I ended up beating FromSoftware's new mech smackdown twice before writing my Armored Core 6 review, and my closest friend throughout this grueling trial by fire wasn't a gun, bazooka, or even a missile launcher. No, for my money the strongest weapon in the entire game is a sword. Because of course it is; this is FromSoftware, after all. Not only that, it's a sword you unlock shockingly early on. As soon as I tried it, I had a feeling I'd never take it off, and I was right. You'll have to pry the Vvc-770LB laser blade from my cold, dead hands.
This left-arm weapon is an early, automatic, and fairly cheap unlock in the shop, and it's so incredibly good that I can only assume FromSoftware prioritized the fun of using it over the balance implications of just handing it out. Seriously, though there are many strong options – the buildcrafting potential in this game is huge – I couldn't find it in me to use anything else on my left arm. This sword is not only immensely satisfying to wield, it's also extremely potent in every possible engagement. With the 770 in hand, even the finest enemy Armored Cores fall like wheat to a scythe.
This feels illegal
The thing that really sets this sword apart is its reach. The normal attack is a standard rushing swipe good for quick slashes, but the charged attack is a double-hit 360 with a hitbox roughly the size of the East coast of the United States. It hits everything and it sheers chunks off health bars, shield energy, and stagger meters alike. You don't even need a close-range FCS chip for targeting. A single charged attack can clear out entire waves of small mechs, and it's so absurdly wide that even a poorly timed hail mary swing at a boss will often connect at least half of its damage. It's stupidly forgiving and I love it. It's best used on the ground, but as long as you control your lock-on camera and the angle of your approach, it can be used to great effect mid-air too.
On top of having obscene range, the 770 also stun-locks like a champ. If you so much as graze an enemy with the first swing of the charged attack, the second hit is virtually guaranteed to land. And yes, this does work in PvP, and yes, this does interrupt enemy attacks. This has the added benefit of making it relatively safe to use. The stun prevents enemies from instantly punishing you at close range and generally gives you enough time to back out after the second swipe connects. You can also easily chain the second hit into an assault boost kick or an Expansion attack like assault armor, or even a shotgun in your right hand.
Did I mention this thing has unlimited ammo? Because it does. There's a short cooldown period after each attack, but you can swing this monster as much as you want. This is surprisingly relevant in a game where running out of ammo is actually a credible danger if you aren't careful. It's hard to overstate the value of having a bottomless option for picking off weaklings.
I've been singing its praises, but you do have to watch out for a few things with the 770, and I'm not just talking about the way it will ruin other left-arm weapons for you. As I said before, you do have to be mindful when using it in the air. It's infinitely easier to aim this thing on the ground when you only have an X and Y axis to worry about. The addition of the Z axis in the air complicates aiming considerably, and it makes it a lot harder to land both hits. If you're going to swing at flying enemies, or at ground enemies while flying yourself, get in close and try to stay on the same plane.
Most importantly, there is a sizable pause after the 770's charged attack, and the Armored Core 6 boss AI is very good at punishing whiffs by instantly feeding you heavy artillery. Ask me how I know. The easiest way to avoid this awkward situation is to keep enough energy in the tank for a quick boost after launching the charged attack (which also uses a little energy, by the way), that way you can get out of Dodge by, well, dodging. Don't just dodge on reflex, though. If you do whiff, plan to dodge. But remember, this thing stuns and staggers, so you can regularly chain charged swings into successive attacks. It's one of the best finishers and combo starters around, and it's my favorite weapon in Armored Core 6 by some distance. Here's hoping you enjoy it as much as I do.