franchise by From Software that went for 5 games during the 2000s to 2013, with double the amount in spin-offs. From Software moved to a Soulsborne focus once Bloodborne and Dark Souls became popular, and they haven’t made anything Armored Core in years. However, it’s not simply just a case of the popularity of Dark Souls that led to this; Armored Core was getting received worse and worse. Average reception from AC 1-3 was a solid 8/10 most of the time. By the last few games, many big reviewers were giving the games 6s on average.

To me, I see a series that was stuck with a 2000s PS2-era formula that never fully evolved even when it had the chance with ACV. Meanwhile, a game like Monster Hunter, which ticks off all the similar points of it being niche and respected, got Monster Hunter World, a masterclass in accessibility while not actually changing the core of what makes the game likeable. You’ve also got the example of Ace Combat 7, which while not actually doing anything different from what it had already been doing before, still brought a solid foundation into the current era.

So. Armored Core. Its gameplay feels like it really could be more satisfying, and in 2020 its environments and damage system/weapon systems so much more impressive. At least to me, I can imagine what a 2020 AC looks like, it’s only on From Software to want to make one ever again though. What do you think? What improvements would have to be made for a new AC to be received well and feel modern, and do you ever see it happening?

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