Recore | The Review
Recore is an action-exploration game with arcade-style shooting and movement, similar to the revitalized Metroid Prime series by Armature Games. The game starts out with the main character Joule, waking up from a slumber on the strange planet of New Eden and finds everything in chaos. Joule is supposed to be one of the many early inhabitants of New Eden, who are responsible for readying the barren planet for the last of Earth’s survivors. Instead, she’s the only human around, surrounded by hostile mechanical monsters called Corebots.
The main focus of the game is to have Joule investigate the events that transpired prior to her awakening. She will explore New Eden and combat enemy Corebots with her own companion Corebot, Mack and other friendly bots that are discovered along the way. The game’s first impressions are fresh and captivating, which allows Recore to easily stand out from the norm of today’s action games. As you progress through the game it begins to become item restricted, locking progress through obstacles that can only be overcome by certain gear, items or abilities. The robot companions are the ones that require upgrades and customization (instead of the main character Joule), but are equally vital to exploration and combat throughout the game.
The combat is dictated (but not restricted) by a color matching system that yields different properties, such as blue for electrical attacks and yellow to slow or hold an item in place. The enemies will be dealt extra damage from attacks that match their corresponding color, so victory will depend on your ability to match colors quickly in battles that throw multiple colored enemies at you at once. Joule’s weapon will never need to be reloaded, but if constantly fired for a long period of time, the gun will overheat and reduce its rate of fire.
Even more, complexity is added to battle due to the “core” mechanic of the game. Each bot has a core at their center, which can be pulled out using Joule’s grappling tool. This results in an annoying mini-game where you have to pull back on the right stick just enough to pull the core out without breaking the connection. During the mini-game you are not immune to damage, time isn’t slowed down and enemies can easily attack and break the connection. Thankfully the game utilizes a combo system that allows Joule to gain an instant core extraction ability when a combo score of 10x or more is reached. The enemy health bars are split into segments and every time an enemy Corebot loses a health segment, they enter a staggered state and take increased damage.
Recore shined during the boss battles, which were remarkably fun & fast paced. The battles involved constant decision-making without getting too stuck on the weapon types (color matching). Combat will get frantic, but the ability to chain charged shots, power attacks from your companion robots and timing instant core snatches from powerful enemies is a remarkably thrilling experience.
In addition to the many combat scenarios, Joule will face a number of third-person platforming challenges. She has an arsenal of double jumps and a dash moves that gives the player full control of Joule while she is airborne. Being able to make changes midair at the last second makes getting around a lot less frustrating when compared to other platformers. This could have ruined the game for me since I’m not a fan of most platformers, but the controls are actually solid and very easy to use.
Even though Recore is fun and has a lot of good qualities about the game…it has its share of shortcomings. The actual story missions are short and there’s only a handful of them. The optional “dungeons” scattered throughout New Eden are comparable to bloatware, unnecessary and questionable in value. The developers must have known that there wasn’t enough solid content and tried to stretch out portions of the game unnecessarily with the dungeons. This, unfortunately, drags out your progress and makes certain parts of the game painfully slow. It is also very annoying that players are limited to carry only two bot companions at a time, which forces constant trips back and forth to waypoints. The same goes for switching cores, the player has to travel back to the main base to complete this action.
The looting system doesn’t make sense at all. At first, it was confusing and then I realized it was just a failure of logic on the developer’s part. At first, snatching enemy cores seemed to be the best way to kill enemies, because you get a ton of colored energy to upgrade your companions. But, this method drops absolutely no crafting components, which are also required to upgrade Corebots; destroying enemies outright without taking the core drops energy and crafting components. After this baffling discovery, I decided to stop snatching the enemy cores, because there wasn’t a drastic difference in the amount of colored energy gained.
There’s not much to say about the waypoint system because it’s nonexistent. The occasional green diamond that shows up during some of the missions is not consistent throughout the game. This makes figuring out where to go for certain tasks an annoying and unnecessary scavenger hunt. The game also lacks the ability to create your own waypoints, which is desperately needed since the game has amnesia from time to time and forgets to give you one.
Recore has the potential to be timeless classic and could fix some of the mentioned problems above and even the narrative gaps with a new patch or update. The game is enough to keep you entertained until one of the many fall blockbusters arrive, so if you have $39.99 to spend on a game, then definitely pick up this title. I personally enjoyed the game and would like to see how Recore evolves as a series in the future (if there is a sequel).
Fast Paced Combat
Epic Boss Battles
Waypoint & Looting System
Sorry - Comments are closed