Most of the time you'll only find that fans of the original games of the series 'Armored Core' tend to bother with the more recent versions, being; Armored Core 4, Armored Core: For Answer and of course Armored Core V.
The new addition to the series Armored Core V (5), attempts to re-write the wrongs of the previous games of the series and start fresh, scaling down on the size of Armored Core's (AC's) and introducing them into a militant world full of many different factions fighting for supremacy with their own AC's and armed forces.
Upon starting Armored Core 5, you're asked to input Pilot details and choose a faction or team to join. You can choose one of many available or alternatively create your own. After which you're presented with the main screen, which is a world map with an index by the side, giving you various locations and missions to choose from, such as;
All of which give you currency (AU) to spend on customizing your Armored Core. As well as money, the missions give you points that increase your overall team level and increase the teams rank.
We'll start with the story, which lasts for 9 chapters/ missions/ They follow the exploits of a group of rebels trying to over throw a dystopian militant regime controlled by 'Father' and his vast hordes of AC's and armed militia. The chapters are all rendered with 'in game' graphics and hold no CGI cut scenes. The chapters vary in length and for the most part are fairly long, but the campaign falls far short of what it could have been, with similar objectives, linear level design and woeful 'in game' world graphics, the campaign is very much a let down.
Order Missions are basically single missions that base themselves around the campaign, you'll have basic missions like; Destroy all enemies in an area and sometimes timed missions. However these order missions do give you the opportunity to fight other AC's, which vary in difficulty and number the further the proceed through the missions, destroying these AC's wins you, not just a lot of currency, but their personal emblem as well, which you can use on your own AC.
The online element of the game does help increase the games worth, you can play through the missions in the story and Order missions with a friend or online partner, this adds greater depth to the gameplay, but doesn't help do enough to escape the drab world you're fighting in. Other online elements include the AC battles, pitting your AC against an online adversary, it's one of the stronger elements to the game and with a stable online connection can lead to some very intense battles.
The customization, probably the strongest suit for the series of games, is flourishing in this game. They've reduced the amount of customized area's of the AC but increased the amount of options on others, giving the player the option for Lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight. Obviously it all comes down to preference but one thing to bear in mind is the difficulty of the game in the early stages, lightweight, low health AC owners may find it hard to adapt in the campaign and later order missions.
Overall the game is fair, with the strongest area's of the Armored Core series still remaining strong and the weaker parts, getting gradually worse. Armored Core: For Answer is still a better game in my opinion and this new games feels like a step in the wrong direction.