ReCore sold itself to millions of gamers with one simple statement: “from the makers of Metroid Prime”. That Gamecube classic is still regarded by many as one of the best games of all time. Anyone who had a hand in creating that masterpiece has a bit of a free pass when pitching new games to those fans. It helped that the game looked great by itself, with an engaging main character, and a mysterious looking storyline. Finally, after a year of waiting, I got to go hands-on with ReCore, and so far it’s living up to its Metroid Prime pedigree.
ReCore stars Joule, a settler who finds herself stranded and alone when something goes wrong on her mission to Far Eden. The robots that were meant to help her and her fellow adventurers settle on the planet have run amok, at least most of them have. A select few are still friendly, and are helping her along her way to figuring out what went wrong, and how to possibly fix it.
I keep referring to it as a Metroid Prime successor, and with good reason. A lot of the core concepts from that game are present here, with a lone woman exploring a vast alien landscape. However, ReCore definitely blazes its own path. In fact, it has a similarly impressive resume in that it is being shepherded by Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man.
And really, when you know that, a lot of the pieces of this game come together. It is a third-person action game in many ways, but it is also a platformer, and even features lock-on combat, ala Metroid Prime. It also has the traversal and puzzle mechanics from MP, with color coded devices that require you to have the right robot helping you out.
These types of roadblocks will also create the backtracking that Metroid fans are so used to
You can switch between them as necessary, but you’ll still need to have found them, and possibly upgraded them to take advantage. For example, in the E3 2016 demo there were yellow railways along the walls and ceilings. If you had your spider-looking robot out they can create an anchor point for you to latch onto, then carry you along the path to your destination. It felt very much like the magnetic railways that Samus could ride on in ball form.
These types of roadblocks will also create the backtracking that Metroid fans are so used to, and crave so much. You’ll run up against areas that you can’t access, but later on you’ll gain entry thanks to your robot companions.
Combat feels very Metroid-esque as well, with color-coded enemies that you have to match your laser to. You can still kill a yellow enemy with red lasers, but it will take longer. There is even a charge shot that deals extra damage. Enemies take patience and thought to take out, as they can easily swarm you and become overwhelming. I even died once in the demo, which is rare at E3.
Platforming was still a little rough, but the team has a lot of time to work out any kinks in that system. It wasn’t terrible at all, but pressing the right buttons, and making sure you land on your target was troublesome at times, with both a double jump and a boost mechanic creating some definite challenges.
Even with this small fault, ReCore was an E3 favorite of mine. It’s probably not going to be as grandiose as Metroid Prime or Mega Man, but it is a fantastic amalgamation of those two venerable series. If you’re a fan of either, ReCore should be on your watch list for the coming months.
ReCore hits Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on September 13th.