Science vs Fiction
It seems so many of us have a propensity to ask the question “Who would win in a fight?” Goku vs Superman, Gandalf vs Dumbledore, Man vs Food, Alien vs Predator, and even Kramer vs Kramer. Then of course the first one any child would argue over in the schoolyard, my dad vs your dad. Well here comes Tesla vs Lovecraft, a game that will settle the debate that no one was actually taking part in. Who wins? Inventor Nikola Tesla or Horror author H.P Lovecraft? Science or fiction? Spoiler alert. It’s Tesla, cause you play as him.
Developed by 10tons, Tesla vs Lovecraft is a twin stick shooter where Nikola Tesla must face off against horde after horde of Lovecraftian monsters and ghouls. The reason for this? It’s not so important. I believe Lovecraft got his minions to steal something from Tesla because he doesn’t like science. I assume he wants to summon Cthulu and cause chaos. So after having his lab burnt down and something taken (I think) from him the pursuit begins.
The game takes the classic arcade twin stick setting and throws in a bit of extra spice to make things more interesting. Of course you move with one stick and shoot with the other. As you blast down your enemies and run around the map you can pick up new weapons and find power ups. You also have access to a teleport move and can find special abilities on the map. You level up during each game and can purchase extra perks then finally you also gain access to the Tesla-Mech after you collect its six parts. It doesn’t last long, but it’ll put a dent in your foes.
The combination of these mechanics works great and stops things from getting stale for the most part. The variety in the power ups, special abilities and perks is excellent. You’ll get to use tesla sticks, fire bullets, lightning strike down foes, fire aether discs and much more. However the variety in the weapons is certainly lacking. The game boasts ten weapons, now that sounds like a lot, but keep in mind four of those are shotguns and three are assault rifles. Now these do vary, but it is a real shame that they didn’t throw in a flamethrower, melee weapon and even some kind of explosive.
Enemies and Modes
One half of this clash is the scientific prowess of Tesla and the other is the nightmarish manifestations of Lovecraft’s writings. You’ll be up against a variety of creatures ranging from mindless grunts to more focused assailants. Their designs are good and reflect the authors work. Then from a gameplay standpoint they mix up your approach as you play, there isn’t a great variety, but they all vary in ability. Some charge at you, others fire projectiles and then some spew green something at you.
There are three modes on offer here. The main campaign, survival, and coop. Each one has its own merits. The campaign serves as a way to introduce mechanics and unlock new weapons and perks. Levels are won for the most part defeating all the enemies, but some have bosses and the final level has a bit more to do. The difficulty here was pretty spot on, in fact there are three levels of difficulty and even on the first it offered a challenge. Annoyingly you can’t just select whatever difficult you like, but have to play through the other mode first, but as I said even on the lowest it offers some challenge.
Then you have survival mode. There is no end to the onslaught from the vile creatures and you must aim for the highest score you can acheive. It plays identical to a standard level and is quite addictive as you try to climb up the online leaderboard. One issue I have with this though is that it can only has one level to choose from. Which is a shame there are multiple in the campaign and I understand they might want to pool all the players onto one leaderboard, but two more wouldn’t make that much difference. Finally the coop mode is…coop mode. You can play with up to 4 players locally in the two previously mentioned modes. It is great and runs smoothly.
As I am sure many most think that the idea is an odd one, but as bizarre as it is and totally random. The world and aesthetic of these two worlds colliding is pretty well done. The dreary streets, cemeteries and fields make for an excellent location to tackle monsters. From a technical standpoint it is alright, but most importantly maintains a smooth framerate throughout. Sound design is on point and the sound of electricity frying Eldritch Fiends is satisfying.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Tesla vs Lovecraft was provided by 10tons.