PlayStation 2
Armored Core: Last Raven

Votes: 8
Reviews: 1

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Reviewer: Sainted Date: Apr 3, 2019
The Armored Core experience on the ps2's generation of titles came to a head in 2005 with Last Raven. Being the last game on the engine designed originally for AC:3, Last Raven (LR) gives us the best the developers had to offer. A non-linear story that gives the player dozens of choices to determine who and where they want to give their support to in a post apocalyptic mecha-dystopian landscape with seemingly limitless part and design choices for your own mech. As a pilot of these specialized mechs you are called a "Raven", a rogue mercenary with loyalties wherever the player chooses, and the title being foreshadowing to not only the player's fate but the fate of the series as this game is a turning point in the series, going from one giant size of mech to a much smaller mech in the next series of games due to lost technology as well as referencing the lost, now-unnamed heros of game's past that appear in this game.

Graphics: 7
The graphics of the game are good-to-great for a mid to late era playstation 2 game. With texture detailing looking properly mechanical and with interesting designs for each of the mech pieces the visual quality is sufficient although not groundbreaking. Attention to detail was put purely into the mechs, a the surrounding scenery is dated in quality.

Sound: 8
The repetitive shooting and blaster noises as well as a very well done booster noise drum on continuously throughout a playthrough. While rarely annoying or noteworthy the sound gives you the proper feeling of being in the world that the story has crafted.
- Note: A special note for voice acting, while it can feel lacking or cheesy it gives the game its charm, and it is fairly thorough in its coverage of spoken lines with matching dialogue for the entire game.

Gameplay: 9
If you like giant mech fighters this game is great and for you. You get to feel fast and technical as you boost and dodge, circling an opponent endlessly as you throw everything in your arsenal at them. It can be incredibly difficult, or cheesed but thats up to the way the player is going to approach a battle. When you do get your bearings the fighting feels immersive and equally intense. Theres a secret first person mode, which takes the immersion and dials it up to 11. The combat of this AC is second only to the extremely fast paced, anime-like battles in AC:ForAnswer.

Overall: 9
A solid 8.5-9.0 overall is a fair score for such a game as while it doesnt hang itself at the top of the mountain of games for playstation 2, it does carve out its niche at the peak of its genre.

If you are on the fence about this game in the series because of its dated graphics or daunting learning curve, I urge that you give the game enough time to warm up as once it does there are several paths you can take to unlock more and more hidden/unlockable content with various player choice story arcs and the game keeps giving.