Game Review: Tesla vs Lovecraft: For Science!

Release date: 2018
Version played: Xbox Series X in 2021

A top down/twin stick shooter from 10tons, the creators of Crimsonland and Neon Chrome, Tesla vs Lovecraft was released in 2018. Taking control of Nikola Tesla you must use various weapons and abilities to gun down hordes of monsters conjured from the writings of HP Lovecraft. The For Science update was also released in 2018, and adds two new “planes of existence” (aka difficulty levels), as well as numerous weapons and upgrades.

+ the top-down/twin stick shooter style is smooth and responsive, and the frantic speed at which enemies begin to come at you is thrilling. Finally getting the weapon you need, or being able to choose a perk that fits your current weapon or the level design is a real feeling of power (for example, constantly getting swarmed in tight streets when suddenly your bullets will bounce off walls is incredible)
+ the weapon variety feels huge (with less bloat compared to the weapons in Crimsonland). Bullets, electricity and various otherworldly projectiles are paired with secondary abilities, including land mines, homing pigeons or an x-ray blade, and Tesla can use a short range teleporter to traverse the field or escape the horde. Oh, and he has a massive mech to turn the enemies into goop as well. No two battles are the same
+ the soundtrack is great, like a dubstep version of what 2016’s DOOM did for metal. The beat that plays when you get into your mech will make you feel invincible

– straight up, there is a real lack of story. A short cutscene plays at the beginning, and a short cutscene plays near the end, but basically the goal never changes
– even with the two new difficulty levels added in the For Science expansion, this game is very short. There are of course a few missions that will require a replay or two before you can complete them, and if you’re so inclined you can play earlier missions multiple times to earn a damage bonus for monsters you kill a certain number of, but all that is padding at best

> it’s not fair to call this a positive, but hot damn the XSX loads this thing quickly. I can go from the Xbox home page to being in a level in seconds

Should you play this game: On my lunch break at work one day, I thought to myself that I wanted a twin-stick shooter to play, and lo an behold many other websites recommended this. I proudly join that chorus, and say while this is quite short, it is immensely fun and has great replay value for those that want to get all the high scores.

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