At this year’s Gamescom, I was luckily enough to spend a brief amount of time with Keiji Inafune (Producer) and Joseph Staten (Lead Writer – whose previous credits include Halo) so as to discuss their forthcoming project – the Microsoft published ReCore. With the game being developed in conjunction with Microsoft Studios, Armature, as well as the famed Mega Man‘s character designer’s own Comcept, ReCore is looking to be one of the more interesting games to emerge from Microsoft’s lineup this year – if only because the game is being directed by Metroid Prime series director Mark Pacini. And with so much talent associated with the third person game, it’ll be interesting to see as to whether the game lives up to the expectations when it launches next week. And in order to discuss this, I got to briefly speak to ReCore‘s Producer and Lead Writer regarding my concerns – with special thanks also going towards Mike McNamara who helped provide translating duties for Keiji Inafune.
ReCore takes place in a desert wasteland that isn’t entirely open-world. Last year, there was another desert wasteland open-world game called Mad Max which was criticised for its game world being quite barren, and as a consequence, there wasn’t much to do. Even though ReCore isn’t entirely open-world, what steps are you taking to ensure that your game doesn’t suffer from the same problems that Mad Max suffered from? What are you doing to ensure that there is always something to do, and that the game doesn’t entirely consist of the player exploring dungeons, collecting cores, and upgrading their items? Is there other stuff going on within ReCore that will keeps players engaged?
Joseph: ReCore is semi open-world. Compared to Mad Max, one of the decisions we made was to keep things small and dense, so there are a lot of gameplay opportunities put into a relatively small space. In some of the areas, it doesn’t take too long to reach a dungeon, and there are a few dungeons to explore in the same area. So there isn’t a lot of transition time between those points of interest, and this helps with keeping things simple and gets you in the action quicker. That’s one thing that Mark at Armature did – to make traversal in the game-world be as enjoyable as possible. Traversal is also pretty fun as you are using your CoreBots – like Seth who gets to climb up spider-rails. But some spider-rails are trickier and require a little bit of mastery. So even just moving around the world is fun, fluid, and enjoyable.
Keiji: What we’ve shown is really just a small slice of the world, and a small part of what the game has to offer. Of course it will depend on the success of this game, but there are many more elements and angles that we hope to be able to explore in ReCore‘s world.
I know that you were responsible for Mighty No 9 which suffered from performance related issues as a consequence of the development team being stretched so thin across a number of platforms. Considering as to how busy you’ve been with addressing Mighty No 9‘s problems, and bearing in mind as to how stretched Comcept were with the project, what steps are you taking to ensure that ReCore doesn’t suffer from the same fate as Mighty No 9 – especially when taking into account Microsoft’s own XBox One / Windows 10 publishing initiative? At the same time, and given that your time was previously taken up with Mighty No 9, what steps have you taken to ensure that ReCore lives up to the expectations set by Microsoft as well as by your own fans?
Keiji: To answer the second question first, at Comcept we always team up with very skilled developers and partners to make sure that we are able to delivery the best possible experience on all the properties we develop and work on. I always have really great teams that I trust around me, and that helps with the allocation of time. And in terms of the performance related issues that you brought up, in ReCore‘s case, since it is a Microsoft first party title, and we’ve been working really closely with Armature and Microsoft, I can pretty comfortably say that there aren’t going to be any performance related issues. Microsoft knows the PC and XBox One hardware inside and out. To lightly touch upon Mighty No 9, it might sound like an excuse, but there were a number of resource related issues and factors that were beyond our control. But I want to assure you that nothing about what happened with Mighty No 9 will affect ReCore in any way, especially because of the amazing partnerships that we have.