Here's the secret no one will tell you about ReCore (opens in new tab) from Comcept and Armature: It's a fishing game. And it wasn't until I was trying to reel in the core of an evil, corrupted robot that I realized how badly I needed what I'm now going to affectionately call "Sega Bass Pro Fishing, If Sega Bass Pro Fishing Was On A Desert Alien Planet And You Have A Cool Robot Dog."
You know, "ReCore" is probably a better name. Let's just stick with that.
In ReCore, you play as Joule. For those of you who weren't paying attention in Physics class, that's joule as in "a measurement of energy." It's a little on the nose for a game about a girl and her robot friends saving a planet from robots run amok, but this is also a game where you can double-jump and dash across chasms with your jet pack before you fire your laser rifle at evil robot-spiders. Deadly serious, ReCore is not.
Joule is a worker on the planet of Far Eden, which is in the process of being terraformed for human habitation. She wakes up and observes what we already know: something has gone horribly wrong. Humans are non-existent, and formerly friendly robots are now aggressive and violent. As Joule sets out to uncover the mystery behind the mechanical uprising, she crosses paths with Mack, an AI core placed in the body of a dog-like robot.
If Joule is the center of ReCore's story, Mack and the other cores players encounter are the heart of its combat. You may have already noticed in the gameplay trailer that each robot has a different color core. Joule's rifle and your enemies likewise present a variety of colors, and matching the hues between yourself, your companions, and the enemies you target can be the key distinction between being an effective warrior and shooting the broad side of a brick barn.
Whittle your foes down though, and you'll be able to fish out their cores, stealing their power to upgrade your own small army of robo-friends. Thus begins the fishing mini-game, which is without question the best part of each encounter. Like Mortal Kombat (opens in new tab)'s Fatalities or Doom (opens in new tab)'s Glory Kills, Joule ripping a core out from the cold, unfeeling behemoths that litter Far Eden's wasteland is the perfect crescendo to ReCore's fights.
It's a fast and slick process, with a satisfying punch. The sense of impact and tension in her grappling hook is palpable, and the tug of war can be tense. Pull too hard or too fast and the line will snap. Pull at the right pace though, and you'll feel like you just landed a whopper to mount on your wall.
Comcept and Armature promise that they have much more in store for the final game. But in the meantime, I'm perfectly content to throw out that line and see what bites.