Games by FromSoftware are frequently praised for having good narratives. Some gamers may be encouraged to continue playing even when the gameplay becomes excruciatingly difficult by lore curiosities hidden in the environment and item descriptions. Some of FromSoftware’s longer games and series, particularly its Souls-likes, have become immensely memorable as a result. Knowing what has happened in the past can be useful if the developer iterates on a franchise, which happens seldom.
Dark Souls wasn’t the first FromSoftware franchise to attempt this; Armored Core deserves that distinction.
Armored Core develops upon itself, in contrast to the majority of FromSoftware’s fantasy attempts, which can be fairly regarded as one-offs. There is a specific sequence of events that shapes the franchise’s various timelines, even if individual titles don’t have strong narrative connections to one another. Thankfully, these linkages are usually made clear at the beginning, and the upcoming Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon has once again broken out into its timeline.
Players won’t need to be familiar with anything before the release of the new game, but understanding how the previous Armored Cores are categorized will help fans conceptualize the many eras of the franchise.
Sequence of Armored Core Games
Every game in the Armored Core timeline, as well as many other FromSoftware works, is preceded by a major catastrophe that wreaks havoc on the entire globe. The first timeline leaves many questions unanswered, with the Earth going through a “Great Destruction” that left its surface uninhabitable. The narrative starts with vast corporations assuming control and using Raven pilots in Armored Cores to establish supremacy.
All a new fan has to know about the series’ history is that the second game, Armored Core: Project Phantasma, is the only one whose real-world release order and fictional chronological order do not coincide.
The action in Project Phantasma, which takes place two years before the original Armored Core, centres on the conflict between the player character Raven and their partner Sumika against the mysterious Doomsday Organization and its star pilot Stinger. After that is finished, Armored Core 1 takes place, with a focus on the corporate conflicts between Chrome and Murakumo. Regardless of the player’s alignment, both of these companies lose.
According to Master of Arena, a strong mecha bearing the same moniker Nine-Ball were used by a master AI to build both the companies and the Raven’s Nest. Leos Klein, the main adversary of AC2, is allegedly the player character from Master of Arena, however, this has not been confirmed.
The timeline of Armored Core 2 advanced 67 years after Master of Arena, paralleling the transition from PS1 to PS2. The only generation of the franchise to take place on a planet other than Earth until Armored Core 6 also dramatically alters the scenario. In particular, the Zio Matrix business buys the blueprints for a long-ago Mars terraforming project.
On Mars, another conflict breaks out when two additional firms learn about it. The elite mercenary group The Frighteners rebels against the present administration near the game’s conclusion, leaving the player to protect the colonists on Mars. The final game in the original continuity, Armored Core 2: Another Age, picks up five years after AC2. It’s better to think of AC2 because its tale is primarily a pretext to create more missions.
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What is nice about games by FromSoftware?
Games by FromSoftware are frequently praised for having good narratives.