DeadCore – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, FPS, Platformer
Developer: 5 Bits Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platforms: PC

DeadCore – Review

Site Score
9.5
Good: Fast-paced gameplay with clever puzzle mechanics and various way to complete a level
Bad: Could use more checkpoints and a clearer storyline from the beginning, no controller support
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0
(0 votes)
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DeadCore is a platform-FPS puzzle game developed by the game development studio, 5 Bits Games. The usage of the fast-paced first person shooter aspect is certainly a great means to up the difficulty of the gameplay since the puzzle mechanics are not always clear at a first glance.

deadcore banner

Story

You wake up to a futuristic scenery, a huge tower standing in the midst of the mist. With no memory to guide you, you decide that the tower is your best bet to gain some answers. Thus you start your adventure through the heavily guarded tower.

You could say that the storyline in DeadCore is almost missing. In fact, it is hidden since the story isn’t revealed to you from the start. Not even the bit I just mentioned. During your runs through the well-designed mazes, you will need to find logbooks which will slowly explain the quite abstract storyline of DeadCore. To be completely honest with you, finding these bits and parts of the story wasn’t my main goal so I don’t have that much information on the storyline but here’s a quote to kick start your vivid imagination.

“The structure keeps changing and changing. Doors open, others disappear… Some of us never return. With every immersion, I pray I shall find my way back home.” – T-Log 01 – Roots

Graphics

Visually DeadCore reminds me an awful lot of the Tron visuals. The level designs are quite spacious but also futuristic and quite dreamlike. In fact, the scenery that is often in front of you seems so unreal yet it is truly breathtaking. Perfect landscapes for posters if you ask me.

The structures are not only very Tron-like but they also have an ancient feel to them. Almost as if they came from a very distinctive race of aliens – the planet of Asgard certainly comes in mind here. It may be somewhat far-fetched but I also have a Transformer-feeling when it comes to the visuals and objects of the game.

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Sound

The soundtrack in DeadCore is almost like a futuristic slow-version of dubstep or drum ‘n bass. While the sound is certainly energetic and fitting, it is not something that everyone can and will enjoy. During your speedruns where you can complete levels in under two minutes, the soundtrack is just random background noise since you will be focusing on the fast-paced puzzles you’d need to complete. However, when you are playing the story mode, where you can take as much time as you need, you might end up wanting to mute the sound.

Besides finding the logbooks that will slowly reveal the storyline of DeadCore, you can also find soundtracks which unlock new songs which you can use during your speedruns. Creating your own playlist is a nice feature to have but again, the music may not be something you’d like to hear.

Gameplay

Gameplay-wise the game is brilliant. You could say that DeadCore is the direct child of Portal and Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube with some very challenging puzzles. The difficulty of DeadCore is certainly higher than both games combined and the learning curve is fairly steep from the very beginning. That being said, it shouldn’t come to a surprise that DeadCore is a game where you are constantly on the move, jumping on and off platforms that may or may not have some deadly elements. Keep in mind that the puzzles are not actual puzzles but more of a complex way to figure out where you need to go and how to pass the deadly mechanics – much like the Portal games – with plenty of room for trial and error.

deadcore scr01

Moving around is simply done with the WASD-keys while SPACE is reserved for jumping around. Sadly the game does not support controllers. During your first level, you’ll receive a gun which you can shoot with with the left mouse button while zooming in is done with the right mouse button. This streamlined looking rifle has a multiuse to it. You can slow down propellers that will otherwise blow you off course or you can shoot at specified points to open up doors. The robots protecting the tower can also be shot but it will only stun them for a short while. In fact, most animated objects including the laser beams can be shot at to stop them from preventing you to advance in the level.

At later stages you will unlock additional ammo for your modern weapon and a dash ability. The dash ability is a great way to improve your record in the speedruns but it also proves to be helpful at completing levels during later stages. The game is quite child friendly since there are no surprise elements nor is there an eerie atmosphere but the puzzles are often quite challenging. Luckily there are several ways to complete a level so it does not really matter which route you take – as long as you complete a level. Checkpoints are scattered throughout every level but more checkpoints would be a welcomed feature due to the steep learning curve.

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Conclusion

If you thought Portal was a brilliant platform puzzler, you should really try DeadCore. Not only are the puzzles more challenging, the visual design of the game is utterly stunning and the level design is simply mind-blowing. Everything combined, DeadCore is the most cleverly and stunning puzzle platformer created so far.

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Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and Iā€™m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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