Review by KFHEWUI

Reviewed: 06/07/12 | Updated: 04/29/13

Weak single player but has great multiplayer

The year is 2028 A.D. and in the Mojave Desert a giant meteor crashes. C.O.R.E. is a top secret research facility that is built on the site of the meteor crash to study the meteor since the surrounding areas is being affected by radiation that is emanating from the meteor. Twenty years have passed by since the meteor crash, and contact with C.O.R.E. has ceased so a team is sent in to investigate the facility. One of the members of the team is Jason Crane, and he is the main character.

There somewhat of a decent story in C.O.R.E. but there is very little plot development told through cut scenes. Most of the story is told through monitors that contain background leading up to the events of the game.

Starting a new game introduces the first major problem with C.O.R.E. which is the controls. The D-Pad is used for movement while the stylus is used for aiming. L fires, R alt fires, X, Y are used for ducking, and A, B are used for jumping. The problem is that the controls never feel comfortable especially the alt fire which means giving up looking around to use alt fire. Also another problem is jumping and ducking. Reaching over to hit A, B or X, Y does not feel comfortable, but tapping the screen twice does allow the character to jump. Since they programmed jumping to the touch screen why in the world was ducking and alt fire not programmed too? Ducking and jumping are almost useless, and they are needed only once in the entire game and twice if you count the training levels.

The graphics look good except for enemies which look rough. Some of the enemies can be a complete mystery like one notable enemy that looks like a cross between a bull and snake. There are a few cut scenes in the game like two or three, and these cut scenes look great.

The music contains generic rock music while it is not bad, it is pretty forgettable. The sound effects are much better however some of them can be quite grating like the alarms and laser which are very loud and similar to nails dragging across a chalkboard.

C.O.R.E. takes place over 15 levels, and the levels are maze like and most are compose of small corridors with some large rooms. Save points are placed at random intervals including ammo boxes and health and armor chargers.

The game play is like an old school FPS even with collecting keycards, and there are several references throughout to other games. The blaster is similar to Quake II's blasters and even the shots look alike. The Blazegun is very similar to Quake's Thunderbolt. The remaining weapons are generic FPS affair with shotgun, rocket launcher, and raygun (sniper rifle), and there are even alien versions of shotgun and machine gun.

Combat is a flawed experience with enemies that are not only brain dead but dead accurate. Enemies will walk right up to the main character, and once they are in range they stop and start firing continuously. The enemies for being brain dead are dead aims, and dodging the bullets is borderline impossible with only the alien creatures being the only one that is easy to dodge. Not even ducking, jumping, and strafing works in combat which makes jumping and ducking feel even more useless. The enemies are generic like the weapons and including soldiers, scientists, turret guns, and spiders that spit acid.

After playing C.O.R.E. for a while, several problems become apparent which the first is the save system which is randomly placed around the levels, and they are usually placed in a terrible spots. For some reason levels 11-15 have no save spots at all, and it if were not for the fact that the game auto saves at the beginning of the level. The levels can be selected once the levels are reached from the main men and without this option it would have been game breaking.

Next problem involves the weapons which is the lack of ammo for the powerful weapons which means that they have to be saved for the end of the game which means the blaster, machine gun, and shotgun are the most used weapons.

The single player game is a flawed experience with no replay value however there is multiplayer, and multiplayer is the real deal. There are three game types: free for all, capture the flag, and team arena. There are ten levels, but capture the flag can only be played on two of the ten maps. The game allows up to four players, but the multiplayer does not support Wi-Fi so the multiplayer can only be played with a single card or multiple cards. Even without Wi-Fi the multiplayer is still enjoyable and easily the best part of the game.

C.O.R.E. is old school to the core, but numerous problems plague the game and at the end of the day, C.O.R.E. is a case of what could have been.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: C.O.R.E. (US, 08/11/09)

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