Teslagrad: First Impressions
March 28, 2016 | 1060 Views
A Brief Insight Of The Plot
In the Kingdom of Elektropia, a king rules with an iron fist, combating and destroying a sect of technological wizards, who occupy a massive tower in the middle of the city named Teslagrad. One day, a young orphaned boy finds himself hounded by the King’s guard and takes refuge in the deserted tower, only to uncover the history of the conflict.
One example of the beautiful hand drawn environments throughout the game.
A Brief Insight Of The Game
Teslagrad is a 2D puzzle based plat-former with elements of action through out. Magnetism, and other Electromagnetic powers, are used as the key mechanics for progressing throughout the levels. As the player advances, they uncover more secrets kept in the abandoned Tesla Tower.
The game features minimal combat segments, coupled with Electrical-based puzzle sections and precise plat-forming. Teslagrad is set in an alternate, SteamPunk-inspired, version of old Europe. Teslagrad is a non-linear world with more than a hundred hand-drawn environments to explore.
The player controls a young boy, who suddenly finds himself embroiled in a long-forgotten conspiracy, involving the despotic king and his tyrannical reign, spanning several years. The game offers various upgrades and items as the player progresses.
So Let’s Get Started!
After quite a busy day, I sought to settle down with a game to pass the time. I didn’t want anything too heavy-going, so an easy to pick-up-and-play seemed most appealing. So I looked though my PS4 Game Library in order to find something that would fit that criteria.
Scrolling through a few live streams of my recently played titles, I decided to check out recent downloads from PSN. I wanted, in particular, something that I had not yet played. After checking a few live streams on the PS dashboard I saw Teslagrad, and it got my curiosity.
The gameplay reminded me of the classic Metroid/Castlevania games, in particular, a style that I really enjoy. So I wanted to know more about it first hand. I walked into this game blind, except from what I’d seen in the 30s of the stream I gandered at, so I had no real expectations of the game.
The game starts off with a short, sweet and simple introduction with no dialogue, therefore, wasting no time between starting the game and actually playing it. Before you know it, you’re running through a city from a group of men, why? Who knows?! But I’m sure these details will be filled in somehow as the game progresses.
It doesn’t take long before the player is thrown into, what I can only assume is the main dungeon, and given our first ability/tool of the game. It’s a gauntlet that toggles between punch attacks and a magnetic device, that affects certain enemies and obstacles. Which, I’m sure, is going to be a pretty common theme throughout the game.
With there being no dialogue, tutorials and tips are presented to us in the form of diagrams that can be seen in the backgrounds of our surroundings, where relevant. This is a nice touch, as it allows us to keep progressing without being halted by basics tutorials of our newly found abilities.
More often than not, the solution is obvious, but sometimes a reminder of how to tackle an area can be useful. So far, from my first play through, I’ve gained two abilities. One, is the previously mentioned gauntlet, and the second, a dash ability that allows the player to pass through electrical fields, some enemies and some obstacles. Not only that but it provides for a quicker method of covering ground when progressing long stretches.
So far I’ve only encountered one boss and gained two abilities (Update: At the time of publishing I had beat the second boss and obtained the next ability), so I cannot really make much comment toward boss fights, as of yet. Having not being pitted up against enough of them, I don’t think judgement would be fair. However, with that being said, I thought the first boss was quite easy and had an enjoyable, memorable attack pattern. However, the ground was constantly moving, therefore making it more of a challenge. So if this is anything to go by, I think the following bosses will be just as tricky and exciting!
Update: I dueled with this little rascal, it was a minor inconvenience
So far, it’s leaving a good impression, I definitely see it as something that I will be able to sink my teeth into and enjoy. Only time will tell though. It must said that I’ll need to get crack on with it, to see what it’s really about, as I believe that it won’t be a long drawn-out affair. Perhaps playing it in small bursts, rather than spending hours at it, will allow me to savour the game somewhat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as it won’t eat up hours of the player’s time. Although, in saying that, in typical fashion of games like this, it will take additional time to solve the extra puzzles and to hunt down all of those goodies/collectibles.
Anyway, moving on, here are a few points that I like and dislike about the game so far:
- Simple to use, but neat abilities.
- Engaging puzzles and environments.
- Beautiful hand drawn environments.
- The Metroidvania style of gameplay is always a plus in my eyes, big fan if you can’t tell already.
- Easy to get immersed and lost in the game (Not literally).
- Sometimes death can feel cheap, bounced off an enemy, dragged into shock fences and the likes.
- Some of the areas are quite large and after scaling a large section of a room, it only takes one slip-up to fall all the way to the bottom again. This isn’t always the fault of controls or environment, because if you do misjudge your jumps, then you’re the only one to blame for it. Which for me, is often hard to accept, as it has happened multiple times.
- Due to the camera style, sometimes leaping first and thinking later can result in you jumping into more than you can chew.
- * Similar to the punishment for failing or misjudging a jump, the punishment for dying during a puzzle can be incredibly frustrating when said puzzle takes upto a minute before you can tackle it again. For example, there is a section with a cog that rotates around the area, you need to jump into the magnetic field and pull yourself in. A slight miscalculation means you’ll have to wait at least 30 seconds to a minute before you can try again, every time you need to try again. A simple thing, but if you’re unlucky and keep dying then this sort of stuff becomes tedious fast.
The Current Verdict
So far, my opinion of this game, is good. Pick it up, but only if you’re a fan of games that have no real dialogue, focused on taking your time to plan your next move, solving puzzles and isn’t overly combat heavy. It seems like the perfect title to sit down and enjoy in small bursts, without feeling overwhelmed by things to do.
I’m liking the look of things so far and look forward to what’s to come next. I’ll have my full thoughts upon completion of the game, so stay tuned for the review!
Have you played Teslagrad? If so what’s your thoughts on it? We’d love to hear what you think.
A Gamer who loves pretty much all genres of Games! (More so RPG, FPS, Survival Horror, Action Adventure etc.) Known to collect “Retro Games and Consoles” and also for being guilty of having an ever expanding back log of games. To get to know him better and see what he’s been up to, catch him online via his Gaming Accounts… You know what to do!
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