Ultracore is now available, marking the end of a journey that has been stalled since 1994. The game, previously known as Hardcore, was cancelled by Psygnosis when it was most of the way complete. It was due to release for the Amiga, Sega Genesis, and Sega CD, but the near-finished game was cancelled by its publisher due to the impending launch of the PlayStation, and the assumption that a game that wasn’t 32-bit would not sell.
Hardcore was to be one of the earliest releases of Digital Illusions, now known as DICE, the developer of the Battlefield franchise. Now, 26 years later, the game has finally debuted for two modern systems.
We’ve played through the game’s first stage for some quick impressions, and it’s fair to say that the game is an unapologetically old-school experience. Don’t expect a modern remake or update–this is very much the game as it was intended to be released in the early 90s. That’s not to say that it has aged poorly, though, as the game’s run-and-gun action is very enjoyable. Having to enter codes to level select is slightly less of a pain on a console with a screenshot function, too.
Ultracore is out now on PS4 and Switch, with a PlayStation Vita version planned to release at a later date. The game, which is a run-and-gun platformer with five stages, will cost $23, and is being published by ININ Games, which recently released the Darius Arcade and Console Collections. It’s being released with an updated soundtrack, featuring 20 tunes from various synthwave and electronic artists.