ReCore was released worldwide September 2016 & came with a whole host of problems. A decent story, fun platforming & good controls couldn’t make for a bland & uninteresting world, horrific loading times, a terrible fast-travel mechanic & extremely repetitive combat.
I played the game a few months after release & while I enjoyed it, once completed I had no interest in going back. That was until this re-released Definitive Edition that adds new locations, a new chapter in the story (called Eye of Obsidian), new enemies & a load of additional dungeons. As well as the inclusion of new content changes that were made to the main game.
Sandstorms now change the landscape of a specific region uncovering new items & enemies. There is also a fifth Corebot frame, called T8-NK or Tank & new fast travel nodes. As well as a bit more polish, fixes & enhancements the biggest improvement is being able to swap out Corebot cores, make stash transfers & configure your companions via any fast travel node. Something that you could originally only do by going back to the base Sandcrawler.
So, with all these fixes & added content does it make ReCore a worthwhile play? Mostly.
The story of ReCore is based around Jules, a volunteer for the colony of Far Eden. She wakes from cryo-sleep to find out that she is the only colonist there. Alongside her corebot companions Jules will have to explore the harsh environment of Far Eden to find out just what happened to the rest.
Played from the third-person perspective & mixing open-world exploration with dungeon platforming. ReCore is a game that gets so much right in regards to fun gameplay. A lot of that comes from the challenges associated with dungeons & the corebots that you have as companions.
There are a large number of dungeons to explore, some as part of the story & others just to get pick-ups & collectables. Some are combat based & some are traversal with the latter requiring some seriously good platforming skill to complete. As well as just getting to the end of a dungeon there are also added challenges that give great rewards should you not only complete them but complete them all at once.
However, you won’t be getting far in the game without your companions.
As well as aiding you in combat they will assist you with puzzle solving thanks to their unique skills. The three cores; Mack, Seth & Duncan can be swapped between frames giving them different attacks & abilities. You’ll quickly establish your favourites in regard to combat but different dungeons require different corebot frames so you’ll have to get familiar with them all eventually.
The bond between Jules & the corebots is one of the stronger points of the game. Far Eden is so hostile with enemy corebots & while Jules does have her own weapon she really couldn’t survive without them. You, as the player won’t survive without them. Learning how to best use them & Jules’ weapons to defeat enemies & bosses is key to reaching the ominous tower at the centre of the map.
The game makes things easier to understand thanks to the colour-coding of Jules ammunition, the corebots & enemies. Dealing with a red group? Have a red corebot in battle & switch Jules’ weapon to that colour also. To make things easier, Jules’ weapon & health can be levelled up as can the corebots themselves.
Far Eden is packed with pick-ups & hidden treasures that allow you to customise your corebots giving them increased abilities & a different visual look. You can do a lot to make your corebot frames feel like your own.
However, as good as all of that is it, it can’t forgive a lot of the issues. The loading times are still unbearably long so much so that you will dread having to move between locations. Visually the game lacks finesse with rough textures & a lack of variety in the landscape & how dungeons look. Most of the quests are nothing more than fetching items & most of the boss battles are disappointing.
Combat never really advances. How you defeat enemies at the start will be the exact same way you defeat enemies at the end. You never feel like you’re progressing beyond the obvious increase in damage.
The first few hours in ReCore are exciting but you’ll quickly realise that it hasn’t not got much depth. Where it does excel though is with great platforming elements & great controls. You always feel like Jules & the corebots are under your command & any mistakes are just your own slow reflexes.
This definitive edition does make ReCore a better game & the added chapter/locations flesh Far Eden out much more. It helps fill in some of the blanks in the story. However, you can’t shake the feeling that this should actually be called…ReCore: Actual Edition.
ReCore - Definitive Edition