ReCore tells the story of Joule and her Corebot, Mack. After the earth is ravaged by the Dust Devil plague, the human race attempts to terraform Far Eden. While the Corebots and terraforming machines go to work, Joule and a group of other engineers are placed in stasis. Joule is awoken early and discovers that the terraforming has been interrupted. She realises she needs to explore Far Eden and find out what caused things to go so wrong.
During ReCore’s first mission, you’ll be introduced to the core (no pun intended – Ed) mechanics. Alongside your trusty weapon, Joule comes equipped with a grappling hook which is used to extract enemies’ cores. She carries a jetpack on her back which helps her get to hard to reach areas. Mack has a range of abilities of his own, which when combined with Joule’s make the duo formidable. . With four fairly large areas to explore and many secrets to uncover, you’ll find that ReCore sits firmly in the Metroidvania camp.
Joule learns that Corebots have been corrupted leading to them not completing their terraforming task. The Corebots were created to carry out specific tasks which creates plenty of variety in enemies. The colour of their cores determines the role or programming. Red cores generally work on demolition for example. By dealing enough damage to a bot, Joule will be able to pull out its core and use it to upgrade her mechanical companions. With blueprints scattered all over Far Eden, you’ll have to collect a hell of a lot of cores and materials to unlock ever upgrade.
Through the course of her adventure, Joule comes across special core. These prisms are essentially keys for the player to progress in the game. The more you obtain the more areas and dungeons are unlocked. The dungeons will usually contain multiple prisms for you to collect. Adhering to the Metroidvania formula, you’ll certainly have to backtrack and take multiple runs through these dungeons as you unlock more upgrades for Joule and company.
ReCore is certainly pretty for the most part, but there is a cross-gen feel to the game. Certain character models and landscapes look a bit well… shitty. The contrasting in colour is a standout though. By putting some bright colourful enemies and objects in a fairly baron dull landscape truly makes them stand out. It’s just a shame you spend a large portion of time looking at loading screens. It’s especially infuriating when you’re facing some of the tougher bosses later on.
ReCore is a lot of fun and was a lot larger than I initially considered. The overarching concept is quite cool and tickles the imagination. It’s not explained all that well, but if you get into the lore there’s plenty to dig through. Completionists will find tonnes of collectibles to find which extends of the life of ReCore considerably, if you’re into that sort of thing.
ReCore successfully packs third person shooter, platformer, adventure and puzzler all into one. This opens the door to a much wider audience, but its one major fault is the length of the loading times. Seriously, be prepared to watch some loading screens. Aside from that though, ReCore is a great, budget title with much more than meets the eye.
ReCore was reviewed using a retail code as purchased by PowerUp!
Game title: ReCore
Gameplay - 9/10
Visuals - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10