Jul 31, 2013Teleglitch is one of those rare few games that gets everything it attempts to do right. The oppressive atmosphere, crafting system, glitchy visuals, and careful combat are all done extremely well. The only negative thing that can be said for it is that it’s unforgiving.
Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings
Aug 5, 2013Teleglitch: Die More Edition is a roguelike top-down shooter that was first released late last year and has since been given an extended edition on Steam. Roguelikes are generally not games where I take my time. There’s a standard pace I play them at, which is not slow in the slightest. After playing dozens of roguelikes in my many years of gaming, I have fallen into a standard slump where it is hard to engage and engross me in the game I am playing. Until now, that is. Taking place in an abandoned military research complex in space, your objective is to explore and find a way off the planet all while trying to stay alive against the hordes of enemies that cover the planet. Using keyboard and mouse controls, picking up items and shooting weapons is straightforward and fairly intuitive. However, ammo is incredibly scarce, forcing you to scavenge for every item you can find and combine them into makeshift weapons in order to survive.
Teleglitch Die More Edition has many standard roguelike tropes: random loot, random layouts, and permadeath. Even the graphics remind me of early graphical roguelikes, just being a pixelated mess on the screen. I mean, really, I have no idea what the monsters are supposed to be that are chasing me. I simply know they are bad and I need to kill them.
Set those things aside though, and Teleglitch is a very fresh experience. When I started playing, I was in the “generic roguelike” mindset. As I explored the corridors of the floor plan briskly and carelessly, I died rather quickly. Even though the controls are very easy (move with keyboard, hold right mouse button to aim and click left mouse button to fire) for a top down game, when I entered a room and was swarmed with a small handful of enemies, I wasted a lot of ammo. I’m used to loot being abundant, I’m used to swords and spells, and most importantly, I’m used to taking a step and the enemies taking a step.
There is a quiet urgency to every Teleglitch play through, though it is hard to explain why. Once you’ve overcome any given room of enemies, you can take your time and consider your plan of action. However, the frenetic pace of combat, which often devolved for me into quiet, pleading screams for mercy while running backwards and waving my knife futilely in the air, carries forward into non-combat moments. Although I was never the victim of a real sneak attack, I still found myself scooping ammo and meat off the floor in a rush, eating on the go and only pausing to take a look at the map when lost.
What really set the mood for me was the sound cues. Again, everything is presented as if it were originally played on an old Commodore C64 system, yet the audio in Teleglitch did a phenomenal job of slowing me down. As I explored the environments and opened doors, a warbled sound would grow in intensity, signaling a swarm of mutants all targeting me. The most frightening part was having this happen and noticing my ammo was dangerously low.
The game has been designed with terror in mind. The permadeath adds another layer of tension, and it was infuriating when I was doing great and made a stupid mistake like dropping a bomb instead of throwing it. If my keyboard was not part of my laptop, I might very well have thrown it on more than one occasion.
Teleglitch: Die More Edition is a brilliant example of how to blend genres that, on paper, don’t sound like a perfect fit. I can’t think of the last time I played a roguelike at a slow, methodical pace, or a top-down shooter paranoid of what was about to happen. The only reason I can’t recommend it to everyone is the punishing difficulty. But then again, we all like to be punished now and again, right?… Full Review »