Armoured Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Xbox Series X/S, PS5/PS4, Xbox One, PC mech shooter

One of the greatest things about being an adult is the ability to see past an awesome trailer for a videogame, and understand that it’s not for you, for whatever reason. Of course growing up this ability is a power not within our grasp, which results in a number of games bought, clearly outside of your skill set, that just kick your arse with glee.

Thankfully adulthood comes equipped with this power, for most of us at any rate, but it doesn’t stop those trailers for games for being such a tease.

boom reviews Armoured Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
Ahhh you really can't beat a good steam clean.

Take Armored Core VI, a game that features you playing in all manner of Mech suits, charged with taking down baddies and saving the world. Who wouldn’t want to play that? The thing is, it’s from the Japanese development studio FromSoftware, who produce some of the most difficult games known to mankind, such as Dark Souls, Sekiro and the critically acclaimed Elden Ring. All come with the kind of level difficulty that are akin to Spinal Tap’s amps, but also adding a few more digits on the end just to make sure those are real tears in your eyes playing them.

But this is a game about fighting robots, whizzing about the place and blowing stuff up. How hard could it be? Sign us up, we want in.

What follows next is a journey into the darkest depths of humiliation.

boom reviews - Armoured Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
So I've been hearing you've been saying things about my mum?

The first thing you’re confronted with is a tutorial. A lot of gamers bemoan a tutorial, but we embrace them, for the most part, as it’s always a good idea to get accustomed with weaponry, movement etc before setting off.

So off we set, living our best lives, moving across the terrain like pro’s. What’s that on a horizon? An enemy you say? Bam Bam Bam – taken care of it. Another on our right? Ka-Bam – not a problem. We were right, this is more accessible than anything else these guys have done, we’ve got this.

Breezing through, we get the vibe that an end of tutorial boss is approaching. No biggie. Bam Bam Bam. Oh wait, we’re dead. It’s fine, we’ll give it another go. BAM BAM BAM. Again? OK, we must be doing something wrong, let’s go again people. And Again. And Again. And Again...

And here ends our Armored Core VI journey. We couldn’t even get past the tutorial. No kidding. We gave it our best shot(s), for over an hour, but then a saying popped into our heads – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We could feel that fork penetrate our tired flesh, we we’re well and truly done.

Ironically we we’re hoping for that message to pop up - you know the one, when you’re in a tricky spot and you get the following: “You seem to be struggling here, would you like to choose a lower difficulty?“, yeah go ahead, question our gaming abilities, we dare you - but we would have grabbed it with both hands here.

There’s another saying that goes “there’s no shame in admitting defeat”, but in the world of gaming it’s nothing but shame. We we’re beaten. Bad. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve been around the gaming block and endured some tough challenges and lived to tell the tale. But at the end of the day, you have to know you’re limits. And for us, that includes anything produced by FromSoftware. Clearly.

Now we were in the very fortunate position of being sent review code by the lovely PR people concerned, so we didn’t have to shell out a penny for this embarrassment, which makes a nice change. But it would have hurt a whole lot more if we had paid full price, and we know that pain, trust us.

So this is less a review, and more a life lesson, for those who need it, who could benefit from a quiet word in the ear, with a gentle hand on the shoulder, and to be told “sure, playing as a mech would be great fun, but these guys have a reputation, and no, you’re not that kind of player, so just walk away bud, walk away”.

Think about it this way, there’s less shame walking away from a game that is more than likely going to kick your proverbial arse, than paying full price for the same privilege.

We have no doubt that this is a great game, as other reviews testify to, but we admit it, it wasn’t for us, despite our hopes that it might have been.

If it is your type of game congratulations to you, you have our admiration, and we’re not a little bit envious, much. And who knows, you might still see us controlling a mega mech in another game down the road, but one that’s just a little more in our skill set.

At the end of the day, it really is OK to admit that there are some games that aren’t for you, regardless of how appealing those darn trailers are. And if that means you’re left to work on the crops and deliver parcels here and there, and maybe take in a little sly fishing along the way, that’s just dandy too. That’s the beauty of gaming, there really is something for everyone. Just not this one.