Our Heidi Kemps got the opportunity to chat with Armored Core 5's producer Toshifumi Nabeshiba the Tokyo Game Show. Get the inside scoop on the new game below.
G4: There haven’t been as many mech games being made in Japan as of late, it seems. Does this bother you at all?
Nabeshiba: I hear that sort of question a lot. We’re spending a lot of development time on AC5. It’s still in the mech genre, of course, but we’re trying to broaden its appeal beyond just being a “mech game.” The multiplayer elements in play here are particularly robust. We think – and hope – that players embrace this more as an action game… except you’re driving a mech. It’s more than a mech game.
G4: We’re honestly rather surprised at how easy the game is to control. The stereotypical image of mech games is that they have impenetrably complex control schemes, but this felt very arcade-like and didn’t take long to grasp.
Nabeshiba: Actually, that was our intention. Newbies can easily go in and learn how to play.
G4: But traditionally, it’s been very difficult to convince people who aren’t already hardcore into mech stuff to play these sorts of games. How do you plan to convince non-genre fans to give this title a shot?
Nabeshiba: Like we said, we’re definitely putting more work into the multiplayer elements this time around – we think that those will be a big draw. Building an effective team of players is one of the central features of the game. Within your team, you can actually share items, parts, even money. So, for example, maybe you’re a novice player, but your teammate’s an expert. They can help you by giving you items and assistance. It’s these sort of features that will lower the entry barrier and hopefully help dispel the idea that this is an overly difficult game.
G4: That sounds something like Monster Hunter – would you say that game was an inspiration?
Nabeshiba: Actually, the basis for these ideas comes from one of From’s previous titles, Chrome Hounds. You’ll see a lot of concepts and systems from that title implemented into AC5.
G4: AC is one of From’s most important and longest-running franchises. How important would you say the series is to the company?
Nabeshiba: AC5 is obviously a major title for us, and in terms of development time and budget, it’s been our biggest project to date. We’d definitely say that AC is our flagship series, and I greatly enjoy having the opportunity to work with it.
G4: There’s been a lot of discussion in the West about the perception that Japanese game development is falling behind. From Software, however, seems like one of the Japanese developers that has really shown their prowess with the current generation of systems. What do you think it is about From that sets you apart from the pack?
Nabeshiba: Well, I’ve only ever worked at From, so I can’t speak for any experience at other companies… *laugh* But our COO actually personally supervises all of our products! That’s in addition to all of his corporate duties. I think that’s just one of the elements that makes development at From so unique. And just FYI, I’m meeting with the president of From about this game tomorrow…
G4: Well, good luck, then!
Nabeshiba: *laughs* Thank you!
Check out the rest of our extensive Tokyo Game Show 2011 coverage for previews, interviews, trailers and more.