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ReCore: Xbox One Review

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ReCore came out today without very much fuss. I was subtly reminded of the pending release by the little tile on my Xbox One dashboard that it was due for release in a couple of hours on the evening before release.

I was excited for ReCore when it was first announced with the video you can see below. It looked like an interesting game that could be something I would enjoy. So without question, considering my interest and the relatively low price of only $49.95AUD, I hit the purchase button on the Xbox One.
The first question I needed to find the answer to (for myself and admin Neeko) is why is it so cheap? Is it a small game or are the devs anticipating a poor reception for the brand new IP? Not long into the game's first hour I was able to answer this question. ReCore isn't what most people would consider a triple A first party game in its appearance. The resolution, while I can't find it published anywhere for certain, doesn't appear to be at the standard of 1080p. The visuals are plagued by jaggy edges around characters and objects, but to those that are more interested in the experience than the appearance, this won't bother you much.
The main character in a third person adventure game such as ReCore is the main focus of the gamer and is where the most attention will be. For this reason any flaws will be noticeable. The animations of your main character aren't up to triple A standards like blockbuster hits Tomb Raider and Uncharted, but for what they are, in a less than full retail priced game, they are very acceptable.

You play through the game as Joule, a female protagonist who awakes from a kind of hibernation to find that all hell has broken loose on the planet New Eden. The story isn't going to blow you away, but you appear to be the only human on a planet inhabited by increasingly hostile robots, or CoreBots as they're know as in the game.

Along with your companion, Mack, you will journey through platforming obstacles and intense combat scenarios in an effort to find out what has happened to New Eden. This brings me to one of the most satisfying parts of the game. The action is what makes the game shine and enjoyable. The combat in the game features a lock on style strafe and shoot affair that requires you to jump, dodge, and attack in order to avoid falling in battle. The controls are solid and very easy to grasp even for those that lack the keen eye of a twelve year old reflexologist. The combat is centralised around a colour system where each different colour applies different elemental damage. For example red implies fire damage, blue is electrical, yellow is time (slows down or stops things in place) and white is a regular attack with no added side effect. Different enemies will glow in certain colours and if you match your attack colour with the enemy, you will deal more damage.
The colour system, which sounds clunky, works well and is even quite the challenge when you're faced with several enemies of different colours, or even when the one enemy decides to change their colour. At the core of the combat is, well a core. Each CoreBot, like your companion, has a power core in the centre of its body. Much like catch a Pokémon, if you want to remove the core from the enemy, you will have to wear it down first so its power levels are low enough to allow you to use your extractor to pull it from their body. If you're able to do this, you will destroy the bot instantly. The mechanic behind the core pulling is also familiar and reminds me of an old fishing game. If you pull too hard on the tether, it will glow red and break. You need to ease up on the pull until the line cools before pulling it more to completely remove the core. It takes some getting used to but as a big part of the game it won't take too long to master.

ReCore has taken a lot of elements from RPG games where you can level up just about everything you have access to. To upgrade things like yourself, your gun and companion, you will need to collect resources out in the world. These resources are easily farmed from killing enemies and destroying debris left out in the world. Your inventory is generous and once you're full you just need to return to your home base and everything will automatically move over to a permanent storage area, making resource management something you don't need to worry about too much.
As I stated earlier, ReCore won't blow you away with a massive and engaging story line, but it won't be a waste of time either. ReCore shines most with its amazing control system and precise platforming design. You're going to be spending most of your time in ReCore running through dungeons, which are set pieces of game play with the objective of finding yourself a shiny mysterious core, which will be used throughout the game to unlock the next part of the game. On top of the main objective in dungeons, you are also given optional side objectives which will reward you with much needed upgrades to your companion CoreBot.

Sadly the game doesn't run very well on the Xbox One. Even at what looks like a sub 1080p resolution it rarely runs at a stable 30fps. I haven't played ReCore on PC but from videos I have seen it appears to run very nicely over there. The Xbox One version isn't very optimised but it didn't break the experience for me. The biggest annoyances was the dips in framerate and the short lockups that were experienced. If these kinds of quirks kill a game for you then you might want to go over to PC if you have one at your disposal.

Overall I am very pleased with ReCore. While it won't likely keep players around for more than 15-20 hours, it's well worth the price of admission. It's a low priced game for a really fun game to play. I have really enjoyed my time with ReCore and I really hope this game is granted a sequel with a bigger budget as I believe that it really deserves it.

SCORE: 8.5 out of 10

Positives:
  • Fast paced combat
  • Precise controls
  • Open world visuals are beautiful
Negatives:
  • Short generic story
  • Poor framerate on Xbox One
  • Large open world that is under utilised
Platforms:  Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Genre:  Action, Adventure RPG
Initial Release: 13th September 2016
Developer:  Armature Studio, Comcept
Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Lucas Aurelius
Aussie Gamers Express
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