Tesla Force is a rogue-lite top-down shooter boasting electrifying scientific weapons, swarms of cosmic horrors and endless procedural gameplay. Here’s my Tesla Force Early Access preview.
Mech Keeps You Moving
In Tesla Force, you drop into each level in a mech which you can use for a short time before it explodes and the pieces are scattered across the map. You’ll have one objective (which depends on the level you choose) but collecting these mech pieces should always be a priority. Once you have all four, you’ll be able to repair the mech and use it again for a short period of time. This provides a much needed breather from the endless swarms of enemies and is key to success. It’s extremely satisfying to spawn the mech when you are seconds from death and completely change the tide of the battle, and having it on a timer perfectly balances the power it provides.
When you start a new run, a pocket watch starts timing you on the right side of the screen. As it goes around, the enemies get progressively harder. You might not get the perks and abilities you want on every run, but the mech is a reliable powerhouse which might just give you time to get to the next mission.
Crazy is the best word to describe Tesla Force. Endless hordes of demons and beasts will be trying to overwhelm you. To stop them, you get an insane assortment of weapons. You’ll start with a measly pistol, but before you know it you’ll be mowing through the hordes with everything from tommy guns to ion rifles. There’s so much variety here and it’s a thrill to experiment with them all.
The abilities you unlock are equally as delightful and weird. They can be as as simple as mines to drop as you run from the huge groups of monsters. But play a bit more and you’ll unlock some weird gadgets to help you complete your objective – robot pidgeon bombers were my favourite. No matter what ability you use, they’ll all elevate you to new heights of demon-destroying power.
Pickups and perks only add to this chaos. Using a tommy gun is fun, but using a tommy gun with multi-barrel and fire shot pickups is even better. Add in a perk that permanently makes you fire double the projectiles for the rest of your run and the result is sure to put a smile on your face. The variety here makes the game a lot of fun, but there is a certain weapon that shines above the rest.
Ion Rifle – Game-Breakingly Strong
All the above variety is amazing, until you find the ion rifle. Once you come across this godly weapon, you won’t need anything else. The shots from an ion rifle chain between enemies and are almost always an instant kill to anything they touch. This completely changes the game because suddenly you don’t need to keep moving to be safe. Just sit next to the objective with your trusty ion rifle in hand and you’ll be almost invincible. This is great for a little bit, but before long the game just starts to feel too easy.
There is a new game plus mode to make the enemies harder, but only two tiers are in the Tesla Force Early Access preview. However, the developer has already stated that when the game does leave early access in the coming months, there will be eight new game plus tiers to make the game considerably harder. I can’t wait to see just how challenging the game can become when the full game releases later this year.
Traditional Rogue-Lite Elements
As you rip through the demon hordes, you’ll be rewarded with purple crystals which let you steadily upgrade your character. This gives the game that traditional rogue-like feel of steadily upgrading your character until you are ready to face the final boss and succeed. You don’t just have to put spend your crystals on more health either. You can upgrade the amount of time you get in the mech, or even get a passive upgrade to see the rewards you’ll get for beating each level before you choose which one to tackle next.
Different Playable Characters
There are four different characters in Tesla Force. Two of them are playable in the current version of the game – Tesla and Curie. These two characters are different enough to keep things fresh whilst leaving the crazy-fun core gameplay untouched. I played the majority of the game as Tesla, but once I’d beaten the highest difficulty available right now I decided to swap and try out Curie and see what made her different. Akimbo weapons are her forte, and it continues to make the game insanely fun – essentially you are firing twice as many projectiles as before, with the caveat that you reload a little slower. You might think you can only dual-wield pistols and uzis – you’d be wrong! You can even go akimbo with the legendary Ion Rifle I mentioned before (which breaks the game even more) or even the B.F.G… you have to try this one out, just to see how stupidly powerful it is. I can’t wait to see what the other characters might bring, and as soon as I know I’ll be sure to share that with you!
Gothic Theme With A Neon Flare
No matter what weapon I’m using, I can’t deny that the visuals in this game are beautiful. The melancholy background seems drab at first, but before long it is filled with neon streaks and explosions as you start ripping through the hellish hordes. The neon blasts are stunning against the darker background and make for a unique blend which I can’t stop thinking about long after my Tesla Force Early Access preview.
Tesla Force Early Access Preview
Tesla Force is a well-polished game, which is fantastic considering its early access status. A few balancing issues need to be worked on to make sure the game doesn’t get too easy too quickly. Other than that, the game is just pure stupid fun to play. The different weapons and abilities are all fun to use, whilst perks add different crazy bonuses to each run. The delightful mix of Victorian gothic darkness and neon explosions looks amazing and was an excellent decision which makes the game stand out. The rogue-lite/twin-stick shooter mix is fantastic and keeps me coming back for another run. I really think Tesla Force can only go up from here, and it’s a game we should all keep our eye on.
Tesla Force releases August 5th in early access on Steam. The developers hope it will release fully before the end of the year. When it does I’ll bring you a full review. In the meantime, make sure to stay right here at The Games Freak! Let me know in the comments below or on my social medias if you’ve tried Tesla Force!
I received a code for this game for free.