The following ReCore review is based on a post-patch ReCore that fixes a lot of the bugs and load times that other reviews may have encountered.
With a budget price, ReCore could be a litmus test for future Xbox One exclusives. With Keiji Inafune and former Metroid Prime developers working on the project, ReCore came with a small amount of expectation.
Set 200 years in the future, ReCore follows the story of Joule Adams, a young woman who has awoken on Far Eden. Upon coming to terms with being attacked by a number of robot enemies – named Corebots – Joule will have her own band of Corebots to use, starting with the dog-like Mack.
Mack and the other companions you meet along the way can be useful, matching the colour of your attacks on the colour of the enemy allows you to gain strategic advantages during the third-person combat. You might encounter a red Corebot enemy shooting fire, volley back with Joule’s red ammo weapon in conjunction with Mack’s dash and you’ll vanquish the enemy in no time. Boss fights are more prolonged battles, changing your ammo colours and calling on your companion at the right moment proves critical in defeating them.
As you play through the game you collect blueprints in order to upgrade your corebot, making them able to deal more damage (and subsequently take more) while out on your adventures. You can also add Core’s you’ve collected to your companion to up its levels quicker than normal. In contrast to this, Joule’s weapon will automatically upgrade as you play through the game without the need for any Cores or blueprints. An odd choice considering the Corebots upgrade path but not one that affects the game negatively in any major way.
Although the world is not a fully open world in the normal sense, it’s big enough for what ReCore is trying to achieve. The compact world holds all the main story levels, as well as other side-dungeons scattered around for you to enjoy at your own pace. The latter of which bring together Joule’s skills challenging all you’ve picked up through the main game. One dungeon, in particular, sees you try to get to the end by jumping and dashing across rocks within a set amount of time, a prospect that seems daunting at first until you learn the game’s mechanics. Some of the dungeons seem bruising at first, but force you to learn and appreciate the nuances of the control scheme, making you a better player in general without it initially feeling repetitive, although eventually, you will repeat the same types of challenges towards the back-end of the game.
Graphically, the game is pleasing to the eye with soft relaxing music in the background. Although the game can, at times, feel a bit repetitive, the graphics and music make for a rather relaxing journey through Far Eden. The only disappointing point to make here is when the game decides to glitch or show you the other side of a wall, giving you the illusion that you’re inside the wall. Loading times were also an issue pre-patch and although these and the glitches have been fixed in some part, they could still be better. The post-patch ReCore still has longer than normal load times, especially when you consider the overall size of the game which is relatively small compared to massive open worlds that other titles have.
Despite the poor loading times and occasional glitches, ReCore is an enjoyable game. The puzzles can at times be tricky whilst still being able to give you satisfaction, they are not impossible, which is crucial to keep you playing along. ReCore is a throwback to adventure/action titles of the PS2-era, a type of game that is sadly not as frequent today and ReCore does well to fill a decreasing video game niche, even if it does feel a little unpolished in places.
We tested the Xbox One version after purchasing a retail copy and ReCore is available now for Xbox One and PC.
Check out our Best Games list for Xbox One.