Heart pounding, hands wet with sweat, out of ammo, no med kit. Twelve health remaining, trying to survive, with only a knife to cut down my enemies. Down another corridor, door ahead automatically opens up with a “Shtook”. The growl of the abominations stops my heart. I turn and run. Mutants and zombies in tail. I lead them into a tight corridor, with a dead end. Wrong corridor. I try to fight them off, moving in and slashing and backing off. I get hit, then again. I slash, one goes down. The last now, twists around me and slashes. I sidestep and whip my knife, down it goes. Badly injured, I cautiously make my way into another room. A deafening sound of machines humming in the background. I push forward, searching for a container, looking for that elusive med kit or canned meat. A roar comes out from my right. Out from behind a pillar a serpentine mutated cyborg abomination stares me down. Two giant mini guns as arms, the cylinders spin up, red, whirring to life. The heat of a thousand bullets cuts my body. I go down, knees to ground, face to cold metal. Black. Dead. Game over.
This is a typical scenario in Teleglitch: Die More Edition. With heart pounding anticipation, one makes his way through this lonely place. Survival is key in Teleglitch. Solitary environments and spooky corridors juxtaposed so nicely to the frenetic action of firefights.
Die More Edition adds better AI, which give them patterns that you can read. There are added levels that were not in the original; as such the player has the choice between two paths, which give veteran players a reason to come back for more. They have added additional computer terminals that help flesh out the lore. As well a new mode is available to those who pre-ordered the game prior to July 31, 2013. The mode “RSG,” or Random Starting Gear, changes the gear you start with each time. In regular play you always start with a pistol, some ammo, and a melee-only knife. Hopefully in a future update or expansion they will make “RSG” mode available to all as it ups the games difficulty further, forcing you to constantly change your survival tactics. Which is a welcome addition to Teleglitch.
What it is about: Teleglitch is a roguelike, top-down shooter, and survival horror with unique pixelated graphics. In Teleglitch you are a lone space marine investigating a military research and training complex, a human colony on a remote planet, Medusa 1-C. Something has gone terribly awry here at the facility. The story unfolds through computer terminals that help fill out the lore, and what experiments were being created on Medusa 1-C. The game creates intrigue in its lore; its space horror atmosphere delights and panics the heart.
Each time you play the game, the map gets newly generated. Each time you die you restart from the beginning, you can only save progress at the end of a level, and if you die, that save is wiped. You can unlock levels, much like chapter select, once you have made it far enough. For instance, to unlock level 3A you need to beat level 5.
There is a simple crafting system in which you combine items from randomly found objects and then see if the game allows you to combine them with something else in your inventory. It gives purpose to scavenging the whole map outside of just med kits and ammo, looking for parts to upgrade weapons and craft armor.
The game re-creates the feeling of being alone in corridors, it gets the heart pumping, it is exhilarating, it creates a similar feel of the Aliens movies.
You will be tackling various zombies, mutants, abominations, and other cybernetic modified enemies. Boss battles will be a true test of your abilities.
In Teleglitch you are the weak link, the game shows just how utterly weak and alone you are. Playing the game for hours at a time, just one more go, just one more. To try to best the enemies and make your way through the levels, all while the heart pounds. This is probably the best fun I have had in a top-down shooter in a long time.
The Looks: Teleglitch uses a unique pixelated graphic style. The graphics are simple yet complex, and beautifully crafted. Though I can see some being turned off by its aesthetic. The map rotates and twists as you make your way down various corridors creating a very interesting effect. Its top down view allows for areas to sometimes be hidden, they act as pillars of dark that shoot up towards your view, aiding the rotation effect. The game features a callback to the 80’s computers with its old-school menu.
What You Hear: Sounds are sparse, but oh so effective. The quiet, and odd sounds give you that tingling sensation that crawls up your spine as you make your way through the corridors. The teleporting warping sounds are excellent, and the first time you hear it, you will be caught off guard. The creatures each have various growling and guttural noises, which effectively capture their desired effect of knowing that they are after you. The effects and sounds are wickedly satisfying to hear. The explosives have a satisfying boom, and the weapons are each unique in their sound design. The text sounds for computer terminals is also fun to hear.
Controls/Gameplay: The game controls with WASD and a Mouse, which function to perfection. I could see this translating well to a controller, at this time however there is no controller support. You move slower when you are aiming/shooting. When you aim, you hold the right mouse button down, stretch out your cursor away from your body and it draws a line of sight for the weapon. As such aiming with the weapons is very accurate and satisfying, which is important when groups of enemies rush you. Inventory is managed on the left of the screen, using the mouse wheel. You can move items to where you want them and can combine items simply by pressing a button and seeing what you can create.
The map works excellent, once you have found an area it is shown, and major areas are labeled and doors you have not gone through show up red on the map.
One issue I had with the controls is forgetting you have explosives equipped and trying to knife, instead throwing down a swath of RDX, killing yourself in a huge explosion. This is because you only shoot your weapon when aiming, so default left click is a melee attack. This however is just something you remember, after a few suicides later.
The Enjoyment: The game is super difficult, and to reach level five to unlock level three select, good luck. The game is difficult, but in its difficulty, it’s trial and error, comes the reward of success and besting the odds. There is an endless replayability to this game as you try to survive longer each time you play, the randomized levels, and trying to find all the secret rooms, and the creation of new weapons to play with.
It is fun moving through each area, watching the twisting and turning of the map as you make your way through its corridors.
I loved drawing in groups of mutants, and zombies to tight corridors and unloading on them. It was also fun leading groups of enemies into the anomalies (instant death), created by a teleportation experiment gone wrong.
Finding items and crafting new weapons from found parts, and deciding whether or not you want to craft an auto pistol or a nail gun, finding that med kit or canned meat and barely surviving is a fun and exhilarating experience. Plus reading the different enemy patterns allows you to go into battles with knowledge on how to defeat them and lead them into your bullets.
The Good: Teleglitch is a game that you won’t stop playing because you will not allow it to best you. With white-knuckle atmospheric tension and deliciously fun gunplay, you will be coming back to again and again
The Bad: Some may be turned off by its visual style. Others will cherish it.
The Ugly: Some may be turned off by its difficulty, as well the “RSG’ option is not available to everyone.
Who is the game for? Anyone who enjoys top-down shooters, survival, or a hard difficulty out of their games.