There are many of us out there willing to jump into the majority of new releases that come our way, but there are certain games that pop up that you just know need to be played. The reasons often vary, but in the case of Tesla vs Lovecraft, it is the fact that the guys behind its development – 10tons – are the same crazy guys who have brought us some of the wackiest and most unique titles available – Tennis in the Face, Baseball Riot, Crimsonland and JYDGE being among their library of quality titles. Is Tesla vs Lovecraft another fine game from 10tons, or has it failed to capture the same excitement as previous titles?
Tesla vs Lovecraft is the next in the line of twin-stick top-down shooters, following on from the highly enjoyable Crimsonland, JYDGE and, more recently, Time Recoil. With their rise to popularity having begun with the crazy Tennis in the Face and Baseball Riot, it’s fair to say that more recent creations have taken a more mature approach. Tesla vs Lovecraft is another that takes a slightly more serious nature… only slightly though.
As the title suggests Tesla vs Lovecraft pits the famed Serbian-American engineer, physicist and inventor, Tesla, against popular horror legend H.P. Lovecraft in the ultimate battle of science vs fiction. After being on the brink of releasing one of his finest inventions, Tesla finds his ultimate creation burnt to the ground after a horde of minions under the power of Lovecraft set his lab ablaze, before running off with vital parts to his creation.
Right from the off players are thrown straight into the thick of it. There’s no tutorial level in this one, but it’s not needed as things are pretty self-explanatory. See, throughout the game you’ll be in the shoes of Nikola Tesla as you head out across countless locations across three planes of existence – Normal, Aether and Eldritch.
Each plane brings about a ton of levels for players to master, all of which are set out on a pre-determined path throughout the city of Arkham. Within each level you will be faced by sizeable hordes of Lovecraft’s weirdest creations, and it’s up to you to defeat them by any means necessary before moving on to the next level.
The enemies don’t make for short work either and each level will require fast reflexes, good use of the map, plenty of running and utilisation of every weapon and ability you can find, if you are to best the large groups of enemies that continuously spawn from multiple locations.
With 10 weapons, 11 abilities and 25 perks to get hands on with, the tools you use to dispose of the countless enemies are certainly sure to be changing rather frequently. For me though, my favourite weapon of destruction came down to the classic Tommy Gun, especially after I’d already managed to pick up the fire rate increase perk.
New weapons and perks aren’t anything to really worry about either as despite starting each level with your trusty pistol, it’s only a matter of seconds before another weapon is waiting to be picked up from somewhere within the arena. With each arena proving rather small, and Tesla’s clever teleport ability allowing you to zip across the map at pace, you can soon find yourself with a fearsome arsenal to combat the masses.
As for perks and all 25 are rather useful additions; these are what you will be relying on to spice up the gameplay a little. Perks come into play by gathering a murderous spree, and by gaining enough experience you will then level up and get the chance to choose a new perk. These are randomly offered out and every time you level up, there are two to choose from, bringing exciting things such as movement speed increase, an increase in fire rate, a higher damage output, a higher health bar and even the chance to use your abilities without the need to charge it.
Abilities go hand in hand with these perks and whilst only a couple are available at first, after you’ve completed multiple levels and earnt enough of the valuable Aether Crystals – usually done by killing a set number of enemies – you’ll be well on your way to buying more.
Your main go-to ability will be the life saving Quantum Teleport. This allows Mr. Tesla to teleport through solid objects and is a great ability to have when you find yourself overrun by an unthinkable number of enemies. Another great addition amongst the many includes a giant mechanised robot that comes packed with dual miniguns. This is unlocked by collecting parts around each level before being activated, although it does self-destruct after a short while, expecting you to find the parts all over again. When it is in use though, it is very effective.
The enemies within Tesla vs Lovecraft are fairly harrowing creatures to be taking on – at least in their appearance – with the Deep Ones, Spawn of Dagon, Tentacles and Flying Polyp amongst the many creepy looking creatures that you can find coming at you in swarms.
None are overly difficult to deal with though, at least not on their own, but should you fail to mow down the crowd quickly enough you’ll soon find most areas completely swamped with bad guys, usually proving too much to deal with unless you can make the most of the clear areas or the aforementioned Quantum Teleport.
Besides the main game and the three Planes it contains, there is also the option to jump in to a Daily Quest and an Endless mode. Both are pretty self-explanatory – Daily Quest brings a nice little option to warrant returning on a regular basis, whilst Endless mode is great for those wanting to see how long they can last against the masses of enemies.
There is also a co-op mode for those wanting to go at it multiplayer; while this is limited to local multiplayer only, it runs just as fluidly as solo play – utterly smooth and totally buttery.
Tesla vs Lovecraft is yet another fine entry from the minds of 10tons. The levels on offer can prove highly repetitive, however, the addictive gameplay, fantastic twin-stick shooting action, and hours of content are enough to keep you occupied for some time. If you’re a fan of twin-stick adventures, then this is a game that you’d be foolish to overlook. Especially given the unique science fiction roots.
Massive thanks to: 10tons
Release date: March 2018
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Review), Xbox One, PS4, PC