Armored Core 6 'story trailer' implies Armored Core 6 needs a story beyond dope mechs doing dope shit

The story of the Armored Core series has been rebooted at least three times in 25 years, but the premise has never varied much from some core themes. You are a mercenary. The world is run by quarreling mega corporations. The Earth has been ravaged, or is on the brink of a ravaging. Everything sucks except the mechs, which are hella cool.

The three-and-a-half-minute Armored Core 6 "story trailer" Bandai Namco released today is a thinly disguised excuse to show its mechs are still hella cool. It does, and they are. It's a cinematic, reminiscent of the elaborate sequences that open all of FromSoftware's Souls games—not gameplay or even an in-engine cutscene, but a tone-setter for what we'll be playing on August 25.

There are some actual narrative details to be gleaned here—a squad of pilots with numbers rather than names (617, 619) die while assaulting an enormous cannon emplacement. "Well, at least you're helping me clear my inventory," says an unnamed voice. Another pilot, 621, is laid out on a table, all kinds of nasty sci-fi medical equipment surrounding them. A clone? A test subject? Whoever they are, that's probably who we are, as the end of the trailer implies 621 will be the pilot we control in AC6.

I'm giving you permission to watch and re-watch the above trailer and not care about any of that, because in between those scraps of dialogue are immaculately animated sequences of mechs firing missiles and gatling guns, being melted and blasted to bits, and dodging to-and-fro with lateral jets. The somber music that plays as they become slag says that I should be sad, but I don't know how you can watch this footage and be anything but giddy. If mechs get much cooler than this, I don't know if I can take it.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).