ReCore Reviews

259,452 (193,358)
TA Score for this game: 674
Posted on 17 November 16 at 01:46
This review has 10 positive votes and 8 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
ReCore brings back the feeling of a AAA budget game coming in with a $39.99 price tag instead of the usual $59.99 though is the lower price tag a sign of less then stellar things to come in the game?

The game starts off with the right intent slowing introducing you to each element it brings to the table be it platforming, the combat, or the open world you are often left to explore. Though out of the 3 only one truly makes anything special come from it.

ReCore makes itself stand out by it's means of combat. You lock on to enemies automatically and can fire away at will but soon are shown that each type of enemy is a different color; though they can be attacked by any color for minor damage you can achieve max damage by shooting their same color at them. This quickly becomes a quick thinking puzzle as later in the game you have a magnitude of different enemies and different colors attacking at once.

The niches of the combat doesn't end there though. You have AI controlled robot teammates you have at all times and certain ones deal extra damage to certain enemies as well. You also can build up a damage multiplier making you go about the way you kill enemies taking the weaker ones out first to give that damage boost to take down the bigger ones. During the larger battles being able to maneuver around and charge shots off and build combos starts to feel pretty cool and after a big battle you feel a momentary badass feeling for doing so. Once downed in health as well you can activate what is almost a mini game to launch what is almost a claw into the robots for a instant kill by pulling on a rope till it gets to you without it snapping. By doing so you are given extra loot though while doing this you can still be attacked.

Platforming is shockingly well done as well here. I very rarely had problems with landing or making jumps though there were times where long jumps were required and it was hard to perceive if I would make it only to have my character almost magnetically like grab the ledge at the last moment. During some of the robot controlled longer platforming sections as well I found that sometimes because of a locked camera during that instance I would miss the right timing to latch on to the next platform even after hitting the correct button. Thankfully the platforming otherwise is quite forgiving even when given some crazier sections to complete later in the game.

My biggest downfall is the open world and the structure it is in. First off it's a rather large world and sometimes I felt like it was emptier then it should be. I felt as well that sometimes a general direction and where exactly to look in the world at times as well wasn't as clear as it could be. This goes especially heavy later in the game where the repetitiveness kicks in heavy when your objectives are to just constantly collect orbs to progress forward and open doors. You either have to find them by exploring areas or going into platforming or combat only areas and test your skills for orbs and loot.

Collecting these orbs can almost kill your fun playing. This comes from the world being quite large and open and fast travels not being as good as they should be; partially because of lack of direction. Your quickest way to move around is a quick few second dash that you have to do. You are forced then to go long distances where you will just be swarmed with enemies constantly where you will either have to stop and grind for XP since levels ask for a certain character level or try to run past without dying. It should be said as well that enemies constantly respawn so if you leave and come back you'll have them waiting for you again.

To gain certain orbs or open doors and areas you will need a specific bot as well. It's never known before you get to that door though who you need and since you can have two equipped at one time (for no reason ever given) you are forced to teleport back to your base, equip who you need, then make your long trek on foot back to where you need. This makes the game drag for longer then needed and kills any sense of momentum they had going just making the game last longer then it should.

Overall though ReCore isn't bad by any means. For a good amount of hours you'll have a lot of fun and its clear they nailed some ideas they had perfectly. They just over aimed by making the world almost too large and some ideas as well could of fleshed out differently for a better result. Though if your looking for a fun simple action platformer your time with ReCore won't be a really bad time.

Score : 7/10

Digital Review Code Provided By Assembly Inc And Microsoft Studios
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286,021 (140,051)
TA Score for this game: 2,176
Posted on 09 December 16 at 20:14, Edited on 13 January 17 at 22:44
This review has 6 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Beauty is just skin deep
When I saw the first trailer for ReCore, I was excited. The core-change for different bots mechanic looked interesting, as did the spelunking aspect. And when I learned that the former Metroid team was on it, I was completely sold.

Up until I saw the first gameplay, it just looked so... Simplistic, too easy, aimed at kids maybe? Still I made the plunge, bought it, and. Yeah. I mean it's beautiful: The landscapes, the designs of the world, the robots, the 90's NASA derelict spacestuff, it's a mech-lovers dream. But the gameplay? It's just as shallow as it seemed.

External image
A mech-lovers dream

You find yourself on a solitary world hundreds of years after a cataclysmic event, and you set out to find out if anyone has survived. You have a rifle and a growing array of robots with offensive capabilities as well as special abilities that will help you manipulate or traverse the world. The rifle and robots are of different colours, which you'll need to combine offensively for maximum potential against your enemies.

