ReCore is here, and it's rather awesome, but it's not always entirely straightforward.
ReCore tells the tale of Joule and her companion Corebots: Mack, Duncan, and Seth. Joule and her team arrived on the distant world of Far Eden, prepped to terraform the dead planet to make it fit for human life. Joule emerges from cryo-sleep to find her team missing, and her autonomous robot worker army missing. It's up to you to find out what went wrong while exploring a large overworld crammed with dungeons, secrets, third-person shooting action and old-school 3D platforming.
Here are a few spoiler-free tips you need to know after you complete the game's tutorial area.
1. Combat, combos, and colors
Colors and combos define ReCore's combat, and mastering how it all works will not only make you a formidable robot-wrecking force, but it also makes combat way more fun.
Hitting one of ReCore's highest level optional dungeons now, as I write some tips and tricks for play. pic.twitter.com/i50Peoc0jE— Jez Corden (@JezCorden) 13 September 2016
ReCore has an auto-lock targeting feature, and in most shooters, it would probably be annoying, but for ReCore it's absolutely critical. It's best to think of ReCore as a ranged version of a modern 3D beat 'em up, rather than a true third-person shooter.
- Enemy health bars are split into segments, indicated by a black marker. Every time you break one of these markers, you get a combo modifier that increases your damage.
- When an enemy Corebot loses a health segment, they enter a staggered state and take increased damage.
- Time your charge shots and Corebot lethal attacks so that they hit simultaneously when an enemy Corebot is staggered.
- Target weaker enemies first to pad your combo score, then unleash your modifier on the more powerful enemies.
- When you reach a combo score of 10, you will gain an instant core extraction "execution" ability, which instantly destroys an enemy Corebot and causes a damaging explosion.
- As you play, you'll begin to get a feel for the different abilities different colored enemy Corebots have. However, the vast majority of enemy attacks can be avoided using aerial dashes and double jumps. Make use of the game's auto-targeting to keep up your combo score while you leap, dash and double jump through combat.
- You can't shoot while dashing, but you can continue to build up a charge shot for a follow-up attack.
Mastering the combo system makes ReCore all the more enjoyable, and will prevent you from getting overwhelmed in the higher level areas.
2. Explore, explore, explore
ReCore has an open overworld dotted with dungeons, platforming puzzles and secrets.
The game revolves around the collection of Prismatic Cores, which are an energy source that is not only key to the game's story but provides access to different types of dungeons.
- To complete ReCore's plot you need 45 Prismatic Cores, so there's no need to rush the story missions.
- Try to explore each segment of the game's overworld as much as possible before chasing story missions. Dungeons, Prismatic Cores and Supply Caches appear on the map when you get near them.
- You will need to hit story missions to obtain new Corebots. Some might find it worthwhile to get to the final dungeon before going exploring properly. You can't continue play after the mission ends.
- Make note of areas that require specific Corebot skills to access so you can return later with the correct tools. You can only have two Corebots, and thus, only two tools with you at any one time.
- Finding the Cellbots that unlock certain dungeons can be tricky, but they are typically found in the local vicinity. They can be on top of structures, hidden in nooks and crannies, and even buried underground (use Mack for digging!).
- Cellbots flash with a green light that illuminates nearby objects, so keep an eye out that when trying to find them.
3. Platforming fun
ReCore is a true 3D platformer in the old-school sense of the word. There are no automatic ledge hooks, no canned climbing animations, and no quick time events.
ReCore's platforming does get pretty crazy higher up. pic.twitter.com/jazB9NmK0n— Jez Corden (@JezCorden) 14 September 2016
ReCore is all about positioning, planning your leaps ahead of time, and managing your dashes and double jumps effectively.
- Joule's exo-suit allows her two jumps while in the air, as well as an aerial dash.
- Joule's jump and dash limits reset when she hits the ground.
- If you dash off a ledge, that dash does not count towards the air limit, allowing you to gain extra distance.
- When you're in the air, a circular indicator will appear on ledges below to help you judge your landing.
- Similarly, if you're dashing through one of the energizing aerial rings in some of the game's platforming puzzles, the first dash does not count towards the reset limit.
4. Keep your Corebot's gear up to date
ReCore also has a rich RPG layer that allows you to customize and upgrade your Corebot companions.
If you neglect them, they will become squishy in combat and massively lower your damage output as a result.
- You gain loot in ReCore either by picking up spinning white crates in the Far Eden overworld, or by defeating enemies.
- Extracting the core from enemies will prevent you from getting parts necessary to upgrade your bots. So, if you're grinding loot, be aware of that fact.
- You can track Corebot blueprints via the menu. When you obtain the correct parts, they'll appear on the HUD with a green tick next to them.
- You can access the workbench in Joule's Crawler. This is where you build and customize your Corebots.
- When doing the optional dungeons, meeting the challenge criteria usually rewards you with unique headpieces that come with special properties.
- Completing a gear set often comes with bonuses to stats and other abilities.
- You can also spend Core power to level up your Corebot's stats via the workbench. Do this often to keep them strong against higher level enemies.
- Smash everything! Yellow crates are scattered throughout the game's world, and can be smashed open for Core fragments and currency needed to customize your Corebots.
5. Inventory management, logs, and more
As you're progressing across Far Eden, Joule's inventory will slowly fill up.
You might find yourself overwhelmed with all the different parts, cores, and other items you receive as you play, but here are a few pointers to get you started.
- You can teleport back to Joule's crawler base at any time from the menu. Any collected parts and cores will automatically transfer to Joule's stash.
- Parts come in three tiers. Pristine, Sturdy and Worn. You can convert pieces from Worn, to Sturdy and up to Pristine using the Workbench in Joule's Crawler. Some higher level items will require Pristine parts to build. The overworld area to the far north contains the highest level Corebots.
- Selecting a part will tell you which enemy Corebots carry them, helping you seek them out more easily. As mentioned above, you can track Blueprints to find specific parts.
- The menu allows you to access tutorial tips and tricks, as well as playbacks for previously collected audio logs that add detail to the game's world and story.
ReCore is an underrated game that harkens back to the golden age of 3D platforming. It's not perfect by any means, but its characters, its designs, and its addictive combat make it a worthwhile purchase, especially given its below-average asking price.
ReCore is also a Play Anywhere title, meaning that you can pick up and sync your progress between Xbox One and a capable Windows 10 PC with a single purchase. Gaming on the go is here, and ReCore will join the likes of Killer Instinct, Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and more Play Anywhere titles set to launch in the future.
Check out our full review for ReCore below, and if you're already playing, let us know what you think of the game in the comments!