What’s the tone of the game?
The tone for me is a hopeful one, this game is colorful, cheerful and you’re trying to save the world as you are in many games. In this case a planet far away from earth and although the problems are big and the enemies are kind-of gruesome, the overall tone of the game is definitely cheerful and uplifting.
What inspired the story of the game?
Well, when we were pitched this game at Microsoft it was really to tell a story that was focused between human beings and robots, to explore the world in more detail… What is that relationship? …what does it mean to be human?... Do robots have souls?
When we heard that idea it was really interesting, so that was his inspiration and Wall-e was mentioned which is entirely driven by characters who don’t speak, in this game a lot of characters don’t speak English of sort. We also looked at big sci-fi franchises like Star Wars and those sorts of things to think about the kind of world we wanted to build. In a kind-of funny way one of the things that influenced me as a writer was Lasse; the TV show with the dog. The dog will say Woof woof woof and the boy with say “what’s that Lasse? There’s someone who fell down the well?” The character is in tune with what the dog is saying and that’s a lot how Joule interacts with her robotic characters in Recore.
How strong is the story line in Recore, is it very story driven or is it quite open open?
Well, we describe it as a semi-open world game so it isn’t as big and as expansive as Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption or anything like that but the game is broken up into a series of over worlds, you have a lot of flexibility about where you want to go and what you want to explore but there is a linear story which guides you through these open worlds. The game has a 12-hour campaign supported by cinematics but after that is done there’s a lot more loot grind, collecting parts to upgrade your core bots and exploring different dungeons that are unlocked to you; so the game expands beyond the 12-hours and we haven’t really quantified how much there is to do yet but there’s a lot to do beyond the main story.
So rather than replayable would you stay it’s more extendable?
Yeah that’s a good way to look at it for sure! There are parts of the world you’re encouraged to play over and over again to hit certain challenge levels but yes I think that’s a good way to put it that the game is certainly extendable.
How does Recore compare to other Microsoft Exclusives like Quantum Break and Gears of War?
I would say that first of all, those titles are both mature titles whereas Recore appeals to a younger, broader audience from 16 onwards although we really focused on Recore being a core-gamer game first. When you get to play you will soon see that it’s actually a fairly challenging game when you get into the middle of it. It has a slightly broader appeal, not that Gears isn’t uplifting but Recore definitely offers a more cheerful tone.
Definitely another thing that sets it apart compared to those two games is that it has a really strong female protagonist and just the style of gameplay too, it’s very fast-paced, it’s very fluid and again it has that classic platformer feel brought into the modern era.
Was the main character made female purposely?
I don’t think it was ever really a choice, obviously Joule came out of the development process where at the beginning when we were pitched the game it had a main character but it wasn’t clear if it would be male or female or if you could choose between them. As we started working on the characters, the core bots we started with them, their personalities developed. It started feeling a little bit like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as each core has a distinct personality; so the yellow core is a bit of a scaredy-cat, blue core is the happy core and red core is the stubborn and angry core. For me, it was a natural sort of mapping, I have a lot of strong women in life including my wife and we were very adaptive and it just felt right to have a female character who was the leader of this group of kind of raged guys who couldn’t get there acts together. That’s definitely Joule’s personality she’s resourceful, she’s strong and of course demanding when she needs to be.
Within the story a lot of the robots have gone rogue, are they set in their ways or can you get them on side?
That’s an interesting question, so the simple answer is that yes there are friendly robots that are always friendly such as Mac, Seth and Duncan. Then there are core bots in the world that have gone rogue and are always your enemies but you can extract the cores from the bad guys and fuse them with your friendly cores to make the friendly cores more powerful so in a way your redeeming or healing these cores of their corruption by linking them with your own cores. But there are two factions of cores in the world, the ones who like humans and the ones who hate humans.
Are there any planned DLC?
We are planning post add-on content but can’t give details on that now. One thing we can talk about is the idea of the shifting sands, there is one area of the game, one of the over worlds where once in a while, sandstorms will role in. When they do those sandstorms will raise or lower the height of the sand exposing new dungeons, new areas that you can’t access normally. Part of what we’ll be doing post release is sending sandstorms into the world of Recore on a daily basis or maybe a couple times a week (the details aren’t yet figured out) but it means that even if people don’t buy any post-release content they’ll get to enjoy this variety of content that we unlock on a calendar basis in one part of the world.