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Armored Core 3 (review)


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[b]Overview[/b]: As with the other Armored Core titles you take the mantle of a Raven, a high-class mercenary and one of the few allowed to (legally) pilot an Armored Core. In this version your battleground is the underground city named Layered. The major decisions for the city are made by "The Controller," a massive supercomputer with an advanced AI. As the game progresses The Controller's decisions come under increased scrutiny by the Corporations who hire you.

[i]Garage[/i]: Same as the other games. Here you can customize your three AC's, buy parts, paint the AC's and test them.

[i]Mission[/i]: Self-explanatory. Here you accept missions. Some missions cannot be selected and are only opened when you recieve a specific rank in an earlier mission.

[i]System[/i]: Also the same. Save/Load games/emblems, adjust sound and buttons.

[i]Arena[/i]: A great new option. This allows you to work your way up the ranks in a one-on-one battle against other Ravens and their AC's. Prize money is awarded to winners and new parts are given when certain ranks are reached. A great way to test/build your skills and earn extra money.

[i]Arena Extra[/i]: Unlocked at the end of the game. This is a two-on-two battle. There is an easy and a hard way to win, but I will not post them (so PM me if you wish).

[i]Mail[/i]: An interesting new feature that keeps you updated on new parts in the shop and which of your Consorts had made it to being a Raven. Also has random mail that adds to the storyline.

[b]New Features[/b]:
[i]Non-linear missions[/i]: Unlike the previous title (AC2:AA) you will not have to play through each mission. Some missions will have to be won, but others are offered for a limited time. Occasionally you will have to chose one of two missions and the one not chosen will disappear.

[i]Consorts[/i]: Can also be called wingmen. Occasionally you are given the option (or are sometimes forced) to have a Consort with you on a mission. This does lower the amount of money you can recieve, but tends to make the battles easier. At first your Consorts pilot only MT's, but as the game progresses they start to join the Ravens and recieve AC's, which makes them more valuable, but also more expensive.

[i]New Hidden Parts[/i]: What I mean by this is there are parts hidden within the levels which must be sought out and picked up. These parts are not awarded to you.

[i]Extra Orbits[/i]: Some cores do not have the Overboost option, and instead mount Extra Orbits (or EO). EO's are sections of the core that pop up and float in the air (just above the core) to provide an extra gun which auto targets. The type blast created by the EO depends on the size of the core. Lighter cores do less damage, but fire faster, while heavier cores do more damage and have less ammo. Note: Turning an EO off allows it to recharge.

[b]My overall opinion[/b]: Not as good as Armored Core 2: Another Age. My biggest problem is with some of the back-mounted weapons. In AC2:AA heavier back weapons had recoil, but that could be ignored if your AC had the right legs (even bipedal). In AC3 you cannot use those parts while moving without having quad legs or tracked legs. The worst part (IMO) is the ending clip scene. It does not really leave any room for a sequel to this game (although most of the games do not have sequels anyway, just new storylines).
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