Going into a game like ReCore raises questions. “So what's this one about?” “Isn't this the one with the robot dog?” “When is this coming out on PS4 again?” Arriving on the tail end of a summer of ups and downs in gaming and being Microsoft's first exclusive since the release of the Xbox One - this new IP has a lot to prove.
Making your way across the epic landscape - which looks great, but not exceptional - is helped by the use of classic fast travel stations, but sadly they aren't spread very evenly, meaning you can run into three and then not see one for a while.
Since popping back to Joule's crawler (where she's been sleeping for the past 200 years in suspended animation) is a key part of the game, as it allows you to upgrade your corebots, it can be frustrating to find yourself easily able to warp back there, but unable to return once your tinkering is complete.
...a fun action platformer which executes the simple, and sometimes familiar, ideas it has very well, but there's not too much more to it than that.
This leads us to possibly the worst element of ReCore - the loading times. Moving between two areas, even a fairly straightforward door, triggers a 30-60 second loading screen and often stays black for much of that time.
Of course, the experience could be different on PC, something you can do easily thanks to Xbox’s Play Anywhere programme, which allows you to play the game in full on either platform.
The structure of the game feels most similar to something like The Legend of Zelda, though that endearing quality and personality you get from particularly the locations in those games doesn't show itself here, as ReCore offers you either a sandy plain or a grim dungeon.
The fact that the game does describe them as dungeons is to its credit though, there's no overly-forced slew of technical terms to translate here. The dungeons themselves share the game’s love of simplicity, challenging you with only a few rooms and the odd frantic, timing-based platforming element.
ReCore doesn't outstay its welcome though. At around 8-10 hours the main story wraps itself up fairly neatly and there's not too much more to discover by returning to some of the earlier locales.
At its core then (well, you know there'd be one…) ReCore is a fun action platformer which executes the simple, and sometimes familiar, ideas it has very well, but there's not too much more to it than that. Those looking for sweeping cinematics or an incredibly deep plot will be disappointed, but if you've got a free weekend and you want to hit a game hard, ReCore is certainly a good bet.
Have you played the game yet? Are you still too busy with No Man's Sky? Let us know in the comments, and don't forget to watch the video review as well (and subscribe, naturally).