Armored Core V ushers in the first of a handful of upcoming robot/mech fighting games in 2012 – later in the year we’ll see Steel Battalion and Mech Warrior Tactics.  ACV is the longest and most popular franchise from developer FromSoftware (published by Namco Bandai) who also made Demon’s Souls a couple of years ago.

Armored Core V offers a campaign mode but the game is really meant for multiplayer online battles.  You can play with up to 10 friends total online, customize your AC’s and keep tabs of other gamers on the leader-boards.  Namco Bandai’s most recent 2012 releases SoulCalibur V and Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations both are pretty to look at and every frame is picture perfect.  This is not so much the case with Armored Core V – in fact the graphics are the complete opposite – very gritty, dark tones and wasteland-like.  We’re not sure if having ‘pretty images’ would fit well in a game where giant robots are blasting away at each other but I couldn’t help but think I was playing a game made for the PlayStation 2 system and not so much a next-gen Xbox 360 effort.

The action and battles in Armored Core V are fast enough to keep gamers interested but much of the scenarios in the single player campaign feel repetitive and will not inspire over time.  I played the game as I would another mech fighting type of game – like that of Mech Warrior (classic stuff) or more recently Trenched.  ACV didn’t provide the same sense of strategy that I was hoping it would for this type of game – most of the action was very random, run and gun, strafe and blast away.  Most complaints I had were with the HUD which provided very little information while other screens in the game provided so much information I felt completely lost.

I’ve provided some gameplay with commentary of the single player campaign mode – most comments on this video thus far have said that Armored Core V is unlike those other ‘mech game’s so I guess I’m not the proper demo-graph for this title but if you feel like someone who is – then it may be worth taking on the challenge.

Armored Core V is out now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.