Mech game Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon seems to include a robust multiplayer system, potentially building on the limited co-op and PvP present in developer FromSoftware’s usually solo journeys through Hell. Fans took photos of physical Japanese copies of the game (which is due August 25) and noted that the back of the box indicated Armored Core allows for up to six players, potentially supporting June rumors that the game includes a team-based 6v6 multiplayer mode.
The Armored Core series has had multiplayer right from the start, originally via split-screen and system link on the original PlayStation and later via online play. The last mainline game, Armored Core V: Verdict Day, put a heavy focus on it, with three factions of players vying to take over a persistent territory through continued victories in online 5v5 battles.
Other modern FromSoftware games—including 2015’s eerie Bloodborne and world-favorite 2022 game Elden Ring—also allow multiplayer, but it’s usually minimalistic. In Elden Ring, for example, up to four players can cooperatively take on bosses or battle each other in open coliseums, but enabling multiplayer can be convoluted, needing players to retrieve certain items or perform specific actions, and it’s hardly ever a requirement for playing the game in its entirety.
While Armored Core VI’s release is only a month away, FromSoftware has yet to confirm many multiplayer details (or any details at all), but it did tell Eurogamer in an April interview that it wants to “leverage [the game] towards single-player first and foremost.” That’s a song you’ve heard before. Even though—as the Japanese copy of the game indicates—Armored Core will allow up to six players and three spectators, it seems likely at this point that the game will be equally indifferent to multiplayer as other recent FromSoftware games.
More encouragingly for longtime fans who long for multiplayer, the game will also be familiar in other, welcome ways.
The original Armored Core was one of FromSoftware’s first games, with the inaugural mech battle sim releasing in 1997 for PlayStation. Armored Core VI, senior Kotaku writer Ethan Gach says in his hands-off preview at Summer Game Fest, “appears to be staying true to the mech action series’ roots—featuring quick combat and lots of customization.” And “there are also some things that fans of Dark Souls […] will be happy to see,” like notoriety-worthy, difficult bosses, he says. Just don’t necessarily count on facing all of them with a friend.