If you’re a fan of twin-stick shooters, you might want to add Tesla Force to your game library.
Essentially a sequel to 2018’s Tesla Vs. Lovecraft, which we very much enjoyed, Tesla Force turns everything up to 11. It’s simply bigger, better, harder, and a lot more fun.
This time, Nikola Tesla is joined by Marie Curie, who you can also choose to play as if you’d prefer. HP Lovecraft and Mary Shelley can be unlocked for use too, further down the line, each possessing their own gameplay quirks. Whoever you choose to play as, you’ll find that the world has once again been overrun by Lovecraftian monstrosities, and it’s up to you to put an end to them. Making effective use of a wealth of weapons, you’ll work your way through a series of missions, running and gunning as you strive to complete their objectives.
Tesla Force plays like your typical top-down twin-stick shooter. Starting out with a standard pistol, you’ll pick up new weapons as you make your way through the game. Killing enemies is a sure-fire way to get rewarded; along with temporary power-ups such as fire bullets and spread fire, sometimes a new weapon will be dropped which you can equip. Limited-use special abilities are available too, providing you with yet more ways to decimate the foes that stand in your path or effectively get out of trouble. Though a handy teleportation dash skill also allows you to achieve the latter.
Thankfully, you also have another special trick up your sleeve: just like in Tesla Vs. Lovecraft, you can call upon a mech suit to deal major damage. But like before, you’ll first need to collect its parts before you can activate it. Once the mech’s been employed in battle, those parts will spread all over the environment again. So, you can use the mech as many times as you like – as long as you pick up its parts first.
There’s a variety of mission types here; while you’ll spend pretty much all of your time fending off ever-growing hordes, you’ll also have one of several objectives to work towards. Perhaps you’ll need to repair something, and that means collecting eight parts dotted around an environment. Maybe you’ll need to close some rifts, and to do that you’ll need to locate one and then stay within its radius for a set amount of time while shooting down enemies. Other missions have you collecting information, and staying alive long enough to process it.
Missions are presented on a map, with players able to choose their own path. It means you often have a choice of multiple missions, so you can opt for whichever appeals to you most. The rewards offered by each mission may also sway your decision. But choose carefully: Tesla Force is a Rogue-like, so if you succumb to those Lovecraftian beasties, you’ll find yourself starting over from the beginning.
Thankfully, a wide range of permanent upgrades are available, making future trips that bit easier. There are perks that provide various stat increases and bonuses, a tech level that makes more weapons available from the outset, and more. Thanks to all the variables, Tesla Force never feels repetitive either. The locations the action take place in get familiar, but you’re always kept on your toes and entertained.
Tesla Force can be played in local co-op, too. Up to four players can work together, making taking down the Lovecraftian hordes a little easier. Well, providing they do actually work together; playing with an uncoordinated team, things can go south very quickly. If players move too far apart from each other, for example, the camera will zoom out, making keeping track of your character and the threats around them an arduous task.
Needless to say, if you’re a fan of twin-stick shooters, Tesla Force is up there with the best of them. It wastes no time in throwing an overwhelming number of monsters at you, and to succeed you need to become a master of shooting, dodging, and collecting those mech parts. It’s simple, but it’s fun – and gunning down a full horde of nasties with a machine gun is oh so very satisfying.