|Silent Line: Armored Core|
|Universe||Armored Core 3 Universe|
|Publisher(s)||JP: From Software|
NA, EU: Agetec
|Release date||PlayStation 2
Silent Line: Armored Core is the seventh game in the Armored Core series and the fourth Armored Core game for the PlayStation 2. It was released in Japan on January 23, 2003, while the North American and European versions were released on July 15, 2003 and July 01, 2005, respectively. A direct sequel to Armored Core 3, Silent Line continues the story of the previous game, focusing on humanity's migration to the planet's surface and the mystery regarding an impassable region.
Some time after the liberation of the underground city Layered, mankind has begun reclaiming the surface. The corporations explore the world and expand their reach, constructing factories and fortresses on the new lands. All seems well until the discovery of one area where all who dare to pass are destroyed by an unknown force: the Silent Line. The player takes the role of a newly-registered Raven who must unravel the secrets of this enigmatic region.
The game was followed in 2004 by Armored Core: Nexus.
A PlayStation Portable version was released later on in Japan on November 19, 2009 and in North America on February 04, 2010. Titled Armored Core: Silent Line Portable, the port is the second entry in the Portable line of Armored Core games featuring a control scheme, menus, and graphics optimized for the handheld console. It adds new parts and two new Arena opponents. The port is compatible with the PlayStation Vita.
— Opening crawl
Reconnaissance teams are sent out all over the world to search the land and determine what has changed, and to seek areas to for the returning humanity to go. Everything so far seems to be explorable, or at least reachable; everything, that is, except for one area that continually eludes scouting. All attempts to investigate this region are met with complete loss of contact from the exploratory units, mostly at its border. Anything that attempts to cross the line goes silent; thus this demarcation becomes known as the "Silent Line." Given that mankind returned to a subterranean state after a global nuclear war, there is no known threat in this silent area. However, everything that crosses into it never returns.
Following the destruction of the super AI The Controller and the liberation of Layered at the hands of a certain Raven, mankind has slowly begun the process of returning to the surface and repopulating the face of the globe. All is well with mankind, or so the Corporations would lead the masses to believe; however, despite disbelief of their assurances in the general populace, things truly are looking up for humanity.
During the course of the game, it is revealed that technology given to the Corporations has a suspicious quality — it resembles that of The Controller. A satellite cannon is discovered in space by reconnaissance technology from Mirage; the cannon itself appears to be autonomous. When Mirage attempts to infiltrate the satellite, they accidentally set off an override mechanism; a mysterious code is sent to all of the technology given to the Corporations by the Artificial Intelligence Office, and a massive amount of their collective technology either goes haywire, detonates on them, or attacks the Corporations' forces autonomously, causing catastrophic loss in resources for all of them. The extreme blow to the Corporations causes them to launch a mass collaborative effort never before seen.
The Corporations as a whole send a group of Ravens to the satellite to disable the cannon, which is now firing erratically all over the surface, though its attacks, while random, seem to be avoiding the area behind the Silent Line. Once the massive weapon is disabled, the Corporations seek the source of the override code; the emanation point is behind the Silent Line.
A lone Raven is sent out to probe the area, and breaks through the Line. A large AI fortress is discovered, and infiltrated by this Raven. The code transmitter is destroyed, but it becomes apparent the fortress was merely a relay station, and the Corporations backtrack to find the code's source; while doing so, they find the signal's emanation point: it from the AI of another Layered, the path to which lied in the fortress.The Raven is then sent for a final investigation. In the process, it is revealed that the AIO and all of its constituents are AI. The Raven — now given the serial code "XA-26483" by the AI — discovers several unknown machines that were seen around the surface previously by the Corporations' exploratory units and promptly destroys them before continuing on. Deep within the bowels of this new Layered, XA-26483 faces off with IBIS, the AI in charge of protecting the Silent Line and supervising the second Layered. XA-26483 eliminates IBIS, freeing the surface from the dangers of the Silent Line, and liberating the citizens of the second Layered, thus allowing them to return to the surface.
In the game's ending, a transport plane is shown flying freely over the surface.
Characters and settingEdit
- Emma Sears - A Global Cortex liaison manager responsible for the player’s mission assignments and communications support.
- IBIS - An A.I. construct similar to The Controller found within the second Layered. Its name "IBIS" parallels The Controller's name in the Japanese version, "DOVE", another bird.
- Sera Cross - An enigmatic woman working for the AIO, who occasionally relays supportive information to the player; however her motives appear to be rather questionable, as do those of the organization she works for, leaving one to wonder if she is really as helpful as she appears.
