Masaru Yamamura and Yasunori Ogura stay true to the legacy of ‘Armored Core’

In addition to playing the game, I was lucky enough to sit down and talk with the director Masaru Yamamura and producer Yasunori Ogura about how Armored Core VI came about and what their hopes are for it.

The biggest addition to the range is the new linked target lock on system and updated controls. This allows players to target an enemy and move around them while still keeping the camera focused on them. This is a big change from the older games, where all of this had to be handled manually, as Yamamura explains.

“We want to make it clear that this is a Armored core games first and foremost. Our titles in recent years have been focused more on RPG action and exploration elements, but Armored Core VI is very much a mecha action fighting game. When we say that, we mean that it focuses on two core concepts; it’s the assembly aspect and the intuitive mecha action concept. Assembly is something that has always been a part of Armored core and we feel it has a universal appeal that will still hold up to this day. So you customize your mecha, take it out into the field, and battle it out in this fully three-dimensional space. Customizing your perfect machine, changing its appearance to your liking, and then just mastering it in battle. We feel that these two core concepts are the main concept Armored core series and we wanted to bring it back Armored Core VI.

“The goal lock on assist came about mainly because of the fact that this is a Armored core game, and we wanted you, as we said before, to have full control over your mecha. It will boost in all directions on the horizontal and vertical axis. You have to be in the air to fight, and you have control of all four of your weapons at the same time. There’s a lot going on, it gets pretty hectic. So target assist was introduced primarily to help newer players acclimate to this so they could focus on the aspects that make the game fun and make the mecha action combat appealing and not have to worry too much about keeping the enemy on screen. It works like a traditional camera target lock in that sense. At the same time, we hope that longtime fans of Armored core will find some joy in disabling goal assist. If they prefer to play a more simulation-like full manual aim style and hopefully we’ll see some great challenge runs without aim assist.

“Just to reiterate, full control of the four weapons will be critical to creating these attack combos. You need to concentrate on the distance and positioning between you and the enemy. It’s also not a perfect lock-on, if the enemy is moving at high speed, not all of your attacks will connect. So it’s really quite hard to play without the aim assist, and we expect players to have fun challenging themselves by disabling it.”

“There’s still a part of us that likes the original controls with the shoulder buttons used to look up and down, but it was the right call to update and change this for a modern audience.”

Following on from this was the reasoning behind why the game lacks a real-time mini-map that shows you where enemies are located. This was a fixed feature in the older games, but was simplified here to match the game’s mission structure and map layout, as Yamamura clarifies.

“There were discussions in early development about having a more open map. For example, a more open field map and having elements that would enhance that and enhance the whole playground and exploration aspects, similar to Elder Ring. But we decided on it as we wanted more freedom on the assembly side. So when you start gearing the gameplay towards exploration and traversal, you start to have the boundary, the universal through line of player mobility, but we wanted a lot of variety there. We wanted players to have control over how they move and their mobility performance. So we wanted to keep this traditional mission structure and we didn’t want a minimap. We wanted markers that would show the player where their next objective is. There is a (lateral) radar which shows relative enemy positions, but it’s not an exploration and traversal focus game, so we felt there was no need for a minimap.”

One of the major aspects of heritage from older Armored core game were the various hidden weapons and mecha parts hidden away in levels. This is still very much a thing, but Yamamura was a little bit careful to give details.

“Yes, there will be similar aspects in it Armored Core VI. There are a variety of mission types and some of the more open missions where you traverse a large and complex megastructure, these will be a bit more open and the player will have an objective but also be able to go off the beaten path and explore the area a little bit. They can find some hidden caches of weapons and parts.”

This is also related to the regular addition of Destruction ray rifle and Moonlight laser sword. Again, Yamamura was appropriately cryptic.

“We’ll let you play the whole game and look forward to you finding things like that.”

However, regarding the origin of the Karasawa name, Ogura was happy to provide a bit of an overview of what happened.

“We were not involved in Armored core play back when Yasuyoshi Karasawa was a producer, but we understand that there is a bit of a tradition there. As he inscribed his name in the work of the weapon in question and Armored core as a series has traditionally had these kinds of easter eggs where we include things like developer names like titles of weapons. So hopefully you will find something similar in Armored Core VI.

“We believe that Yasuyoshi Karasawa has since moved on and we believe he is still in the gaming industry. We believe he just split up after the first projects. However, his legacy continues.”

One of the other major aspects of the Armored core games were different Human Plus abilities available to players. This is certainly present, but it has been broken down into two main components, as Yamamura explains.

“The enhanced human i Armored Core VI is more of a narrative construct than a game construct. There will be some similar upgrade items for Human Plus, but these will be for your mecha. However, the old generation augmented human in our game is supposed to call upon this mute, emotionless pilot, built specifically to pilot these impossible machines of destruction. It’s kind of taking advantage of the cold, indirect portrayal of this mercenary, and we wanted the player to relive that role. So the extended human aspect i Armored Core VI is solely part of this game’s narrative framework.

“Separate from the mecha collection, we also have a more streamlined customization element called OS Tuning. This is akin to the Human Plus and Overweight upgrades that you would be familiar with. These are more direct and streamlined upgrades that you can unlock as you progress through the campaign. One of these is the removal of the weight restriction on parts, as in the older games.

“OS Tuning is truly an RPG upgrade system that applies to everything you currently have collected in terms of your mecha. So you’ll upgrade your core parts to get things like Assault armor and lifting the weight limit, and something we also call that Weapons Hangar. This is basically an extra stowed weapon that you can switch from your shoulder to your left or right hand. So these are abilities you will unlock through OS Tuning.

“OS Tuning was also included as a means of onboarding and acclimating newer players, so having all these abilities available right from the start would have been a bit overwhelming. So we wanted to introduce these things gradually and allow players to make these choices.”

After finishing, Yamamura talked about what hopes he had for it Armored Core VI and how he thinks both new and longtime fans will respond to the game.

“In previous titles, the assembly has been a big part of it, but it’s been something of a numbers game. This time we still have that aspect and we really hope players will enjoy min-maxing their builds, but we also wanted it to feel like an intuitive action game. You will really feel the difference in the mobility and how these weapons control and behave. How the enemies react to them. That kind of feedback. We really hope this is more intuitive and tactile. So we hope so in the long term Armored core fans will notice this difference with the collection and other parts of the game.

“Our expectations for Armored Core VI must first deliver the core competence of what does Armored core. So this is the assembly aspect first, we want players to engage with this and enjoy tinkering with their mech. Being this professional mercenary who constantly optimizes himself for every mission. Again, we feel this is a great part of the series that will still have universal appeal today. We also wanted to merge it in a way that makes sense with what we’ve brought from the titles we’ve made in recent years. So we haven’t taken direct influence from our last game, but we’ve wanted to apply that know-how to the map design. So how we design and use the three-dimensional space and how the player navigates it, as well as the combat design. So how the player learns from the enemy and observes their movements and attack patterns, then adapts their playstyle and their build to suit it. These are elements we have indirectly taken from the last 10 years and we hope to fuse these to bring in a truly fresh and aggressive frenetic mecha fighting game. Armored Core VI.”

Armored Core VI will be released on August 25 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.

Follow me further Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. I can do it too Mecha Damashii and make toy reviews over at

Read my Forbes blog here.

Leave a Comment