Tesla vs Lovecraft review code supplied by the publisher.
From McGregor vs Mayweather to Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs The Rock and even that crappy Sonic and Mario at the Olympics game from a few years back, it’s fair to say that crossovers will always hold a particular kind of evergreen appeal to fans of either or both of its components. It’s this train of thought that has resulted in the manifestation of Tesla vs Lovecraft, the latest top down shooter from Crimsonland studio 10tons, and thankfully I can happily report that exotic sounding title aside, Tesla vs Lovecraft is actually quite a solid little shooter in its own right that is easily the developer’s best effort to date.
Tesla vs Lovecraft review – A Solidly Entertaining Arena Blaster
You know when you have a bunch of super high-budget and super sophisticated games like The Witcher 3 and XCOM 2 on your pile of shame, and you have the time set aside to play them for say an evening or an afternoon and you just… don’t? Well, Tesla vs Lovecraft, a riotous top-down shooter effort where the levels are frequently no more than two minutes long, is the perfect foil for such occasions and more often than not this week, where I had intended to play some Attack on Titan 2 or Star Wars Battlefront II but couldn’t decide which to choose in the end, I’ve often found myself playing 10tons latest instead.
As was the case with their previous efforts in both Crimsonlands and Neon Chrome, it’s clear that 10tons has a firm grasp of top-down, arena shooter fundamentals and this level of understanding is brought to bear in Tesla vs Lovecraft. As the titular Serbian-American inventor, players must wage war against a range of Cthulhuian horrors unleashed by rival H.P. Lovecraft across three different planes of existence – normal, eldritch and aether, all the while using whatever weapons and gadgets they can find strewn around the game’s many maps to destroy all of the horrors on one level before progressing onto the next.
And what a range of weapons and gadgets they are too. Including everything from pistols to shotguns and Tommy guns (not to mention various different types of ammo to use in each), to laser swords, electric discs, screen clearing nukes and more besides, there are no shortage of ways for Tesla dispense of the horrific hordes that swarm him on every level. Of all the weapons and trinkets of destruction available to the brave inventor, none are as devastating nor as satisfying to use as the Tesla-Mech (I made that name up to be fair); a hulking robot that once assembled by the player can dispense rapid death with twin cannons for a short period of glorious time.
Layering yet further depth still upon the proceedings is the perk and upgrade system which is threaded throughout the entirety of Tesla vs Lovecraft. Every time you kill a sufficient number of enemies to gain a level you get to choose one of two ability buffs to have for the duration of that level, including such useful aids as additional health, extra damage or more frequent power-ups. On the other hand, collectible perks provide permanent modifications to your abilities and must be sought out at all costs as soon as they appear on the map. Quite honestly, having these progression systems provides ample incentive to do more than just simply going around the place blasting stuff, and really help to maintain interest in Tesla vs Lovecraft numerous monster blasting scenarios.
As nice as it is to have an arsenal of screen-shaking weapons to take down Lovecraft and his supernatural goons with, an unavoidable fact is that you will find yourself frequently and often surrounded by scores of life-sapping enemies where no amount of high-tech firepower will see you clear. This is where Tesla’s secret ability comes into play, as a quick flick of the L1 shoulder button will make the inventor teleport from one spot to another in order to gain a breather of sorts as you work out what to do next. The trick here however, is that this teleportation ability can only be used finitely before it needs to cooldown and so encourages frugal employ lest you end up cornered against a wall by a bunch of really rather angry Cthulhu folk.
Weapons, gadgets and fancy teleportation abilities aside however, it’s ultimately the solid fundamentals that make Tesla vs Lovecraft as much fun to play as it is. From the smoothly responsive, pixel-perfect movement of Tesla himself to the satisfyingly frantic pace of the Lovecraftian mobs which attack you, Tesla vs Lovecraft is consistently enjoyable and with levels that rarely last more than a couple of minutes, it’s tantalizingly easy to pick up and play, too. Another tentacle in the cap of Tesla vs Lovecraft is that the whole affair can be ran through in co-op, with the game supporting up to four players taking the fight to the minions of Lovecraft locally, Tesla vs Lovecraft all of a sudden becomes a worthwhile new entry in PS4’s local co-op multiplayer rotation.
Though Tesla vs Lovecraft is a relatively unambitious with fairly simplistic (though clean) visuals and an ultra-streamlined concept, it is nonetheless a frequently thrilling and pleasingly bite-sized arena shooter effort. For years now Finnish developer 10tons have been quietly slaving away on the genre and with each game has become more and more proficient at its craft, and in Tesla vs Lovecraft, the studio has arguably hit its qualitative apex in what is arguably one of the better top down shooters of the year so far.
If you enjoyed this Tesla vs Lovecraft review, why not take a peek at some of the other great indie games you can get with our best PS4 indie games feature?