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Toshifumi Nabeshima Talks Armored Core 5

Producer details new PS3 and Xbox 360 entry in mech franchise.

Armored Core Last Raven Portable. This final PSP Armored Core port will include some form of connectivity with AC5.

You've probably already heard by now that Armored Core 5 is set for PS3 and Xbox 360 multiplatform release. Now here are all the missing details, as shared by series producer Toshifumi Nabeshima with Famitsu this week.

When first announcing AC5 over the weekend, Nabeshima promised a different form of mech action for the new game. In this week's Famitsu interview, he said that the goal of the game was to change the series' framework, and to do this, the've made changes to the stages, the scale of the AC units, and the flow of the missions.

Stages are now more three dimensional and complex (by "three dimensional," Nabeshima seems to be saying there's more height to the stages). There's also greater detail in the stages, with the hope of making players feel like they're closer to the action. In a city environment, for instance, you'll see signs along the roads.

The added stage complexity is not just for good looks, as it will contribute to strategy as well. You'll have to make use of the stage make up and height differences to strategically attack your opponent. Nabeshima suggested, for instance, hiding in the shadows of a building to wait for a chance to unleash an attack.

The added stage detail is one of the reasons that that the scale of the AC units is changing. Past AC games had mechs of about 10 meters height. For AC5, the mechs will be around 5 meters. If they were to have used the larger mechs, explained Nabeshima, the high view perspective would have kept players from noticing any of the details in the stages.

The presence of smaller AC units will also contribute to the strategy. You'll find enemy units sneaking off into back roads, or avoiding attack by ducking beneath an overpass.

Customization has always been a major part of the Armored Core series. While Nabeshima did not share much on AC5's customization system with Famitsu, he did suggest some possible changes for part 5. Past AC games have featured lots of "stylish" designs. For AC5, they want to have a different taste from these types of mechs. The parts you'll find in AC5 will have realistic designs, which make them feel like real weapons.

The game's mission system is seeing some changes as well. The big change is that missions will have multiple objectives. In past AC games, once you cleared the objective that was given to you at the start of the mission, you cleared the mission. For AC5, your objective will be renewed as you progress through the mission. Nabeshima believes that this will make for more dramatic developments as the mission circumstances constantly change.

With the more complex stages, Famitsu asked if players might loose sight of the mission's objective area. This won't be a problem, explained Nabeshima. The game has a system in place which gives players required information as they work through the mission.

Nabeshima also shared a few details on the game's online play system. Thanks to the changes to the AC size and the wider stages, he said to expect changes to how players engage in combat. Also with regards to online play, he said to expect a variety of things aside from just combat, although he would not get into specifics.

Armored Core 5 will see PS3 and Xbox 360 release some time this year.

(additional reporting by Ryan Winterhalter)

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