Armored Core 6 will have a standard checkpoint system, no bonfires

In a recent hands-off demo, FromSoftware explained the more standard checkpoint system of Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon.

In a recent hands-off demo, FromSoftware explained the more standard checkpoint system of Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon. Yes, this means the next Armored Core game will not feature the bonfire mechanic in FromSoftware’s previous Souls games.

While FromSoftware has stated several times that the next Armored Core won’t be like their SoulsBorne games (or Sekiro/Elden Ring for that matter), they did mention that Fires of Rubicon will feature gameplay that promises to deliver a similar challenge and satisfaction to the Dark Souls titles.

This only extends to some parts of the game’s combat though as Fires of Rubicon is an AC game through and through. While most games that take heavy inspiration from Dark Souls also feature a bonfire mechanic where upgrade currency is lost and enemies are revived after each death, Fires of Rubicon instead will feature a more typical checkpoint system.

Specifically, when a player dies, they’ll have the option to restart a level, as well as to restart from the last checkpoint. While this means players will have to go through the same enemies depending on where the checkpoint is, this system is far more forgiving as there isn’t much of a penalty when restarting from a checkpoint. And unlike previous Armored Core games, restarting from a checkpoint or a level will not incur a monetary penalty.

On top of this, players can also freely customize their mech before restarting a checkpoint. According to FromSoftware, this is a key mechanic in the game as, while the customization feature lets players choose the loadout for their preferred playstyle, sometimes a loadout is just ineffective for a certain level or boss. Because of this, the checkpoint and customization feature encourages players to try different builds when they’re facing a roadblock.

From how the checkpoint system works, it seems that Armored Core 6 will be more forgiving compared to Souls games. But make no mistake, Fires of Rubicon won’t be a cakewalk as it still promises to give players lots of difficult enemy encounters.

For instance, there are bosses that were shown in the hands-off preview that are particularly tough. While they don’t seem to have one-hit kill potential, they can easily take a chunk out of a player’s health, meaning mastering their moves will be key if players don’t want to repeat boss fights and other enemy encounters too much.

In a way, the standard checkpoint system makes sense given what the game is trying to achieve. According to FromSoftware, their goal for Fires of Rubicon is to make an Armored Core game that’s true to the series’ roots of having a focus on mech customization.

Of course, while the customization system will be key, FromSoftware hasn’t revealed yet how players will be able to acquire different parts. Given this, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a chance that players may get stuck against difficult bosses while having ineffective parts.

Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon will release on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on August 25, 2023.