Armored Core 3 - PS2

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Combat Game
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: From Software Soft. Co.: From Software
Publishers: Metro 3D (GB)
Released: 30 May 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Memory Card
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Multitap adaptable


We've seen a respectable amount of Mech-combat games drift through our offices over the past few years - most of them for PC and many of them from Microsoft. This is largely down to the complex control system inherent in games of this type. So when Armored Core 3 arrived for PlayStation 2, we were curious to find out just how well the game plays with a relatively limited PS2 controller. And honestly speaking, the controls are admirable, as is the rest of the game.

In the conflicted world of Armored Core 3, all major decisions are governed by a single entity known only as The Controller. The population has become accustomed to this being handling every major aspect of their lives. People lived uninspired lives, but they were safe. Then several powerful factors emerged, bent on the acquisition of absolute power. The Controller manipulated this war too, but chaos began to overrule...

As part of this war, it is your duty to fight and defend yourself. You are a prospective pilot for a Mech. With the correct training and abilities, pilots can pad their bank accounts with credits by completing a series of tasking missions. As it happens, your very first mission is a tutorial of sorts, and although there is no tutor as such, enemy attacks are sparse, giving the players sufficient time to become familiar the game's controls. On the ground, movement is very much like Tomb Raider - turn, then run. Press and hold X to fly and use the control stick to navigate your Mech whilst airborne. Other buttons are good for weapons. And that's all there is to it.

Beyond the first mission, you'll be taken to a menu where you can check your mail, visit the garage, buy and sell parts, and even paint your Mech. It's here where you'll also be able to select missions. Missions offer varying amount of credits, but typically the harder the mission, the more cash is up for grabs. That's pretty much how the game works.

From a visual standpoint, Armored Core 3 looks as fantastic as a mech-ridden future well might. Environments are often littered with hundreds of buildings and there's a lot of movement on screen, but the PS2 seems to handle it very well. There's some particularly spectacular explosions to be witnessed too.

Sitting somewhere between Mechwarrior and Konami's Zone of Enders, Armored Core 3 is an extensive game. It's action heavy and has a reasonable plot driving the game forward. Great stuff.