Thu Jan 12. 2023
Shooters for portable consoles tend to be a bit of a risky business. Sometimes they get it just right, while in some other cases we get games that are downright unplayable. C.O.R.E. was met with even greater doubt from the community than usual, as it was coming out for the Nintendo DS, where few shooters have managed to find true success (such as the Metroid series). The game, however, turns out to be surprisingly fun and even has its own fair share of innovation that spices up the genre somewhat.
The game takes place several decades after a powerful meteorite has hit Earth, and governments having established an underground research facility to investigate the scene of the crash due to some anomalies and strange occurrences spotted there. As the game begins, the command center for the underground operation had lost all communication to the research facility, and a team is sent in to investigate (which you're part of).
Controlling your character is easy and smooth, unlike some attempts we have seen before on the Nintendo DS. You have access to a very impressive arsenal of weapons, including the standard toys like a pistol, machine gun, shotgun, etc as well as some more advanced pieces, like several energy-powered weapons and even one which we couldn't find an alternative for in another game. None of the weapons feel overly powerful or, on the other hand, useless, and everything finds its application as you're making your way through the game.
Graphics and System Requirements
C.O.R.E. could've looked a bit better, admittedly – sure, it's an NDS title, but if we have to draw a comparison with another one, we'd probably point our fingers at Metroid again – it looks noticeably better than C.O.R.E. does, although C.O.R.E. on the other hand manages to get in some very impressive effects for the weapons and in the surrounding environment, plus we found the use of screenspace better in C.O.R.E.
Speaking of which, as you're playing you'll have access to a very good and cleaned-up menu which gives you a lot of useful information, including the status of your weapons, armor, etc. We didn't feel like anything was missing from the screen, and the HUD was designed great.
If you want to give the game a try with your friends, you actually can – though sadly, not online. You can only play locally against 3 other players with a single cartridge, though if you all have your own cartridges the player limit goes up. There are several game modes featured, from the standard free for all and team-based deathmatch, to capture the flag and even “team arena”, where you don't respawn after you've been killed.
C.O.R.E. makes it easy enough to get into it through its intuitive control scheme, and from then on it simply drags you into a game developed with high regard to quality.