There's a big open world for you to discover, with story dungeons as well as optional challenge-type dungeons with for example arenas and speedrun tracks.

All the ingredients for a great metroidvania are there: A big semi-open world, the gradual unlocking of traversal options, hidden collectable upgrades. It just misses the mark in several important ways.

The robots-as-traversal idea works decently, except for a few strange design decisions: The biggest of which is that you can only carry two robots at a time, which means that you'll have to pick which traversal options you want to carry. When you see a place that needs a different combination, you might need to make a mental note of it and return later with the correct combination. Many times though there are alternative ways to reach that spot, and without using any robots at all. Which defeats the point of having the robots in the first place.

This area should be unaccessible without the robot that can use the steam vent. It's not though.

You also can't use a robot if it becomes aggro'd by an enemy. Extremely annoying when enemies spawn in the middle of a traversal and suddenly your traversal option is gone. The camera also needs to be focused on the object to use the robot, which would be fine except the game likes to automatically change your camera angle, removing your option mid-jump.

In general, the gameplay suffers a lot from these kinds of interruptions that harm the flow of the game. And it's never fun, the interruptions are just annoying.

Other than that the platforming works rather well, along with the beautiful world it's one of the strongest points of the game.

When I say that it likes to take control of the camera, I mean it (this particular bug just happened in this one location though)

The combat is extremely simplistic, and not in a good way. There's an automatic lock-on feature so it's basically just lock on and fire, while matching your ammo colour to the enemy colour. The colour matching feature, while it feels novel at first, wears off rather quickly. Some enemies have unblockable/stunning attacks, and when they spam those for an instakill is pretty much the only time you'll die. The combat ends up getting real uninteresting real fast.

The endgame is also a big letdown, when you reach the last dungeon, turns out all those optional dungeons weren't so optional at all. To "unlock" the final boss you'll need to collect a certain amount of items across the optional dungeons to unlock the final dungeon levels. Essentially; Get money - progress levels. Which isn't really that motivating as a gameplay aspect, the dungeons should just have been part of the main story to begin with.

When you've unlocked the final levels, they're a series of tired cookie-cutter platforming before finally getting to defeat a final boss which might glitch out and become unbeatable. It's like they ran out of budget and just threw together the last levels as an afterthought. Which is kindof the feeling of the whole game, which is a shame. There is a good game in here, it has all the ingredients, it's just lacking in execution and a few design decisions.

The achievements are predictable: Level up, story achievements, and collect all the things. The collectable ones will pain you though, there's no tracker nor map for how to find the hundreds of collectables strewn across each area.

There's also issues with parts of the world not loading, and also reports of collectables not loading as they should, making the achievements even more of a pain.

Beautiful open world
Decent platforming
Interesting concept with the different robots

Simplistic combat
Poor game flow with unnecessary interruptions
Terrible endgame
Horrendous collectable achievements
World-not-loading glitches

Play it for the story up until the endgame, then watch the ending on youtube. Completionists should consider staying away though. Play instead: Mad Max , Sunset Overdrive , Sleeping Dogs , Batman: Arkham Knight
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1,177,027 (553,295)
TA Score for this game: 4,960
Posted on 01 April 19 at 15:51
This review has 12 positive votes and 14 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
ReCore is one of those games that comes along on occasion and manages to put me in a very comfortable and familiar place. That place just so happens to be one of absolute anger and hatred, introduced by ReCore being one of the most mechanically disastrous games I have ever played. A game so wretched and vile that it became an Xbox One exclusive simply due to the fact that no one else wanted anything to do with it. Gloves on and masks up people, it's time to begin this autopsy.

The premise of ReCore is simple enough, you play as a woman named Joule who is one of the few humans inhabiting planet Eden in order to terraform and prepare it for mass colonization in the future. You have a few robot companions who aid you in this task, which revolve around collecting prisms to open doors and activate terraforming equipment. Each of the robot pals you encounter have a unique ability that allows you to traverse throughout the environment in a way that's impossible without them, while also assisting you in combat. See, ReCore is trying to cut off Metroid Prime's skin and wear its face as a ghoulish mask in order to trick passers by into thinking it's a good game, but it falls short at even the most introductory levels. For one, the previously mentioned robot buddies you acquire. You can only take 2 of the 4 with you at any available time, which throws all sense of organic progression right out the window. You can only swap out party members at fast travel points, so if you're doing some exploration and realize you brought the wrong party members you have to backtrack to the station, change your crew, and then make your way back to where you were. In a competent Metroidvania the attachments are added to the character you control, meaning you always have the ability to explore freely.

