The best action game of 2023 is 50% off right now — here's why I love it, and why you will too

Gamers were blessed with tons of amazing new games last year, ranging from juggernauts like Baldur's Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to wonderful fan-favorite indies like Jusant, Cocoon, and Lethal Company. One of my personal favorites, though, was Armored Core 6, which launched in August and is Elden Ring developer FromSoftware's first new entry in its mecha action series since 2012's Armored Core V.

The studio has been known for its Soulslike ARPGs ever since Dark Souls got big, but FromSoftware has been making Armored Core games since the 90s — and Armored Core 6 proved to be so popular that it took home the award for Best Action Game at The Game Awards. If you didn't play it when it came out, you can get it on PC now for just $30.69 at CDKeys thanks to an awesome deal; there are some sweet discounts for Xbox users, too, including one for US players and one for UK folks.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon | $63.99 $30.69 at CDKeys (Steam)

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon | $63.99 $30.69 at CDKeys (Steam)

FromSoftware's newest action game is a must-play for lovers of mecha and intense fast-paced combat. It's normally $60, but right now, you can get it for just under 50% off on PC thanks to CDKeys, which also has some sweet discounts available for Xbox players in both the US and UK.

Also see: Xbox (US, $35.79) | Xbox (UK, $39.69)

✅Perfect for: Lovers of mecha, action games, buildcrafting, and FromSoftware's trademark "tough but fair" design

❌Avoid if: You're not into mechs, or if you want something on the easier side

🔍Our review: FromSoftware's mecha mayhem masterpiece

Don't sleep on Armored Core — you'll love it

Armored Core 6 probably went under the radar for many since the franchise has always been niche and most people look to FromSoftware for their Soulslike games, but I can assure you that this is a game you absolutely shouldn't sleep on. I went into it last year having never played an Armored Core game before, but ended up absolutely loving it — and I think you will, too.

While the structure of Armored Core 6 is completely different than what you'd expect from a Souls game — a linear campaign with story missions and checkpoints, as opposed to a more open-ended experience — it has the same "tough but fair" design that FromSoftware has perfected over the years, complete with grand challenges and boss fights that are immensely satisfying to master and overcome. What truly sets Armored Core 6 apart, though, is that compared to something like Elden Ring that encourages you to stick with a single build for your entire playthrough, it wants you to get very experimental with all of its different unlockable mech parts.

Every level in Armored Core 6 pits you against unique threats, and while skillfully timed evasive boosts, strafing, and careful management of your energy (your stamina, essentially) is a universal part of the game's frenetic, fast-paced combat, the frame, components, and weapons you choose for your mech have a huge impact on your ability to deal with them effectively. More than any Dark Souls title, adapting to the enemy you're facing with creative buildcrafting is crucial to your success in Armored Core 6; the game even lets you swap out parts before you respawn when you die, and death itself isn't punishing since there are no "souls" to lose.

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Story-wise, the game takes place on a war-torn planet called Rubicon 3 where multiple factions are vying for control of a uniquely powerful and destructive energy resource known as Coral. You play as "621," a mercenary Armored Core pilot working for the mysterious Handler Walter; throughout the ~20 hour campaign, you'll work with (and for) various groups, meet a variety of interesting characters, and learn more about the Coral that Walter and everyone else is after. No spoilers here, but know that I found the narrative to be quite moving.

You've got top-notch audio and visual effects to look forward to, too, along with the stellar art direction we've come to expect from FromSoftware — though, this time around, you'll be looking at the ashen aftermath of years of mechanized military conflicts and Coral burnings instead of a dark fantasy world. There's also ranked and unranked PvP if you're into that (including 1v1 and 3v3 modes), and even a new co-op mod that just came out for the PC version you can use to play through the game with a friend.

You can read my Armored Core 6 review for my full and complete thoughts on the game, but the TL;DR is this: it's awesome, and you should play it. And thanks to these deals, it's never been more affordable to do so.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.