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Armored Core 6’s story trailer has barely any story, plenty of cool-looking mechs, explosions and Souls-like mystery

I have no idea what’s going on here, but it looks great!

A robot looms in front of a massive explosion in Armored Core 6's story trailer
Image credit: FromSoftware

Calling Armored Core 6: Fires Of Rubicon’s latest snippet of video a ‘story trailer’ is maybe a bit generous on FromSoftware’s part. There are dashes of story setup here in enigmatic dialogue between a mysterious Handler Walter and their even more mysterious anonymous boss. But let’s be real: you’re here for mechs rendered in gloriously gritty CG. On that front at least, Fires of Rubicon’s latest look doesn’t disappoint.

The story trailer skips any gameplay to go all-in on showing off Armored Core’s stompy, shooty, jet-packing mechs in full stompy-shooty-jet-packing mode, showcasing From’s familiar talents in crafting deeply atmospheric, action-packed sequences that often make hardly a lick of sense by themselves.

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The trailer cuts to moodily panning over a pilot hooked up to medical equipment in a bed - presumably the player character - who’s referred to only as “it” and then “621”, implying a connection to the other numbered pilots (617, 619, 620) shown being blasted and burned as they assault a heavily defended fortress-like installation equipped with a gigantic laser-like turret.

That installation is defended by a big ol’ mobile tank that reminded me of Metal Gear Solid 3’s Shagohod, if it had got into heavy metal instead of Kojima’s love of ‘80s synth-pop. In one of the trailer’s coolest scenes (a hard-fought contest here), a mech skates towards the monstrous vehicle before ramming a red-hot minigun into it and firing away point-blank.

A huge mech with spider legs looms in the distance, as an AC glides towards it in Armored Core 6.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

There’s plenty more visual flash, from lasers and explosions to humming shields, missiles raining down from the sky and burnt-out mech skeletons dripping with rainwater. There’s a few quick looks at some Cronenbergian body horror as what looks like a bunch of wires are pulled from what seems to be an ear of some kind, and 621’s body is shown punctured by a bunch of sticks.

It also sounds as good as it looks, with choral music reminiscent of Dark Souls’ orchestral soundtrack - albeit punctuated by screeching metal, booms and bullets.

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"621… I’ll give you a reason to exist. Let’s get to work,” the trailer ends, ominously, over a soundtrack of pulsing synths.

I’ll be damned if I have a clue what’s going on between the small drips of dialogue and hints at a dystopian world of people-as-numbers forced to do battle in big robot suits. So far, so Armored Core. What I do know is it’s looking cool as hell.

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