Recore has an old soul, it’s less interested in telling a cohesive than it is in throwing elaborate platform challenges and combat scenarios at you. It’s an old style approach that is executed so soundly I wanted to ignore its typical and structural failings, but ultimately they do take some of the wind out of an experience that could have been great.
Recore had a lot of hype behind its anticipating release and it started off quite strong at first allowing you to explore the planets world of shifting sands that unveils new landscapes for you to explore and caves where you can find hidden loots to you can use to help customize and improve your corebots abilities, but you as play through the story you realize that it just misses many key elements that could’ve made your playing experience a little more satisfying. While the story is rather long and time consuming and it does have tiny adored moments between the main character Joule and her companion corebot K-9 unit Mack, the main plot itself doesn’t exactly deliver on telling a promising story as we all hoped, and being the only living human being on a deserted planet doesn’t quite do the any justice to make it anymore exciting since there isn’t much dialog that gets thrown around.
Surprisingly however, you do encounter another character, Kai Brehn, but screen time between the two was roughly disappointingly as you only get to see Kai for about 10 minutes more or less of the whole game. It tries to make the whole monotony of being the only living human bearable, but does a pore job at trying to care for both characters all together. On an added note Emotions rather dual and didn’t make me have any sympathy all for either character, I found more enjoy in the friendly corebot companions than the actual main protagonist herself if anything despite not being able to understand a single conversation that took place even with subtitles being displayed — that was real helpful.
Combat is also a feature that lacked potential. At first it felt fresh and exciting, but soon after a few short hours it starts to play itself out which once you realize that your only weapon of choice is a rechargeable lazier blaster assault rifle that only as a power charged shot for as an added feature, and an extraction cable that’s only useful for one thing. Your only secondary choice however, or choices are your companion corebots that you get to tag along with as you take on various enemies, and challenging obstacles through out the game; however, the only real useful fighting tactics were the use of your companion bots as you get up four different type of bots for handling different scenarios, but only 2 with you at a time. Each has their own unique power cores: power attacks (red), lethal attacks (blue), defenses (yellow) which ever you choose to upgrade the most and use them to your advantage is up to you. And when you’re near by the workbench in Joule’s crawler, gathering crafting material, and blueprints hardly has any value to you, or your primary weapon, but has more effect on your corebots for the most part.
Enemies on the other hand felt insultingly cheap, and extremely repetitive, and I can’t say so much about the boss fights either, as they appeared difficult but were never even remotely challenging.
While it nails the fundamentals ReCore is dogged by rough edges especially in its latter half. Perhaps its bigger issue – at least on Xbox One — is its shotting performance. While a mid or even a low-range PC can handle ReCore just fine, even at max settings, the Xbox One version rarely yet ever manages to make it all the way to 30 FPS. Especially towards the end, your forward progress is constantly derailed for the need to stop what your doing a head back out into the over-world to complete side missions. This essentially makes all the side activities mandatory and are scattered throughout ReCore’s appreciably large areas. What’s more, obtaining these orbs requires a specific bot, and since you can only have two with you at a time it leads to a lot of back tracking and along with the long load times, these inconvenience break up the pace and pad out for should be 8 to 10 hour game, its more like 15 hours.
It doesn’t take away the joy of actually playing the game, but these issues do drag ReCore down keeping it from being all that it could have been.
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