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Recore needed fine tuning

September 21, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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RecoreIt is 200 years in the future and Earth is a wasteland due to the Dust Devil Plague virus. Unable to halt the pandemic, a new home was sought out. Far Eden became that potential home. Robots (Corebots) were sent to facilitate the process of terraforming the planet as the survivors dreamed their dreams in cyro-sleep.

Somehow, some way, the Corebots became corrupted and evolved into mechanized monstrosities with minds of their own while many of those potential colonists just disappeared. That is the premise of Recore, an action-adventure platformer from Microsoft Studios. It is a very promising start to what turns out to be a paint-by-numbers adventure as far as the missions and goals go.

RecoreRecore’s background story is engaging as is main character Joule Adams. She is a young female colonist whose story mirrors that of Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ending her slumber she awakes in her crashed cryo-sleep maintenance crawler which becomes her new home and base of operations, Joule, along with her robot mutt, Mack, scavenge Far Eden for any scrap tech or supplies she can find in order to survive. Since the terraforming was never completed, Far Eden is one big desert, much like Jakku is in Force Awakens, minus all the stormtroopers and alien trading posts.

As far as she knows, Joule is the only human survivor. Her only companion is Mack. Mack is a faithful, adorable canine bot who can track anything for Joule, dig up items and lend her a helping paw in fending off the mechanical menaces. Those menaces come in all shapes and sizes. There are robotic wolves, spiders, birds and snakes as well as misshapen creatures. The majority are powered by energy cores which Joule can tear out using her grappling hook once that enemy has been beaten down.

RecoreAlong with the versatile grappling hook, Joule also has a laser rifle of sorts that can be modified to launch different attacks like fire and electricity, etc. If those attacks match the color of the enemy she is fighting, the laser rifle will do more damage.

As Joule advances and explores, she finds blueprints to create items which can enhance her robotic companions and her weapons too. While she begins with Mack, Joule soon adds others - Seth and Duncan - to her Corebot family. Seth is spider-like and can carry Joule through areas that are difficult to traverse and Duncan is a gorilla who can smash the crap out of everything and anything.

When you put all of these aspects together, the great story, the great characters and their great abilities, you would expect a great adventure, unfortunately the glue holding everything together in Recore is quite weak.

RecoreEvery game comes down to the gameplay itself and Recore’s is so ordinary, I was forcing myself to stay focused and invested because I liked the story, characters so much but the developers don’t do much with them. They don’t have anything really fun to do. Dig up these parts, clear out this structure, platform your way through this area, find these energy sources to power this battery or engine, and on and on it goes.

The mechanic of yanking out your enemy’s energy core in a combat tug of war to defeat them is very cool but even that starts to wear thin rather quickly.

Recore is a missed opportunity. It has all the right pieces but they are not put together in a completely entertaining way making it into one of those titles you cruise through when you have nothing else in the gaming queue at present when it could have easily been something that captured everyone’s imagination.

Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Comcept and Armature Studio.
ESRB Rating: T for Teen

Official Site:

Rating: 7 / 10

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