ReCore feels like a return to form for the platform genre by keeping elements from older platformers whilst also drawing inspiration from games such as Metroid Prime, thanks to this ReCore possesses a range of strong platformer mechanics that build upon previous games in the genre whilst also adding several new elements. The game attempts to add extra length to its slightly short story by offering players access to more action through dungeons and CoreBot upgrades, though I’m not sure this is what the game needed more of. The game also takes elements from recent action games such as the jet back and dash abilities whilst adding a new spin to them though a third person perspective, and though the game won’t earn any rewards for innovation, it will definitely come as a pleasant surprise to fans of the classic platformer genre.
In ReCore the player follows young engineer Joule, following her emergence from cryogenics into a wasteland world named Far Eden in which robotic creatures run free, as she hunts for the truth about her father, and terraforms the alien landscape.
Due to her engineering background, Joule possesses the ability to alter several aspects of her gear, as well as her robotic companions. This ability allows players to not only obtain items hidden within the sandy landscape, but also allows her to expand her influence over the battlefield. In order to achieve this, players are also able to utilize different corbot units, ranging from the agile Mack, to the heavy slow-moving Duncan. Thanks to this large range of corbot units, players are easily able to seize control of the battlefield no matter its landscape, although upgrading each one remains a key factor in gameplay, compelling players to obtain more cores from a number of different enemy types.
In addition to robotic units, Joule herself offers players a range of options in both combat and exploration thanks to her large range of offensive and defensive abilities. Firstly, players are able to both dash and double jump throughout exploration, allowing them to reach higher locations, as well as leaping to other platforms, and dodging enemy projectiles. In addition to this, Joule’s movement abilities also allow her to retrieve key components for certain puzzles in order to progress into the next location, adding an extra layer of depth and exploration to each puzzle.
Alongside puzzles, ReCore also contains several unique dungeons throughout the landscape that allow players to explore, battle enemies, and eventually obtain uncommon loot or locate puzzle pieces that will allow the player to advance in throughout the world. Each dungeon contains several fun though not particularly challenging platforming sections, followed by a series of challenges, and occasionally a boss battle. Unfortunately, each boss rarely utilizes a different move set than other enemies or bosses with each attack depending upon a colour coded attack. This unfortunately takes away from the game’s dungeon experience taking away the lure to some dungeons. However, the game does redeem itself through its interesting aesthetics of a destroyed distant world, accompanied by an array of suitable background music and audio. The game’s audio which often features the sounds of raging sand storms, or the click of Far Eden’s robotic scavengers immersing players in the game’s interesting and mysterious world.
Although the game’s graphics leave something to be desired, I still felt satisfied as I overlooked each barren stretch of each new location in as well as the game’s detail as I traveled through the confined spaces of the game’s first few dungeons. However, where the game is strong in the map’s graphical abilities, it lacks when it comes to character models, such as Joule’s which was often darkened by the slightest shade, and expressed little facial detail during cutscenes. However, this does not affect the game’s enjoyability as cutscenes are sparse, and players focus strongly on gameplay and crafting rather than Joule herself.
Meanwhile, thanks to its gameplay features and exploration ReCore offers up plenty of replayability as players are prompted to locate and enter new dungeons, as well as completing hidden puzzles placed throughout the world as well as inside dungeons. As well as additional exploration, the player’s ability to alter, and upgrade their corbot companions also offers up an incentive for players to return to Far Eden, though only those who really enjoyed the game will take part in these side activities.
In conclusion, ReCore offers a range refreshing new gameplay features mixed with those of classic puzzle platformers. Alongside this, the game’s multiple dungeons, puzzles and sheer enemy variety will entice many players to explore the world of Far Eden alongside their Corbot allies. Thanks to this variety of features, the game appeals to both fans of the genre as well as new players in search of an adventure.
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