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No, I’ve had it, screw this game. ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON is too hard and there’s no need for it. I don’t care that you don’t find it difficult, or that you managed to brute force your way through it after six hours on each boss. I don’t care that it’s received the highest Metacritic scores in the franchise since Armored Core 2. I don’t care that FromSoftware is more well-known for soulslike titles now, hardly the easiest games in history…

I’ve made it a point to avoid games that are described as “hardcore” or “difficult” because I don’t play games for a challenge, I play games to enjoy a story told in a unique way. I’m not averse to being challenged, it’s just not something that I seek out. Life is stressful enough without figuratively banging my head against a wall until I work out the specific way this thing needs me to do to get past a section.

As for Armored Core, I absolutely adored the first game, but honestly fell off of the series after the second. I just lost track of them, and when you consider that ARMORED CORE VI is the 16th title in the series, you can probably tell how that happened. My preferred way to play a franchise is from the first title, and while I don’t always do it that way, I didn’t fancy jumping from the second game to an unnumbered sequel set directly after Armored Core 4, for instance.

When ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON was announced, I decided that I’d eschew playing 15 other games and just dive right into this one. I love mech games, and have very fond memories of the original game. All of the soulslike games that FromSoftware have made were set in older times, they didn’t feature giant robots firing lasers and missiles at each other.

Oh, what a fool was I.

There’s a saying “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” It’s to highlight that if someone can be an absolute git, they are probably a bit of a git. So, FromSoftware showed me that they make DARK SOULS, Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and ELDEN RING. Why didn’t I listen? ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON is too hard for me to get any enjoyment out of it on a long-term basis.

Ordinary missions are fun, jumping around the place blasting mechs and turrets of various sizes… They’re not too challenging, usually requiring a couple of repair kit uses, and I’ve only died in a mission once due to my own arrogance. Boss fights are a completely different story, and I’ve only managed to defeat one without having to restart the fight: The Juggernaut. Every other boss and mini-boss has required at least one retry, including the very first boss of the game which you encounter before you even get the opportunity to do a tutorial.

It’s not like I’ve not encountered difficult bosses in other games, that’s the point of them. But every boss? At least I could grind levels before facing Ultimecia (of Final Fantasy VIII infamy), but in FIRES OF RUBICON, you have whichever weapons you happen to bring with you. Once you’re killed, you can change your loadout but with one proviso: you must own the items already. Following a guide, it suggested using a Bazooka which I didn’t own. So, I had to quit the mission and start again once I’d bought the weapon, and changed my arms to something lighter. See, I’ve been focussing on a “high armour points” build, because I foolishly believed that my best defence was literal defence.

After struggling through the final boss of Chapter One, I triumphantly strode into Chapter Two only to find utter defeat in the very next mission at the hands of the Smart Cleaner. Yep, a weaponised Roomba is my breaking point with this game, after over an hour of struggle against previous boss Balteus, I’ve decided to pack it in when confronted time and time again by the Smart Cleaner.

“Hit its weak point!” that’s like the only way to deal damage, of course I’ve been doing that. “Stagger it!” it remains staggered for about five seconds after several long minutes of sustained fire. “Stay in the air!” Tetrapod-style legs have always been my favourite for manoeuvrability and weight, so of course I’ve got those equipped to stay in the air.

I can’t enjoy ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON when it’s so overwhelmingly difficult, and the only option is “don’t die” rather than “obtain better equipment” or “become stronger”. I’m not enjoying myself and I’m not going to play a game that I’m not enjoying. Smashing myself into near-impossible boss after near-impossible boss is a frustrating time that I could spend playing and finishing other games. Maybe I’ll return to it one day, when I can run it on my PC and use cheats.

Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.


1Xx1337Gamer420xX1 - 12:36am, 26th September 2023

Git Gud Scrub LUL

BenVenom - 11:40pm, 6th April 2024

I'll just say what everyone who has read this article is thinking: Git Gud.

Acelister - 01:27pm, 8th April 2024 Author

Seems 1Xx1337Gamer420xX1 beat you to it.