The recent resurgence of platform gaming has seen some great hits like Ratchet & Clank dominant gaming and with Xbox announcing an original concept with ReCore, expectations were high for this mechanical wasteland platformer to deliver a huge hit. Personally my expectations for the game were neither high nor low as not much footage from the game was released before it came out. Having recently acquired a shiny new white Xbox One S I was definitely ready to go on my first big gaming adventure on my new console, unfortunately I was slightly let down due to extremely long loading times, sub-par graphics and a platforming that is not really platforming at all. So how does this add up to a game I would still recommend to everyone? Let’s explore that.
ReCore is centred around human Joule Adams, a colonist who is awoken to help to terra-form New Eden after Earth is considered inhabitable. She utilises some friendly corebots, mechanical dog like robots who help Joule fight against enemies and can also be utilised to search and dig up items buried in the sand that assist with quests. The bots can be upgraded and customised once you start finding blueprints for new parts and there is some satisfaction in this but when you get past the one or two colour choices it doesn’t get any more involved than that.
When you start navigating the planet and move into the different areas and into a “level” the game kicks into standard fare with a mixture of solve a puzzle, hack and slash some mechanical robots and then search and rescue power bots to take you to the next area of the level till you reach the boss. The first couple of levels this felt fresh and exciting as the different surroundings offered up a great variety of scenes, but after the fourth and fifth it just became repetitive and the desire to keep going dwindles quickly with no great story element to keep your interest.
Graphics wise I found this game disappointed me greatly, I have a shiny new Xbox One S, yet I had to wait two minutes (no word of an exaggeration) for the screen to load…2 minutes each time…It was ridiculous for any game of this low level of graphics and gameplay to warrant a loading screen of this time frame. While Joule and the bots are well animated, it is not next gen graphic gaming, it could easily have been made on the 360. Fans of this design and look will love this game but in the days of Rachet & Clank on the PS4, it really could have had a few more months to work on the design.
This is my point of contention with this game, I wanted to love it and for the first 4 hours I did, the combat combined with the action of ripping different coloured cores out of mechanical enemies was fun. Joule’s rocket boots and dashing ability made for a great combo fight but after a while becomes repetitive. A great option would have been to team up with the mechanical dog for fight assists (maybe something for the sequel?)
ReCore starts out as a great game, the idea is there but due to the lack of attention given to the graphics and repetitive gameplay I found this would have worked better as a 2-4 hour experience rather than the length they were reaching for. The lead character Joule was engaging and while I never really bought her as an explorer I did enjoy her relationship with the corebots.
ReCore is only $49.95 and for this price I would honestly part with it for this small injection of fun. If you are looking for a great gaming epic, this may not be for you. Hopefully the developer can address some of the these issues in the inevitable sequels, till then ReCore remains a solid entry in the Xbox games lineup if you are looking for a short game injection before the summer of big games begins.
ReCore released September 13, 2016 on Xbox One and Windows PC. This review was completed on Xbox One with a copy supplied by the publisher.