Publisher: Armature Studio / Comcept
Genre:3rd Person Action Adventure
Platforms: Xbox One
Game Supplied by: Xbox
It’s not often that a reviewer starts his review talking about the price of the game he’s reviewed, mainly because most reviewers, like me, are lucky enough to get access to the game for free.
However, even though I have been able to play Recore for free, it has certainly not gone beyond my notice that day 1 brand new this game is for sale, either digitally or hard copy for just £29.99.
Because it’s cheaper than normal this can and would put some gamers off thinking it’s not a triple A, £42 game so can’t be that good surely? You’d be wrong. This game in it’s own way is magnificent.
Recore is a 3rd person semi open world, classic adventure game that seamlessly features superb gunplay and very tricky platforming into one big hole tight gaming package. You start the game as a character called Joule, who has a trusty robot / dog sidekick as a companion in this vast and superbly realized distant sandy planet that humans have been trying to make habitable. Your father leaves you clues as to what’s happened and also you aren’t quite sure yourself and the story is to find out.
As the game progresses, you find objects with which to upgrade your companions that can either involve strengthening them in their current form or by finding objects around the world with which to build new parts for them and therefore make them better and stronger.
Your companions aren’t just there for fun either as during gameplay in combat or searching or indeed platforming, they are a great tool to use too. In fact, the whole upgrade system is pretty in depth and borders on proper RPG complexities.
It’s not long before you are off on your first missions and these mainly consist of looking for energy sources, be that in the form of a power core that can be found in most mechanized machines, or power bots to open doors to progress.
To get to these areas though will either involve combat or platforming or both. The combat though is to be honest the star of this game. It’s been a long time since i can remember a new combat gameplay system that worked and was flat out fun to play. Recore’s gunplay is a little old school in that you can simply hold the left trigger to lock onto a target and the right to fire at it. It sounds simple and for basic battles, is.
However throw into the mix some enemies which require different coloured ammo to be fired at them and then there is always moments where multiple enemies, very quickly get hard to manage. Therein lies the beauty of this system. You felt empowered and clever when you get the hang of the combat system. Your sidekick can attack too when you aim at a bot and press Y, but switching targets, corresponding to the different colours they were, and selecting the right ammo on my weapon was a glorious predicament. Then to top off the already sweet goodness of the gunplay is the cherry on top in the combat gameplay, the core removal aspect. During combat an enemy can expose its core which if you are quick enough, Joule can fire a cable at it to yank it from that enemy, thereby destroying it and you obtaining it’s core. When you are in the process of trying to get the core out you then have a quick time event of a sort of tug of war. If your cable glows red, ease off the pulling otherwise pull it to you and the core will come.
Then, when not in combat you can be platforming either to get to your objective or as the main part of your mission to get from A to B. The platforming works beautifully because it has the main aspects to make it work well. When you jump you can see where you’re going to land so no frustrating guess work there, and the controls are tight and responsive. On top of that, although the platforming can be very challenging, the game doesn’t punish you too much if you fail.
The graphics range from outstanding to average. Outstanding because the artwork is superb and the sand effects beautiful. The world is realized fantastically, and there is plenty of debris around on the ground and great vistas to look at. The bad side of the graphics was firstly there were at times some framerate issues especially when the on screen action heated up in boss fights, ( ie the worst time to get this ). The game also features many dungeons to explore which certainly had a Destiny feel about them. The audio was also a great experience with again triple A standard orchestral movement that convinced that they want this game to be taken seriously as a big time new IP.
The only fly in this otherwise great ointment, is, and it’s a pretty big thing, the rest of the game to link all these good parts together with is frankly pretty boring. The story line is tired, and uninspiring. The mission quest objectives were equally as dull. So much so after about 3 hours into the game, finding yet another door to unlock that required me searching for even MORE green power bots, I turned the game off as i was already bored of having to exactly that loads of times over already.
Finally, the voice acting is really good, but they have given the actress so little to work with story wise, and the gameplay design is so repetitive I just got a bit, well, fed up as I lacked motivation to keep playing more.
There are a huge amount of positives in this game. Any fan of the under the radar hit “Enslaved” on last gen will find another similar gem to play here. ( Enslaved’s story is far superior though ) Recore certainly wants to be taken seriously with superb presentation too, but all in all though it just lacks in a decent narrative and something other to do than search for items to progress, otherwise this would have been spectacular.
Those things aside, enjoy the energetic gunplay and platforming in small bites and you will then come to love this quality game.