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?… Expand
Oct 17, 2013First of all, I should say that I’m not a diehard fan of Roguelike games in fact, I tend to avoid them. The peril introduced by most games of this genre is far too random, preventing any serious attempts at strategy and generally resulting in a game world that feels like little more than a series of roulette spins.
Enter “Teleglitch Die More Edition.” Yes, the world is procedurally generated, but the distribution of resources and enemies remains fairly constant from game to game. A cheap DLC gives you the option of beginning with random gear, but the standard 9mm pistol and fistful of explosives are a perfectly balanced starting point. The enemies are simple, predictable, and easily vanquished early on, but that all changes once you make your way into the later levels.
And here is where the replayability of Teleglitch really shines how much ammunition do you use throughout the first few levels, and how much do you save for later? By saving ammo, you’ll likely take more damage and be forced to use precious health supplies to stay alive, but you’ll have more bullets for the tougher foes you’ll find deeper in the complex. Each replay is not only a training exercise in combat mechanics, but offers you a fresh chance to balance resources as you go.
True, the graphics are retro, almost unbearably so. The flash and pizzazz are stripped away, leaving only the basic tools you need to survive a text list of your items, an aiming line for your weapon, and blobs of pixels that are just recognizable enough to communicate to you what kind of enemy, item, or obstacle they are. But the simplicity this presentation provides is compelling, creating a mysterious and otherworldly atmosphere that’s just as fun to explore as any modern shooter.
In the end, Teleglitch is a surprisingly effective and entertaining diversion that rewards both precision and planning, while mercilessly punishing missed shots or wasted items. It’s certainly worth playing even if Roguelikes aren’t really your style, and if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself wondering what the developers of Teleglitch could do with a decent graphics engine.… Expand
Oct 17, 2013Teleglitch; Die More Edition does exactly what it sets out to do. Allows you to die in new, brutal ways by new monster types, and on strange new levels. (And kill in new ways, with a plethora of new items and weapons, craftable and otherwise.)
The game is brutal and unforgiving- to the point where there are literally no videos on youtube featuring a complete playthrough of the game. Its extreme difficulty, though endearing, is also its greatest flaw. Progressing even to the first 'checkpoint' is a tedious and difficult experience, and the utter lack of any kind of save scumming, or closer-together checkpoints makes it nearly impossible for the average gamer to get past level 3.
The atmosphere, enemy variety, lore, changing and shifting maps, and all-around polished feel of this game make it a classic. It's that one game that just sits on your shelf, taunting you, and drawing you back for more punishment. It's a keeper.… Expand
Oct 20, 2013Teleglitch, simply put, is repetitive, boring, and devoid of both tension and design integrity.
I'm a huge fan of tough Roguelike games, being essentially a games masochist. I loved every second of burning death in the vacuum of space in FTL, and the systematic genocide of my poor, poor ancestry line in Rogue Legacy. I was hoping this game would provide some high octane survival horror, and the crafting and random map elements appealed to me as ways to increase the stress of avoiding death in a dangerous and unknown world.
But tension emerges from glimpses of hope, and teleglitch gives you none. Every room looks almost identical, with future levels offering nothing in the way of new environmental design to offer exploration as a reward for proceeding. Death is sudden and guaranteed, often without any way of avoiding it, such that you don't blame yourself for failure but sullenly accept that you've been had and try again. But you'd be better off not trying, because you really have been had Teleglitch has nothing more to offer you.
Part of this has to do with the level artwork, which quickly goes from simplistic to drab as you realize just how little variety exists. Some more environmental features would have been nice, even cliche ones couldn't we have some lazer tripwires? Maybe an exploding barrel, or a pressure vent to exploit? Or just some place to hide until the bad guys go away? Enemies are equally dull little splotches of muted blue that lurch predictably toward you, all of whom would be utterly nonthreatening if you were given more than a clip of ammo and a knife. Much of the early levels are spent trying to preserve ammunition for the unreasonable enemies of the later ones, which means a lot of knifing. Hours of knifing. And then you get killed when, upon emerging into a later level clad in your painstakingly assembled suit of armor and automatic weaponry, a massive robot sporting a minigun unloads on you before you've even stepped through the door and kills you in less than a second.
And you won't even care. That's the worst part.
As a veteran of roguelikes, let me remind you of something you buy games because you want your heart to beat in your chest as you get so close, so very close, but are punished for your inadequacy at the last minute. You're looking for something that validates your effort, rewarding each success with the risk of failure, and filling in their carefully assembled worlds with equal parts danger and style. Teleglitch will not provide these things for you, because the difficulty is not real it's a fabricated mush of bland backdrops, withered rewards, and randomly distributed death. Death has no relation to you, and there is nothing for you to strive for. Save yourself $12 and give this title a miss.… Expand