- Crest - Second only to Mirage, Crest is another corporate giant which exercises great influence over the masses. While both companies are well aware of the benefits that would accompany control of the planet's surface, Crest views Mirage's plans as far too shortsighted to succeed. Crest's own strategy, while not as immediately apparent as Mirage's, is more long-term in nature. Crest intends to first fill the void left behind when the Controller was destroyed, thereby gaining control of Layered and its citizens, and then use this momentum to secure its position on the planet's surface.
- Kisaragi- Kisaragi is a mouse among lions and even though they've made some surface territory gains, these pale in comparison to those secured by Crest and Mirage. Direct confrontation with either of its rivals would result in Kisaragi's demise, and the company takes great pains to avoid any involvement in disputes between the two. By adopting a watch-and-wait attitude, Kisaragi has done all it realistically can to ensure its continued existence.
- Mirage- Mirage, the largest of the three corporations, intends to strengthen its position as the world's dominant power through the immediate acquisition and redevelopment of surface territory. Mirage believes that the future lies above-ground and all of the corporation's current efforts are focused on ensuring that this vision becomes a reality. Every day that Mirage's influence in Layered wanes, their grip on the surface world grows.
- Artificial Intelligence Office (AIO) - An organization dedicated to the redevelopment of A.I. technology after The Controller’s destruction and mankind’s return to the surface world. They have been supplying A.I. technology to all three major corporations, and have been rather helpful to them in their various endeavors. Although, all of the Corporations have found it rather curious that no one has ever made face-to-face contact with an AIO representative.
- Global Cortex - A unique organization, Global Cortex is the intermediary between corporate clients and mercenaries for hire. These mercenaries, more commonly referred to as Ravens, are pilots who operate the massive mechanized units known as Armored Cores. Though Global Cortex works closely with all the corporations, it maintains a strict level of neutrality and does not side with any of them.
- Layered - A massive underground city that once housed what was previously believed to be all of mankind. It was run by artificial intelligence The Controller until circumstances forced the group Union and the Raven "0824-FK3203" to destroy it in order to liberate mankind and open the way to the surface. At present, humanity has been slowly moving away from Layered as the corporations continue their conquest of the planet, though some people still remain in Layered.
- Silent Line - A mysterious region where all who wish to explore are instantly destroyed by an unknown force. The quest to uncover its secrets is what drives the plot of the game.
Silent Line introduced several new features. AC weaponry can now be destroyed. As an AC takes damage in battle, so does its weaponry, and if certain weapons take too much damage they will be unusable for the rest of the encounter, to be restored afterward. Also new are "Clone" weapons, copies of existing weaponry with altered colors and statistics like lessened weight or increased ammo. The MWG-XCY/50, for example, has a lighter Weight stat and a lower Energy Drain value compared to the original MWG-XCW/90; however, the new weapon in turn has a lower Number of Ammo count and a higher Usage Drain. Clone weapons and weapon breakage were removed in the following game, Armored Core: Nexus.
The cockpit viewpoint option from the previous game is now a selectable option in the Garage menu and includes a much more detailed view of the inner workings of AC operation. The viewpoint is now situated in the Core rather than at Head level.
The game also has an AI AC feature allowing players to construct a separate AC unit operated by an AI. One of the earlier games, Armored Core: Master of Arena, had a similar set-up; but in Master of Arena players could directly customize the AI behavior, whereas in Silent Line the AI emulates a player's fighting style and preferences by accumulating battle data from previously defeated Ravens in the Arena. To this end, it will mimic the user's movements and tactics. Once enough battle data has been cultivated, it will advance up a rank similar to the Arena. With each rank, the AI will become much smarter and will be able to better emulate the player's actions. Defeating higher rank opponents will level up the AI faster. The concept of player-created AI ACs would later be used in Armored Core: Formula Front and Armored Core: Verdict Day.
In a return to series tradition, players can import their Armored Core 3 save data to bring over their ACs, emblems, and parts to Silent Line as a result of Silent Line being a continuation of the previous game.
- Main article: List of Early Third Generation Parts
The game has 429 AC parts in total. Parts are obtained by purchasing them at the shop, finding them in missions, or by performing specific tasks for people. All 231 AC parts from the previous game return, and like in Armored Core 3, parts in Silent Line are crafted by either Mirage, Crest, or Kisaragi. The 298 new parts are divided into two categories: brand-new parts like the CHD-MISTEYE and the MLB-HALBERD; and the new Clone weapons such as the MWG-RF/220H and the aforementioned MWG-XCY/50.
Armored Core: Silent Line Portable adds 10 new parts. Just like with Armored Core 3 Portable, these additions are returning parts from previous games like the KARASAWA-MK2 from Armored Core 2, as well new parts from the novel Armored Core: Brave New World such as the MHD-HH/ARSH, the exclusive Head part of the AC Victoria (spelled in-game as "Wiktoria").
