Haven’t posted a game review on here in a long time, and I really wanted to start doing that more often, so let’s start again. Let’s talk about Recore. This game just released on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and was featured at E3, meaning people were pretty excited for it. I’ve put many, many hours into this game, and here’s my review. Hopefully it will help you decide whether or not to pick the game up.
My initial advice is… don’t. Don’t purchase this game for 40 bucks. (EDIT: Woops. I originally said 60, I was wrong) Wait for the price to drop if you’re genuinely interested. The fact is, Recore is just another game that fell victim to the mentality of “This was fun for the hour or two I played it, why wouldn’t it be fun for the rest of the game?” Well, here’s an explanation of why this doesn’t work, especially in Recore.
Let’s start with the gameplay. It’s a large map, filled… and mean FILLED… with platforming. Dashing, double jumping, and mantling across a big desert planet. Enemies will pop out of the ground and attack you, which you can either kill for spare parts, or rip out their core to add it to your own drones. There are dungeons, with different hidden loot and challenges, and some bigger story-based missions. If you want to know how this game played, imagine a combination of Borderlands and Lego game, except remove the good aspects from both of those. By that I mean, remove the very rewarding loot and easy fast travel mechanics from Borderlands, and remove the quick character switching ability from Lego. The game has one weapon, with two modes of fire. It has two types of jumping ability. It has three total upgrades for your gun, all of which are the same, but a different color. Basically, you as the main character, are boring. Your gun levels up when you kill enemies, and your gun level IS your level. You shoot at one of about 6 different enemies, that only get more health with level ups, no new abilities, and you do it over and over and over again. This rewards you with parts and orbs that you can use on your bots to make them kill these same enemies faster. Until of course they get to a higher level and then drop better loot so you can make better bots.
Then there’s the dungeons. Some are fun, and slightly newer ways to play, but most are the worst thing to happen to video games in a long time… time trials. No one likes time trials. No one likes restarting a 5 minute process, because a single enemy took too long to kill three minutes into a giant fight. Most of the dungeons are built this way. Complete the objective, get a key, and trigger 8 color-coded switches in a certain amount of time, and you’ll be rewarded with robot armor that is probably worse than what you’re already using.
The best part of the game is the bots you have with you. You start with an awesome dog robot named Mack. Then you slowly add to your arsenal with friendly versions of almost all your enemies. Each one has their own abilities, like running on tracks, destroying barriers, or gliding off geysers. While this is fun at first, what you soon realize is that 90% of the time, these abilities are solely used to grab any of the hundreds of collectibles hidden in the game. This game quickly turns into a grinding hunt for everything on the map.
Now let’s talk about the worst part of the game, the neverending loading times. On Xbox, the loading times can go on for around 2 minutes, and they happen constantly. There are very few fast travel stations spread around the giant map. Usually the closet station to something you need is in a dungeon, but think twice about fast travelling there. You’ll have to wait for the load time, then load into the dungeon, open the door, and exit… triggering another load time. And about those bots that were really fun at first, well you can only hold two at a time. And also, you can only have three powered at a time. Meaning if you are out and encounter a rock that needs to be smashed, but don’t have the right bot, you need to then get to your nearest fast travel station, and switch to that robot in order to go back and smash the rock. What if the core from your rock-smashing bot is in another bot? Then you’re screwed. You need to return to your home base, switch the core to your rock-smasher, fast travel back to the closest spot, then go back to the rock. You do all this, suffer through all the load times, only to smash the rock, get a collectible, and then encounter a track that only your spider-bot can climb… which you just deactivated to get your rock-smasher. Prepare to do all of that over again in order to collect everything.
In short, Recore is repetitive, slow, tedious, and not very polished. If you’re someone who needs to perfect their games, definitely stay away from this one. If you’re someone who is looking for a way to kill a couple hours, then this game might be for you when it drops in price. In the meantime, my recommendation… skip over this one. I give Recore a 4 out of 10.
See you guys for more reviews in the future.