Tesla, Lovecraft and Marie Curie enter a bar… it’s full of abyssal creatures
Type: Singleplayer, Local Co-op
Genre: Action, Strategy
Developer: 10tons Ltd
Publisher: 10tons Ltd
Release Date: 19 Nov, 2020
Tesla Force is a top-down roguelite shooter where you will play as some of history’s most famous scientists (but not only!) in order to defend against an attack made by cosmic horrors from another dimension. Force your way through endless waves of enemies using tesla’s inventions, firepower and… mechs!
Send Them Back to the Abyss!
Tesla Force doesn’t try to be an over-complicated game with tons of different, complex features. Instead, most of the time you’re making a carnage of enemies, while also trying to complete the objectives of the mission. It feels satisfying to destroy horde after horde of fishmen, giant spiders and other abyssal creatures, with conventional and unconventional weapons. There are quite a lot of them and it will take you some time to get to use them all, especially if we consider also their empowered versions. The same can be said for the poor (but evil!) creatures you discharge them on: the variety is there and the devs did a good job making them feels diverse enough when taken individually. When in a horde though, you are just shooting at a mass of rotting flesh and claws and evilness but, hey! That’s the thing about hordes, no?
If the horde becomes too big to handle, you always (well, not always), have your ace in the hole: a big mech with incredibly powerful weapons, that you can summon at any time, provided that you have all the parts required to build it. Once summoned, you can use it for a very limited amount of time, after which the mech will explode, scattering its five components across the level once again.
Tesla Force is structured in procedurally generated levels, united by a world map: at the start of each run, you can choose which path to take, which affects the levels you play and also the rewards you get from said levels. After choosing the initial path, you aren’t forced on it and, like in similar titles, you are offered many choices when it comes to levels, mission types and rewards.
Levels’ length can range from “less than a minute” to “a bunch of minutes”. Needless to say, due to their short length and their procedural nature, they quickly become very similar to one another, making them repetitive already in the very first hours of the game.
Lost in the Artstyle
It’s difficult to deny that one of Tesla Force’s biggest problem is its own art style: it is, in fact, extremely bland, with very simple graphics that simply don’t catch the eye. Colours tend also to swing from slightly desaturated to very saturated based on the level, the latter case being rather unappealing and tiring, especially for multiple levels in a row. The only graphical effects that retain extremely bright and saturated colours are explosions, closing rift and such, often making them stride with the rest of the game.
Another problem with Tesla Force’s graphics is that enemies tend to follow the colour scheme of the level, often blending with the terrain, bringing unexpected damage to the character we’re playing. When this doesn’t happen, single enemies can still be hard to spot, mostly because of the numerous colours used, like the purple blood that some enemies leave on the ground when killed. While it is easy to dismiss this problem as a minor one, it quickly becomes frustrating having one single enemy damaging you because you missed him as you were focussing on a larger group.
Tesla Force is a good shooter with a rather problematic graphical compartment and with little to no new ideas. While the game has its downsides, it is also fun when it comes to slaughter hordes of enemies. Thus, I’ll give it a SAVE FOR LATER, in the hope that the devs will work on its most critical aspect and the game will get better in the future.