- Main articles: Silent Line: Armored Core/Enemies, Silent Line: Armored Core/Arena, Silent Line: Armored Core/Extra Arena
One new enemy type is the I-C003-IN, a powerful machine capable of matching and even surpassing an AC in raw performance. Encountered in multiple missions situated in the Silent Line and its neighboring areas, they serve as bosses with hard-hitting weaponry, high AP, and speed equivalent to even lightweight ACs; and they sometimes attack in pairs. In the story itself, they function similarly to the Controller Agents — mysterious antagonists often coming into conflict with the player. They are not affiliated with any of the corporations nor Global Cortex, and their objectives remain a mystery throughout the game.
In the original PlayStation 2 version of the game, there are 41 Ravens registered in the Arena for the player to fight. The Portable version adds two characters from Armored Core: Brave New World to the Arena: Double Heart — the protagonist of Brave New World — and Selfish, a veteran Raven known for his brutality. As was the case with 13 in Armored Core 3 Portable, Double Heart and Selfish take their place at the bottom of the Arena and appear in the rankings once the final mission is completed.
Of note are Irregulars, Ravens who are not affiliated with Global Cortex and therefore do not appear in the Arena for the player to fight. The concept of Irregulars was first introduced in one of the earliest games, Armored Core: Project Phantasma, which featured the Irregular Stinger who worked independent of the Ravens' Nest, Global Cortex's counterpart in the original PlayStation trilogy. In Silent Line, the Irregulars may belong to a group or none at all; some of them work for a specific cause, while others are merely independent, and one works exclusively with one of the three corporations.
- Main article: Silent Line: Armored Core/Missions
There are 34 missions in Silent Armored: Core. Whereas the previous game's missions took place exclusively in Layered, Silent Line missions are spread throughout the territories of the three corporations on the planet's surface as well as the remnants of Layered and the mysterious Silent Line, among others. Crest, Global Cortex, Kisaragi, and Mirage are the player's clients. Union, one of the clients in the previous game, has been disbanded long before the story begins as a result of their victory against The Controller.
- Main article: Armored Core 3 Silent Line Soundtrack
The game's soundtrack was composed by Kota Hoshino and features 20 tracks on one CD. It was released on March 26, 2003. "Silent Line I", named just like the game after the mysterious Silent Line, is the main theme and is remixed into several tracks used throughout the game in the same way that the previous game used "Artificial Sky I". Though not included in the CD, some tracks from Armored Core 3 are reused in-game, such as "Artificial Sky II" which serves as the main menu theme for both Armored Core 3 and Silent Line.
Armored Core: Nexus contains a remix of "Silent Line I" called "Silent Line remix". In addition, Armored Core: Verdict Day includes a remix of "Artificial Line" as part of its ACVD Alternate Music Set DLC. The remix, titled "Artificial Line (ACVD DLC Edition)", plays in "Mission 05 'Secret Game'" of Verdict Day when the DLC is activated.
The soundtrack is also packed into the sixth disc of the Armored Core Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Box collection.
PlayStation 2 versionEdit
Armored Core: Silent Line PortableEdit
The PlayStation 2 version of Silent Line: Armored Core holds a rating of 69 on Metacritic, indicating "mixed or average reviews". In his review for IGN, Tyrone Rodriguez enjoyed the game but wrote, "You have been warned, though, this is nothing new or ground breaking, it's just more of the same, refined and refined yet again", bemoaning a lack of innovation in the series. The sentiment was echoed by Mark Smith of Game Chronicles who found the game fun but expressed disappointment at how identical it was to Armored Core 3. Giancarlo Varanini in his GameSpot review praised the customization options but criticized the controls and graphics, deeming them "clumsy" and "dated", respectively.
- The North American back cover incorrectly uses a screenshot from Armored Core 3, specifically "Attack Mirage Forces", indicated by the presence of Laine Myers' name on the picture.
- Armored Core Last Raven has the AI Ranker Toothpick in the VR Arena that uses a copy of the Silent Line cover art AC. The difference between the two is that Toothpick lacks the MEST-MX/CROW extensions as it was one of the parts removed from Nexus-onward.
- ↑ "Silent Line: Armored Core for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- ↑ Rodriguez, Tyrone (August 01, 2003). "Silent Line: Armored Core". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- ↑ Smith, Mark (October 28, 2003). http://www.gamechronicles.com/reviews/ps2/silentline/armoredcore.htm. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- ↑ Varanini, Giancarlo (August 18, 2003). "Silent Line: Armored Core Review". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- Silent Line: Armored Core Credits
- List of Mail in Silent Line: Armored Core
- Armored Core 3 - Silent Line Design Guide (fan-written)
- Official From Software website
- Official From Software website for the Portable version
- PlayStation Store page for the Portable version
- MobyGames entry
- Wikipedia page