ReCore Review

Richard Walker

ReCore is a Metroidvania-style action game in which you play as scavenger Joule on a far-off desert planet, who along with her loyal canine Corebot, Mack, finds herself awoken from a 200-year cryosleep. Discovering that the planet of Far Eden is in a bit of a mess, its terraforming venture to make way for the last vestiges of humanity from a destroyed Earth gone completely awry, she sets about exploring the sandy expanses and caves to get to the bottom of what events have transpired to leave the planet in such a state.

Far Eden's terraforming robots have gone rogue, rendering almost every nook and cranny a hostile space where they're waiting to ambush Joule. Thankfully, she's well prepared, packing a rifle and an exoskeleton rig that enables her to easily traverse her environment by double jumping and dashing around. During your journey, you'll collect resources and blueprints used to upgrade your Corebots, and collect coloured Cores that can subsequently be used to boost their attributes like attack, defence and energy.

One girl and her robot dog.

Venturing into a series of seemingly long-forgotten dungeons, you'll go on the search for 'Prismatic Cores'; essentially keys used to unlock doors to progress further. That's where the Metroidvania bit comes in, as some doors can only be opened using certain coloured ammunition from Joule's rifle, some demand the use of Cellbot batteries and others need a certain number of Prismatic Cores. You'll also find that you're unable to progress without certain friendly Corebots at your side, like spider bot Seth who's able to help you traverse special rails, and Duncan, a hulking ape robot able to smash through obstructions. You're still allowed to enter dungeons with the requisite number of Cores, though, but you won't make it very far. Thankfully, you're able to return to Joule's sand crawler at any time from any location if you get stuck.

An open-world (of sorts), Far Eden is connected by some fairly interminable loading screens and a bunch of fast travel points operated by cute little robot, Violet. As you progress, you'll find yourself exploring Adventure Dungeons during the story, before perhaps veering off the beaten path to earn some extra Prismatic Cores in Arena Dungeons or Traversal Dungeons, each with their own secondary objectives that unlock even more cores and loot. Some of these dungeons are incredibly tough, with the traversal challenges in particular proving somewhat demanding.

And ReCore is also bristling with stuff to collect, whether it's blueprints for you to research and create new parts for your Corebots or the resources with which to craft them. As you battle Far Eden's malfunctioning, hostile Corebots using Joule's rifle equipped with different coloured ammo, you'll also use her tether to tear cores from their carcasses that can then be used to boost Mack, Seth, Duncan et al's stats by carrying out Core Fusion at Joule's workbench.

By the time you've invested a few hours, you'll be switching between white, red, blue and yellow ammo to deal maximum damage to enemies of the same colour affinity, while jumping and dashing out of danger using Joule's exo suit boosters. ReCore's combat is actually pretty good fun, despite doing much of the hard work for you with its lock-on system. Still, you'll be grateful for it during the game's more chaotic encounters, like when a massive boss harbouring a precious Prismatic Core rocks up with a few of his buddies in tow.

You might have two companions with you that you're able to tag in with a tap of LB, but when an enemy can launch a lethal attack at any given moment, you need to be on your toes. To level the playing field, your own Corebots are also capable of launching their own lethals at your command, while you also have the advantage of being able to extract cores once a foe has been weakened enough, as designated by the white markers on their health bars. Sometimes, you'll also get the chance to perform an instant extraction, yanking a core out of an enemy in one fell swoop for a big XP reward. No fuss, no muss.

Mack can also sniff out items buried in the sand. Good boy!

Despite being a lower priced title, ReCore is also quite a big game, with a fairly vast desert expanse to scour for goodies and an array of dungeons to plunder for treasures and such. While it's pretty for the most part too, ReCore's world can get a bit samey, which only serves to make instances of texture pop-in and other small graphical glitches a bit more noticeable than they otherwise would be. But it doesn't really matter all that much. The core gameplay is sound enough to keep you occupied for a substantial amount of time, and completists will no doubt want to ace every dungeon, collect every Prismastic Core, audio log, blueprint, health upgrade and so on.

Which is just as well, because you'll get a whole lot of achievements for doing just that. In fact, ReCore showers you with Gamerscore during its opening first few hours, rewarding you for an array of firsts, like your first Core extraction, first colour match kill, first meeting with Seth and the other friendly Corebots, first blueprint build at the workbench... The list goes on. As such, ReCore's achievement list is a fun one to complete, boasting a pretty good spread and some decent objectives to fulfil. That said, collecting every hardware pick-up might take some time to complete.

A decent shooter/platformer/adventure with a neat story, ReCore is not without its frustrations. Some moments can outstay their welcome, certain sections can be a mite too challenging and there's an overall lack of visual polish. Nevertheless, for the money, ReCore is a genuinely enjoyable action game that has hours of entertainment to offer. Definitely worth a punt.


A smart action game with bags of personality and a few unique twists of its own, ReCore is most definitely worth investing in. It's big, sometimes difficult, fairly engrossing, and fun while it lasts.

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The soundtrack is alright and the voice acting is solid. The bleeps and bloops, electronic barking and other synthesised sounds emitted by Joule's Corebot buddies are also charming.


Not the best looking game of its kind, ReCore can be visually inconsistent. Some of its interiors are impressive, but you'll soon grow weary of the endless stretches of desert sand. You'll probably notice the occasional bit of texture pop-in too.


Good, clean, wholesome fun with some robust shooting and platform mechanics, alongside a neat twist in Joule's Corebot compadres. Some platforming bits are taxing and certain combat encounters can prove overwhelming, but this is mostly good stuff.


ReCore is a big game with some smart game mechanics. However, its presentation isn't great and the loading times give even something like The Witcher 3 a run for its money. Dig in for a lot of collectibles and repeat playthroughs of dungeons to get the most out of it.


A decent list with a good range of tasks to complete. You're rewarded for carrying out the basics and then given more Gamerscore for collectibles and completion. Some are a but grindy, but there's good spread overall. A fine list.

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