It’s E3 2016 and last year’s surprise Xbox One exclusive from Keiji Inafune and Retro Studios is finally ready for the spotlight. Carrying the torch this fall with other major Xbox One titles such as Gears of War 4, there’s a lot of pressure on ReCore to preform well. After getting a taste of ReCore’s gameplay on the E3 show floor, we’re optimistic that action-adventure and platformer fans will have something to look forward to on Sept. 13.
Our demo opened up with Joule, ReCore’s protagonist whom has woken up from cryosleep on a foreign planet that was supposed to be terraformed by now but isn’t, exploring a facility filled with dangerous bots. ReCore is a fast-paced shooter that requires quick on the fly management of various frames and ammunition. Before we dig in though, it’s important to explain the difference between cores and frames.
Frames are what have been more obviously on display in ReCore’s trailers. The ones that look like a dog, spider, and gorilla. Their behavior though is determined by a colored core that some might have noticed already as well. For example, the red core (known as Duncan) found in the gorilla-like frame in the trailer. In the final version of the game, players will be able to mix, match, and customize the three cores within various frames. So in other words, the blue core (known as Mack) doesn’t have to always go in the dog frame.
In addition to your own frames taking on traits of the various cores, enemies do as well. In order to combat them effectively, your gun has various ammo modes that you can switch to on the fly to be more efficient against the three cores. Red ammo works best against red cored enemies, yellow for yellow, etc. All three different types of enemies could be attacking you at once, forcing you to quickly switch back and forth. There’s also a neutral option that is weaker, but could be useful if things get too stressful. Joule doesn’t need to reload her weapon, but it does overheat and grows incredibly inaccurate if used constantly for too long.
Each core also has its own special abilities in-battle that, in this demo anyway, essentially functioned as powerful grenade-like attacks, that recharge over time. It’s something that will probably be more interesting to play around with once players have access to all of the core and frame combinations.
ReCore will also feature non-combat platforming sections of gameplay as well which were playable during our E3 hands-on session. Joule can double jump and dash across gaps to land difficult jumps. There’s no grab mechanic, so you’ll likely need to be capable of nailing some pretty accurate jumps at some points during the game. The demo for example also mixed the yellow core’s (AKA Seth) escapist artist abilities into the platforming. I had to attach to a wall, and then time a leap off from it to land on a platform. It’s not like it’s something we’ve never seen before, but so far it feels crisp and well done.
ReCore’s basic gameplay mechanics such as its shooting and platforming sections are nothing groundbreaking, but they do play well so far and there’s no sense in ReCore reinventing the wheel if it doesn’t need to. Instead, what is way more intriguing is how the various cores and frames will be mixed into ReCore’s gameplay both in, and outside of combat. We only got a small sample of that so far, but if it delivers on that end and has an interesting story for players to get sucked into, ReCore could be something special.