"Armored Core: Verdict Day"
Sony PlayStation 3 (Xbox 360)
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 4.0 stars
Don't let the official title number of last year's "Armored Core 5" fool you, as there are over a dozen games in the mech franchise history. Incremental releases let developers introduce new game mechanics without spending years crafting each new game, and "Armored Core: Verdict Day" builds upon its most immediate predecessor.
While the Story mode offers more than sixty new missions to undertake, they're just as banal as the story itself. Supplying dozens of missions isn't very interesting if they're mostly variations of only a few mission types. At least the game recognizes saved games from "Armored Core 5" and lets players use their own creations, instead of starting with the "basic model."
Speaking of which, crafting my own towering mech that's armed to the teeth ... err ... gears is more elaborate than ever! Over 100 new mech parts are available for virtual gear-heads to construct anything from a heavy-armed, slow-moving tank to a limber mech with reverse-joint legs. In addition, Weapon Arms and Shields make a welcome return, adding even more versatility.
It's also possible to construct a small squad of A.I.-controlled mechs that go into battle with the player. Not only can players craft their squad's physical characteristics, but the behavior can also be carefully fine-tuned. Some people won't get excited about setting movement routines or determining the range at which certain weapons are fired, but those that do will love this game's depth!
The persistent, online, multiplayer World mode lets players join one of three factions and then fight against the enemy for control of 56 large bases. AI enemies are supplied at bases if human-controlled units aren't around to defend them, which unfortunately, is more often than I'd like. Every week, a winning faction is declared and the online mode is reset.
Despite the mediocre visuals and repetitive mission structure, meticulous mech fans are sure to appreciate "Armored Core: Verdict Day.""Disney Infinity"