A key part of movement involves platforming, which is a fickle mistress at the best of times. Will Joule grab onto the ledge and pull herself up, or slam into the side of the platform and plummet to her death? Take your own guesses every time you have to navigate up a tower! You can use a boost with B to reach areas further away and also allegedly have the ability to double boost if you use your first boost before jumping, but sometimes it just doesn't work at all, leaving you in open air with a powerful sense of frustration. Otherwise it just becomes a simple set of jumps and boost, until you get to dungeons where the rules change entirely, but I get ahead of myself. Getting around the overworld is simple enough with the platforming, although you never get the sense of finding anything of value. Every area contains metal, sand, and enemies. Nothing more, sometimes less. Exploration itself is hindered by bad level design and placement of invisible walls (marked as radiation that kills you) and your main goal will be to unlock as many fast travel points as possible in order to cut down on time spent traversing the wasteland (despite the addition of 3 minute load screens).

You do all this overworld exploration in order to collect Prismatic Cores, which serve as the maguffin used to pad out the gameplay time to extraordinary lengths. How padded? You need 15 cores to enter the 2nd to last area of the game (takes about 4-5 hours to get here) and you need 75 cores to reach the last area of the game (looking at 30-40 hours here). You can only access dungeons (boss areas where the plot happens) after collecting a certain number of cores from other dungeons and hidden places in the overworld. These dungeons is where the majority of the combat takes place, and simply saying that it is about as fun as watching a vasectomy performed on your father in real time is an understatement. The combat is a color matching sequence where you have to use your Red/Blue/Yellow rifle attacks on Red/Blue/Yellow enemies. That's literally it. They may really throw you for a loop at one point when they pit you against Green or Purple enemies but honestly all you have to do is switch between your colors until you figure out which one does the most damage. There are no characteristics between the colors that distinguish them like there was in Metroid Prime, eliminating all need for strategy. They all fire at the same speed, drain ammo at the same speed, and do the same amount of damage so long as the color matches, making combat no more complex than a game of Simon. The developers likely realized this, and made the enemies stun-locking tanks in order to ultimately seal the deal on this game being a miserable experience. If you're fighting against 2 or more enemies, guaranteed one will flank and send you flying. If you're fighting powerful enemies at all you are guaranteed to be trapped by a fire, electric, or ground attack and be unable to move as you get beaten to death. This will happen CONSTANTLY, particularly in combat arenas, and crank things up to maximum frustration. You respawn right away if you die, but the enemies will be back to full health as well. This means if you spent 5 minutes chipping away at a health bar longer than your TV screen only to be instantly stunlocked to death it's back to the start of the fight for you. It's within the combat arenas that I witnessed the most disgusting transgression this game offered yet, and what prompted me to write this out. I got into a dungeon where I was the recommended level and had enough cores. I fight through 20 minutes worth of enemies and platforming stunts, then come to the boss of the dungeon. After 5 minutes I realize the boss didn't seem to be damaged. I look closer and instead of HP being taken off, every attack I landed on the boss just said "Resist". I use my charged beams, used my sidekicks, used everything in my arsenal to no avail. Apparently some enemies just become invincible, and it doesn't look like there's anything you can do about it. Oh well, try again later!

The final section of my reviews is usually dedicated to the glitches I encounter, and this game did not disappoint in that department. My personal favorite is the aforementioned invincible enemies, since it requires you to quit out of the game and try again in the hopes you can hurt the enemy this time. There was also a point where I respawned and couldn't fire my weapon, had to hard reboot the entire game for that one. Shifting Sands is an area full of graphical issues, with shadows and gunfire jumping all over the screen and creating horrible visual effects. Falling off a platform but not dying, just flailing infinitely until I restarted the game. I'm sure many more await me throughout my boring journey of collecting more shiny spheres.

So that's ReCore, in all its frustrating, bland, and glitchy glory. Oddly enough, initial reviews and response for this game didn't mention a few of the issues I encountered, meaning that it's likely some of these issues were created with the definitive edition title update. Regardless, Microsoft absolutely need to get it together with their exclusives, because if all you have to offer are this, Super Lucky's Tale, Sea of Thieves and Quantum Break....Might put in my PS5 pre-order now.

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