Release Date: Out Now
Price as of Article: $14,99 £12,99
Love is a strong word and I use it only for the most important people in my life, I use it to tell my daughter I love her every day and the same applies to my partner, mother and well you get the picture! There are a differing kinds of love in this world but when it comes to 10tons I think we can all probably agree that they love making top-down twinstick shooters. Just look at some of the games they have made over the years. Crimsonland, Neon Chrome, Jydge, Timeshift and now Tesla vs Lovecraft. I have been lucky enough to enjoy most of them but is this one worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out.
The story here is really simple and to be honest, it’s not that great in that not a lot of effort seemed to be put into it. Eldrich Lovecraft is able to summon monsters to control the world and you have to save it as Tesla with your inventions such as a mech you can control from time to time, perks and a nice selection of weapons. It really is that simple and says it all on the tin! If 10tons could have used a few more cut scenes to get the player invested and designed the game to have some story based missions it could have added value and substance to the game. It just felt like a little bit of a missed opportunity for me.
The audio in Tesla Vs Lovecraft like in all 10tons games is functional in that it does the job. There are some really decent backing tracks which keep things moving and you will be moving a lot in this game. I really enjoy the tack in survival mode, I just never got bored of it, starts of slow and just builds all the way through. It’s the sounds the weapons make which for me are a highlight. Every weapon sounds unique and add in the perks and everything has its own special sound effect. They are all meaty sounding and when your firing off a shot gun round it’s exactly what you want to hear!
Visuals and performance
Personally, I really like the look of the game and as expected it has that certain 10tons polish to it which I have come to expect having played many of their games on the Nintendo Switch. This game is also a little different from say Neon Chrome or Time Recoil wherein those games you would be taking out humans. Here it’s a purely alien creature affair and you will come across Spawns of Dagon, Deep Ones, Polyps and Shoggoths but to name a few. Each looks different and what I liked the most is even when there are loads of these things after you on screen the game ran for the most part smoothly with no slowdown in both docked and handheld modes. The creatures looked quite detailed and nothing ever blurred, it all looked sharp and clean. Animations when moving around is all very smooth. The whole game in fact just runs smoothly and felt polished which is a nice feeling.
At times this can look like a bullet hell game such is the carnage going on, on the screen while tearing down hundreds upon hundreds of creatures and I have to say I liked the fireworks!
The gameplay is where this game really shines through for me. There is nothing about this game which is clever or unique but there is a certain attraction to mowing down hordes of enemies with fancy weapons especially when the controls feel nice and tight. It may sound simple enough but things start to get very intense the further in you go. Even the missions don’t offer that much variety, they are all about taking down all the enemies in the vicinity and your job is to survive wave after wave until there are no more waves. The game will throw differing enemies at you each with their strengths and weaknesses. Once you become accustomed to this the game will mix the enemies together to make things even more difficult. Death in this game occurs when you become overwhelmed by enemies and that will happen quite a lot until you learn the maps.
To succeed you will have to learn to use your teleport skill to best effect to avoid enemies at just the right time, the teleport spell can be used three times in a row at the beginning but you can unlock more potential later. It’s really satisfying to use as it thrusts your character really quickly between spaces of enemies. Within the game, you have an arsenal of weapons and again each has their advantages. The Shotgun is great for taking out enemies at close range and many at the same time but has a slow reload time whereas the Tommy gun is brilliant at keeping enemies at a distance but is weak when there are many enemies rushing at you. Collecting the required mech parts which drop in a stage allow you, use of the mech for a limited amount of time or until it becomes destroyed. Using the teleport mode in mech mode allows you to run over hordes of enemies which is superb fun and there is nothing like unleashing those miniguns. It’s a shame they didn’t install some rocket launchers on it!
This is where the upgrades to the weapons come in, when you start a new stage your character starts at level 1 and as you level up you will be able to choose a perk which stops the flow of the gameplay momentarily which is a little bit of an annoyance. The perk available might be 20% faster shooting or 10% regeneration of health every 10 seconds for the entirety of the stage. It may also be shooting out an extra bullet and these perks can also be stacked for some fantastic shooting frenzies with bullets flying all over the place. Add the ricochet perk and you will have bullets bouncing off walls in all directions. It makes for really interesting builds within each stage but be aware you start from scratch with each new stage you begin. I wasn’t sure about this at first but it makes complete sense within the context of this game and works superbly well.
You also have secondary weapons which you can pick up which help immensely later on and my favourite is probably leaving behind little Tesla Towers to take out some extra enemies. While you are completing these missions you will be awarded crystals and these can be used for a variety of permanent perks. Once you unlock the secondary difficulty level you will be able to collect crystals within the stage itself. One permanent perk that I upgraded early on was the ability to re-roll the perks on offer within the mission especially if the perks offered are useless to your play style especially as you can only choose one from two as you level up each time and are also random. I don’t like damage over time perks as they just don’t work for me so I would always choose to re-roll for something more suited to my play style.
You will come across bosses every so often and the fights are nothing special, It would have been nice had their been a little more variety in the challenge but most can be killed by just running around blasting.
As you complete the game which takes about two hours the first time around, you can then unlock the second difficulty mode which adds a lot more challenge. This time around it’s the same creatures but they have added perks, some are larger and much tougher to take down, the arachnid looking creatures which are quick are able to shoot back and there are just loads more enemies on screen. Here is where you really need to have a bit of luck with the perks and to also make sure you choose the right ones. I have to say while I can see many may find the game repetitive I found it to be insanely addictive and its probably my favourite 10tons shooter game.
Add in the survival mode with an online leaderboard and I have been losing hours and hours to this one. The beauty is that once a perk is unlocked, it is a perk you are then able to roll on the harder modes and in survival they become available. It’s the same with new weapons. So it’s advisable if you want a high score to unlock all perks and weapons first so you have a chance of rolling them as you level up. Otherwise, it’s going to be a bit of a struggle. The only thing missing from Survival for me is some extra levels as at the moment only one is playable. I am sure 10tons have plans to add further content later on and I know they are already working on some new features for the Survival mode.
The icing on the cake is the ability to play locally with up to 4 people in total for some crazy carnage but I was just as happy playing alone.
At £12,99 in the UK or $14,99 in the USA I certainly could not complain about the price as its a game which has given me a good many hours of gaming so far. Of course you could wait for it to potentially go on sale but this is one of 10tons brand new games so you may have to wait a while. The game offers and online leaderboard mode to keep you hooked and you will take a while to complete all three difficulty modes whilst also being able to play with friends.
Can get repetitive
A more gripping story would have added more substance
Bosses could have had a little more variety and there is only one level to play in survival mode