Woo boy, this one's...I'm not sure how I feel about it, to be honest. I like some ideas here, but there are some real fundamental flaws in execution...Or rather, I should say, in the port. Because these are the kinds of things that happen when you don't stop and reconsider how your mechanics work on a console experience.

Okay, let's back up. What's the game? DeadCore is an FPS platformer puzzler. You know games like N+, where you go into a tight little level crammed full of platforming challenges and you have infinite, very rapid respawns because you're expected to rapidly memorize the challenge and turn it into muscle memory? This is kind of like that. The FPS angle makes it seem a bit inspired by Mirror's Edge, and the
whole floaty space spookiness gives the whole thing a...what's the best way to describe it..."I'm in a coma and my brain's in VR to work my way back to wakefulness" vibe.

Just for the record, that's the vibe I get after, like, the first fifteen minutes of play right when I started making notes for this review. If it turns out that's actually the plot, well, I'll be as surprised as you. Outside of some pretty vague storytelling, the game's playing with some fairly interesting design concepts. The worldbuilding through hidden logs isn't bad, the sound design is really solid, and the graphics are a bit basic, but certainly not bad by any means.

But...There are problems. They basically come in two sets; problems that seem like they'd be there if you played this on Steam, and problems that're clearly from porting it without thinking about what such a port needs.

We're gonna tackle those more fundamental ones first. FPS, platformer. Hard mix. And the chief problem is that the game doesn't use many of the little tricks that Mirror's Edge did. No visibility of your body, no climbing up a ledge on a near-miss, not even the classic, unrealistic but helpful always-directly-below-you shadow. You've just got to go by the very consistent jump distance...Which is really only consistent at, of course, a consistent speed.

That's not impossible, but it feels a bit...outdated. And, quite frankly, a little rough. This then gets compounded with the game often requiring fairly reflex-intensive navigation, shooting locks that are only open briefly (or disabling things that would block your path otherwise, which is just a funny lock when you think about it) such that you often have to shoot on the move or even in mid-air. And while the game gives you an auto-aim mode, that only does so much.

There's some definite...jankiness to things overall, like it could really use one more round of polish. A fairly early challenge has you work your way up a tower, escaping large laser-fields spat out by big fat emitters, only to get to the top and ride on said emitters to get to the next checkpoint. And the way the character shudders and jitters on the moving platform feels like a roughness I haven't seen in quite some time.

The real meat of the problem are the mistakes made in the porting. Now, first, I will give credit; I went and checked the developer's Twitter, and they're working to get this fixed immediately. But the release version I'm playing here, doesn't let you invert the Y axis. I can change the field of view down to the degree, but I can't make pushing the stick up tilt my head forward. That's...

Like, we all agree that's a really weird thing to miss, from a console gaming perspective, right? I haven't seen a game that both expected me to do aiming with the stick, and didn't let me invert the Y axis (as it damn well should be) in probably 20 years. But, it got missed, and now has to wait for a later patch.

The aiming, in general, feels...Wonky. It has a very linear acceleration with a fairly high 'floor', making fine-touch adjustments weird. I ended up relying heavily on that auto-aim mode, which, even the fact that it's a mode instead of an assumed part of the controls, feels like a very...

Well, it feels like the game was developed by a bunch of PC-gaming folks who either dislike, or just plain don't concern themselves with consoles, and then got ported through a largely automated process thanks to our modern engines making a lot of the baseline porting effort quick and painless.

The problem, of course, is that a process like that doesn't take into account all the little touches you need to make to consider things like the fact that you no longer have pixel-perfect aiming, movement speed is now flexible instead of fixed, and being farther away from the screen means small interface elements are harder to spot and make use of.

Oh, and of course we see our old friend, not considering the troubles of overscan. It's not nearly as bad on this one, mind you, but the fact remains that it is there, that the edges of some menus are being cut off by my screen. Which means they go right up to the very edge of the display on a monitor.

Now, I do want to be clear, this does not invalidate the game's worth. There are some really clever ideas in some of these puzzles. The game will often use its wide-open nature and the fact that the only point of demise is beneath you to its advantage, putting an obvious dangerous path in front of you...Or a way to short-circuit it and get around the whole problem if you reconsider your goal.

This becomes enhanced, once you get a few hours into the game and get the Boost power. The simple, quick forward dash gives you a lot of options to this end, as part of the game's secondary focus on speedrunning. Since your Boost is on a recharge timer, as these things so often are, you can get into a really interesting back-and-forth of finding the right spots to make shortcuts, or just plain kicking yourself forward to shrink travel time, while needing to leave enough time to be able to cut through the next challenge without having to take time to wait.

So this kind of leaves us with another of those cases of a game that's rough and could possibly use another round of polish, but that makes good(or at least interesting) use of the freedoms offered when you let yourself be a little rough to start.

It's also, unfortunately, another one of those cases where the porting process didn't include considerations of the differences in a console gaming experience. Some of the problems are likely to be fixed, like the lack of inverted Y axis.

And that leaves us with the central question. Should you buy DeadCore? Well...I'm not going to slap on the big red Avoid, because stuff is going to be fixed, and also there's the Steam version. But as for the PS4 port, as it currently exists...I can't say so, not really. If it interests you enough to overlook the more central flaws, then give it a couple weeks, let their patch come out, at least. Or grab it cheap on Steam and just play it on your PC, where the game was clearly meant to be played in the first place.