ReCore was one of Microsoft's more intriguing - and therefore undersung - announcements of this E3. A beguiling teaser trailer, and the even more beguiling combination of Keiji Inafune (creator of Mega Man) and Armature Studio (made up of the core team behind Metroid Prime), got us excited but, as ever, the problem here was that we came out knowing almost nothing solid about the game itself.
Lucky, then, that Inafune and game director Mark Pacini released a video (which you can watch below) detailing some of the facts behind what happens in the trailer. Suffice it to say, ReCore sounds more intriguing than ever.
Our heroes are called Jewel and Mack
That's the lady and the robot, respectively. All we know of them is that Jewel is one of a few surviving humans, and she's very much the only one around when we meet her. Mack finds her (presumably in a state of distress) at the start of the game, and they team up for the remainder. That's not to say they're our only heroes, however...
Those cores are the bots' consciousness
You'll notice that our hero, Mack, unceremoniously explodes halfway through the trailer. Bit of a problem, that. Luckily, the effulgent abdomen he leaves behind can be stuffed into another robot, allowing him to live on in a new body. You can go far further than swapping in and out one core, however - Inafune confirms that "there will be many other companion robots you can partner with, and each of the different robots will lead to unique adventures". It sounds as much like a puzzle mechanic as it does an "extra life", with that final title screen showing off a range of shadowy bots waiting to have orbs pushed up 'em.
Cores can be collected, and used in a variety of ways
At one point, Jewel demonstrates a nifty grappling hook technique to yank the core out of an enemy robot, then surreptitiously pockets it (don't ask how or where). According to Pacini, cores can be used to to power other companions, upgrade existing cores, even power other things in the world (my guess is hackable computer systems and the like). That said, if those cores contain full-on consciousnesses, the wisdom of activating another robot with an enemy core sounds pretty dodgy. Speaking of which...
There are two factions of robots, with very different motives
Mack and his blue team are a "race" of robots on a mission to restore humanity after it's been shattered and all-but eliminated from whatever planet the game takes place on. They also seem to enjoy cosplaying as the Tau from Warhammer 40,000. The evil red team explicitly don't want humans back "for their own means". They enjoy looking like the Coneheads dentist scene on spider's legs, apparently.
Weather changes affect more than you'd expect
It looks as though the robots might not have been responsible for the near-extinction event for humans, however. Weather looks like a real enemy. Inafune and Pacini are keen to explain how sandstorms don't just force you indoors, but change the maps themselves by burying scenery (incidentally, their use of the word "maps" suggests self-contained levels, as opposed to an open world).
The real challenge lies underground
There's a slight dungeon crawler-y aspect to this bit. When Jewel and Mack head through the locked, subterranean door, they come across a far more fearsome Red Team beast. Apparently, this is in line with the game design - Pacini mentions that the enemy robots get "more volatile and deadlier as you go underground - that's where all the good stuff is." By "stuff" does he mean loot? Puzzles? Story elements? All I know is that I've just bulk-ordered spelunking gear from Amazon.
There's much more to come
Frankly, we're asking ourselves plenty of questions. The video reveals far more than we had, but leaves a lot to the imagination - not least what genre ReCore will actually be. There's gunplay, a suggestion of co-op, some hints towards puzzles and loot - Inafune even says the main theme is Jewel's survival, invoking the PC Early Access game type du jour. Luckily, Spring 2016 really isn't that far away - here's hoping that means we get a smidge more at Gamescom.