I should point out, however, that this enjoyment didn't stem much from the platforming itself. It's not terrible – Joule's move-set includes a short, Mega-Man style dash and a double-jump ability, which the developers build some impressive and challenging spatial puzzles around. But the platforming doesn't feel particularly great under the fingers. There's a floaty, imprecise quality to the way Joule moves that makes it quite difficult to judge landings, probably why a targeting reticule appears underneath her whenever she's in the air.
This unsatisfying feel to ReCore extends to the combat, which mostly involves whittling down the health bars of admittedly impressively designed CoreBots using just one weapon and a handful of abilities. There are a couple of neat ideas, such as colour-coded ammunition which deals extra damage if it matches the colour of the robot you're fighting, and a fun finishing move where Joule uses a grappling hook to tear the energy core out of a robot. But this can't make up for the fact that the combat is rather dull. The enemies are more interesting to look at than they are to fight, while Joule's weapon has a tinny feel to it that makes it unsatisfying to fire.
What's most bizarre about ReCore's combat, and indeed the game as a whole, is how little your companions feature during play. A big part of ReCore's marketing dialled in on Joule's robot buddies like Mack and how you'd interact with them. But in practice they only come into play during combat to perform a single ability. It's particularly strange because there's an absolutely massive crafting system dedicated to building new parts to upgrade your robots. But their role is so diminished in the game that it hardly feels worth the trouble to collect all the necessary parts.
Yet by far ReCore's biggest issue is how thinly stretched it is. Although it begins with a spring in its step, after the introduction the game constantly, arbitrarily slows you down to make itself seem a bit longer. Story missions are closed off until you've acquired the right amount of 'Prismatic Cores' to progress, which are acquired by exploring side-dungeons. The game will frequently throw a locked gate in your path and ask you to scour an area for 'Cell bots' to unlock it. And the developers never miss an opportunity to ask you to find three items when one would probably suffice. This also has the unfortunate effect of obliterating the story's pacey feel, which is a real shame.
There are a couple of other points worth discussing. There have been a large number of reports of technical issues with the PC version of ReCore, including crashes, long load times, menus not working properly etc. We never experienced any ourselves, aside from a rather unsightly screen flicker during loading screens. Nevertheless, the reports are extensive enough to warrant mentioning. Also, at the moment ReCore is only available through the (long, weary sigh) Windows Store, which, amongst other things, prevents you from accessing the game folders without a long and convoluted workaround.
Although I enjoyed my time with ReCore more than I expected, I'd still struggle to recommend it. There are too many great games out there to advocate dropping £30 on a title where so much of the enjoyment comes despite many of the developer's design decisions. If it arrives on Steam with a lower price tag, however, it's probably worth a look, and I reckon that it'll be one that is looked on a little more warmly in a few years' time.