Microsoft's two most recent games to land on PC and Xbox One (besides Gears of War 4) are Forza Horizon 3 and ReCore, and some of the reviews haven't been very kind to the games. Well, Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer had some words about that.
In a very interesting and thorough interview with Gamespot, Spencer was asked about reviewers who took some serious jabs at both ReCore and Forza Horizon 3 and what he thought about the scores for those games. Spencer explained...
I think there's certain reviews that are written more to get clicked on than they are to actually accurately reflect the quality of the game, and that kind of bums me out.
Spencer is likely referring to the review from a certain outlet who used Forza Horizon 3's review space to talk about politics in Australia, which angered a lot of gamers who were looking for a proper review about the game instead of a lecture about a country's sociopolitical ups and downs.
ReCore on the other hand... well, that's a different story. The game has not been faring well when it comes to review scores and most of the criticisms about the title are fairly valid. The average Metacritic score is a 63 and that's out of 68 reviews from critics. The score is actually quite similar from users as well, sitting at a 6.6 out of 10.
In a rare twist of fate, both gamers and critics aligned under the stars to bring up the same problems for ReCore across the board. The Xbox One version is said to have suffered from frame-rate drops and a lack of FPS stability that dipped below 30fps, which is a cardinal sin in the world of gaming.
Funnily enough, both critics and gamers agreed that the first few hours of Armature Studio's ReCore are definitely well worth playing because it has interesting characters and a cool premise. However, cool characters and an engaging story are undermined by regular complaints about grindy gameplay put on top of a combat system that gets boring far too quick and lacks the necessary depth to carry the game for more than a few hours worth of gameplay.
Microsoft was quick to address some of these issues, working with the developers and even opting to offer up a free playable trial that gives gamers 30 minutes worth of access to the title in an attempt to lure gamers in to bite the bullet and make a purchase. I think the 30 minute trial is definitely a good thing. More games need that.
However, the reviews are already in and a lot of gamers just aren't too thrilled with ReCore. However, Spencer being "bummed out" about some of the more politically charged articles surrounding a game like Forza Horizon 3 are completely understandable. It looks like the kind of game that would just suck you in with its good vibes and just encourage players to soak in all the great visuals and sexy cars. Having a good game undermined by politics, especially when it has nothing whatsoever to do with the game itself, is never a cool thing.
Even if the more clickbait-oriented articles surrounding the games may have bummed out Spencer, maybe he can take some solace in knowing that at least the aggregate review scores for Forza Horizon 3 are pretty high. Sadly, the same can't be said for ReCore.