Fun, but misses the mark
The platform action adventure genre has existed since the NES days with the highlight of that era being Mario, Zelda, Contra and many more. Ever since then we have seen a bunch of games that have created a special place in gamers’ hearts, that belong to the platforming action adventure genre including the likes of Darksiders II, Ratchet & Clank, Jak and Daxter and many more. Today we have with us ReCore. The game is not only a new IP, but an Xbox One exclusive, aiming to capture a younger audience. Does it deserve a position in our hearts as a great platformer or is this a forgettable experience?
During the early 2020s, a disease called the “Dust Devil Plague” started spreading across earth. The plague made earth unfit for habitation and the prospect of other planets became a priority. An organization called Mandate launched several missions to a new planet (sounds a lot like Interstellar so far doesn’t it?).
200 years have passed since the incident and you don the role of Joule Adams on the planet of Far Eden. The planet is in desolation and very reminiscent of the Jakku where we find Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, minus the living beings of course. During the course of the 200 years’ robots called corebots were supposed to make the planet habitable for people. These robots became corrupt and it is your job to figure out what went wrong.
A good thing about the story is that it doesn’t tell you all this in the beginning. You discover a lot of the backstory from audio logs left by Joule’s dad and it’s an interesting way to deliver the story. The story of the game isn’t ground breaking but it is interesting.
Let’s get the worst out of the way. When I started playing the game it was very buggy and plagued with random crashes. There were times when I had completed an objective and the marker on the map still showed me the same objective as the one to be pursued and this happened twice. It’s quite annoying. The game has however received an update and I haven’t encountered a similar bug since. The game also features really long load times which gets very annoying.
Coming to the core gameplay, it is a third person shooter with platforming and puzzle elements thrown into the mix.
Kicking things off with the gunplay, it starts out quite easy with auto aim enabled and for the first hour or so the game is very easy. But after some time you get different color-coded enemies that need to be hit with the particular colour guns and this mixes up the gameplay quite well. The colour of your ammunition can be changed with the D-pad and the control mechanism takes some getting used too.
Moving on, you have three corebot companions that accompany you throughout the game. Sadly, all three are not with you all the time and each of them has abilities that are required during various missions of the game. This leads to a lot of backtracking which after a point can get quite annoying. You have the ability to upgrade the corebots making them stronger for combat, aesthetic upgrades and more. The upgrade tree is quite deep and addictive for those that get drawn into it.
Moving on, the game has a bunch of puzzles to solve. Some of them will make you scratch your head before you realize that the solution was sitting under your nose all along. Put simply, if you liked the puzzles presented to you in games like Darksiders II, then you will feel right at home with ReCore.
Overall the gameplay of ReCore is fun but has its shortfalls and the shooting can get very repetitive after some time. It has its moments where you will have fun but overall the gameplay fails to make a lasting impression.
Overall, the graphics of the game are above average. There are times when I saw some stutters but they were far and few. This is one of the first Xbox Play Anywhere games and the graphics clearly look richer on the PC. It looks like a low graphical port was made for the Xbox One. Having said that the game doesn’t look bad. In fact, if you aren’t finicky about attention to detail, then the game will look OK to you. Like we said earlier, the look of the environment of the game is very reminiscent of Jakku from Star Wars with some interesting desolated techie indoor locations thrown into the mix. While traversing the environment you do get the feeling of being all alone, just like Rey.
|Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Price: Xbox One & PC: Rs. 3,324 (Xbox Games Marketplace)
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Developers: Armature Studio, Comcept, Asobo Studio
Publishers: Microsoft Studios
The voice acting in the game is good and doesn’t sound cheesy at all. For some reason when Joule Adams’ dad is narrating the backstory in the game, I am consistently reminded of the “Father to Son” Batman: Arkham Knight Announce Trailer. The trailer has the voice of Thomas Wayne narrating his last will and the same tonality is maintained during the narration that takes place in ReCore.
The sounds of Joule’s weapons is slightly childish and I wasn’t particularly fond of them. The background score on the other hand is good and hits the right high notes during tense sequences, while it goes absolutely silent during exploration.
Overall ReCore is an above average experience at best. If you are one that enjoys games like Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter then you will have fun with this experience, especially since the update fixes some of the bugs I encountered. The overall graphics and frame rate of the game on the Xbox One (where we reviewed the game) could have been better. The lifespan of the game feels stretched. With all the backtracking you can complete the game in 10 hours but it looks like the backtracking was there so the game doesn’t end in under 8 hours. After the first play through, there is little reason to revisit this experience once it has ended.
|Interesting story||Really long load times|
|Fun puzzles||Average graphics|
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Sameer "Psycho Mantis" Mitha
I live for gaming and technology is my muse. When I am not busy playing with gadgets or video games I delve into the world of fantasy novels.