Armored Core (video game)

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Armored Core
Armored Core (game box art).jpg
Publisher(s)Sony Computer Entertainment
  • JP: FromSoftware
Director(s)Toshifumi Nabeshima
Producer(s)Yasuyoshi Karasawa
Programmer(s)Hiroyuki Arai
Masayuki Saito
SeriesArmored Core
  • JP: July 10, 1997
  • NA: October 31, 1997
  • EU: July 1998
Genre(s)Third-person shooter
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer

Armored Core (アーマード・コア, Āmādo Koa) is a third-person shooter mecha video game developed by FromSoftware and released in 1997. The game is the first in the Armored Core series, it was re-released in 2007 on PlayStation Network.


The vast majority of Earth's population is wiped out by a cataclysmic war known as the "Great Destruction." The harsh conditions that result force the few remaining survivors to live underground for fifty years, during which time corporations come to power. The two largest corporations, Chrome and Murakumo Millennium, constantly battle each other for supremacy, causing significant strife among the populace. However, the competition provides endless opportunities for the Ravens, mercenaries who exist independently of the corporations; the player pilots an armored core (AC), which is a mecha robot.


The game starts with the player engaging in a test to become part of the "Raven's Nest", it simply involves destroying two Muscle Tracers (MTs), before being destroyed oneself. Upon passing this test, the player receives mission requests from corporations and other groups. Missions generally pay higher as difficulty increases, and payments can range from money to prototype AC parts. Depending on which missions are chosen, the missions available to the player on later stages differ;[1] the player can also read mail from various senders, and observe their rankings, which are based on mission success rates.

The player is responsible for purchasing their weapons and AC parts, and must use the money they earn from missions to that end. There is no way to replenish ammunition or armor during missions, so the cost of resupplying ammunition and repairing AC units is automatically deducted from the player's payment at the end of each mission. If a mission is failed, or if the payment is a prototype AC part, the cost of repairs and ammunition is deducted from the total amount of money the player has accumulated.

The parts, particularly weapons, in the game and its two expansions are the most powerful in the series. For example, the original KARASAWA fires faster than most AST Rifles and Pulse Rifles in later games; the FINGER has 3000 ammo, and the Large Missile comes in two styles, one that flies like a regular missile (discontinued after Master of Arena), and the traditional slow (though, roughly twice as fast as later versions, such as those in Last Raven) version. The slow version has ten missiles as opposed to the four of later versions, and is the longest range missile of this generation.

The game has a two-player versus mode using a split screen.[2]


The robot designs were created by renowned mecha designer Shōji Kawamori.[1]


Aggregate score
Review scores
AllGame3.5/5 stars[4]
CVG3/5 stars[5]
Game Informer8.25/10[9]
Game RevolutionB+[10]
Next Generation4/5 stars[13]
OPM (US)3.5/5 stars[14]

The game received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[3] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 28 out of 40.[8]

Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "Armored Core isn't perfect: The graphics, while crisp, do lean a little to the bland side, and turning around can be sluggish. Still, the strength and depth of the gameplay are enough to make Armored Core a winner."[13]


  1. ^ a b "NG Alphas: Armored Core". Next Generation. No. 31. Imagine Media. July 1997. pp. 78–79.
  2. ^ "Armored Core". GamePro. No. 107. IDG. August 1997. p. 60.
  3. ^ a b "Armored Core for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Armored Core - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Randell, Kim (1998). "PlayStation Review: Armoured Core". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Edge staff (December 25, 1997). "Armored Core". Edge. No. 53. Future plc.
  7. ^ EGM staff (1997). "Armored Core". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis.
  8. ^ a b "アーマード・コア [PS]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Storm, Jon; Reiner, Andrew; McNamara, Andy (November 1997). "Armored Core". Game Informer. No. 55. FuncoLand. p. 55. Archived from the original on January 21, 1998. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Chang, Clint (November 4, 1997). "Armored Core Review". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Fielder, Joe (November 7, 1997). "Armored Core Review [date mislabeled as "May 9, 2000"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  12. ^ Douglas, Adam (October 22, 1997). "Armored Core". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 37. Imagine Media. January 1998. p. 146.
  14. ^ "Armored Core". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Ziff Davis. 1997.

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