Armored Core VI is From Software’s latest test of skill, and players have wasted no time finding unique ways to overcome its challenges. The mech action game has only been out for a few days, but already someone has completed it using only punches and kicks.
In a game filled with dozens of weapons to choose from, ranging from swords to bazookas, YouTuber ZeroLenny (via Eurogamer) decided it might be fun to see if it’s possible to complete Armored Core VI without using any of those things. The whole idea came about when ZeroLenny learned that you can load into a mission in Armored Core VI without weapons. Weapons will also be discarded automatically when they run out of ammo and can even be manually discarded (if for some reason you wanted to do that). This results in your fists being the only weapon you can rely on.
As it turns out, primarily relying on giant metal fists is a surprisingly effective tactic, albeit a tedious one. Punch attacks actually charge at enemies and can be used without stamina, but can overheat like an energy weapon if used too often.
However, ZeroLenny’s no-weapons run almost ended before it even began, as players are forced to use a mech equipped with weapons that can’t be discarded in the game’s opening tutorial mission. ZeroLenny learned that ramming into enemies with the assault boost movement ability actually does damage–the only way to deal damage in the opening mission without using a weapon. That first tutorial mission turned out to be a major hurdle. Without upgraded abilities like the assault boost kick or even the ability to drop weapons and use punches, ZeroLenny was forced to battle Armored Core VI’s first boss, a massive helicopter gunship, by only ramming into it repeatedly using assault boost, something that does minimal damage.
“It was a huge test in patience, a common theme with this run,” ZeroLenny said.
Thankfully, things got easier from there once ZeroLenny could customize their AC and rely on punches. Turns out big mech punches do a large amount of stagger damage, and once certain enemies are in a stagger state, can essentially be stun locked for an extended period of time. Once ZeroLenny unlocked the tetrapod legs, which deal more assault kick damage and have a larger hitbox, the build truly started to shine. That’s not to say there weren’t many more challenges in ZeroLenny’s way–the Smart Cleaner boss in Act 2 gave them a run for their money, as did several late-game bosses–but overall, the run became more an endurance test than anything else. A later boss does require the use of a disabling cannon, but ZeroLenny viewed it more as a gimmick, and only used it because it was absolutely required in order to continue the run.
In the end, ZeroLenny, who is no stranger to using unorthodox builds in From Software games, said the no-weapons run was “on the lower end of the fun scale.” However, they said the act of actually of discovering the build’s niche playstyle tailored around dealing stagger damage and stun locking enemies, was “amazing fun.”
In GameSpot’s Armored Core VI review, we awarded the latest entry in From Software’s mech series a 8/10, calling it a perfect introduction into the long-running franchise for “an audience that cut its teeth on the studio’s most recent work” like Dark Souls and Elden Ring.
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