10Tons Ltd. has been making a name for themselves with twin-stick shooters for a while now, Crimsonland probably being their most well-known, followed by the excellent Jydge. But Tesla vs. Lovecraft may be their best one yet, due to the variety of approaches each level takes, and the extensive upgrade and leveling system you can use in each new level. Oh, and it’s got 4-player local co-op! This is our Tesla vs Lovecraft review.
The story is a simple one, and right out of a mid-2000s sci-fi action blockbuster. Tesla is giving a presentation on his newest invention when HP Lovecraft appears out of nowhere to try and stop him. Lovecraft is arrested, and in his cell calls upon the Deep Ones and the powers of his dark monsters to come forth and stop Tesla. Things get hairy from there, as there’s really not a lot of time to slow down and dig into the exposition. The story is there to serve the purpose of the 1900s London setting, the crazy monsters, and the pseudo-scientific weaponry.
Tesla is a bonafide badass action hero, wielding Tommy Guns, Shotguns, Machine Guns, and all manner of weaponry invented by himself as he roves the streets taking down the Deep Ones in waves. Levels are fast, short, and furious – you’ll level up several times through each of them, and it resets upon each new level you start. The purpose is that each level unlocks a perk point. Whatever you need right then – more health, more damage, more speed, more whatever – that’s what you spend perks on.
Tesla has his own powers too, like teleportation for one. But the best is how you get a sort of ultimate ability to use a few times per level in the Tesla Mech. It only last so long before it shatters into pieces, and then you have to find the pieces on the map before you can use it again – but it’s insanely powerful and super durable, rendering Tesla nigh unstoppable for a brief time.
The downside to Tesla vs. Lovecraft is the kind of thing that troubles all 10Tons games – it can be repetitive. There are loads of levels, but little variation in monsters or objectives. They’re all fun, but it’s best to take them in short bursts. The four-player is a real blast though, as is the Survive Mode that’s basically you versus as many monsters as you can take before you die.
In all, Tesla vs Lovecraft may be 10Tons most approachable and well-polished game yet. It’s got a load of levels across three distinct London settings, and tons of weapons and gadgets to wield. I’d have loved some more long-term leveling, things that didn’t wipe away after each mission. All told, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a twin-stick shooter from 10Tons, and it shows that they’re perfecting their craft. I’d love to see more games in this series, and perhaps one where you play as Lovecraft.
Tesla vs Lovecraft is on Steam today, with console versions coming soon after.