There’s not too much more I can say about the game that I haven’t already written down in my alpha impressions, but the new demo has a few new tricks up its sleeve to discuss, at least. First off there’s a proper menu now that leads into a short introduction to the game. It involves a man, who seems to be a Teslamancer, judging by the staff strapped to his back, who carries the protagonist as a baby to a woman who adopts him and take him inside her home. Then many years pass, and we see some more soldiers, but those clearly of a different allegiance – they look like Soviets, in fact. Then you emerge at the other end of the house after a smooth camera pan and zoom on the back door. This is where you take control and run through the city streets in the rain towards the Tesla Tower as a means of escaping the pursuing soldiers. There’s still no dialogue, and the majority of the sounds are that of the falling rain, but it certainly brings you into the world of Teslagrad a lot more smoothly.
“Master the power of magnetism and solve brain-wracking puzzles in order to traverse the ancient Tesla Tower and its traps.”
And apparently, the reason for the lack of dialogue is because the Norwegian developers don’t want to mar the game with a shoddy attempt at voice recording for fear of accents becoming an issue too. So they’ve attempted a universal way of telling a story, and that’s through the environment. Every time I play through the game’s opening segment, I find myself in love with just looking at the detailed, painterly backgrounds that depict the huge city which the Tesla Tower (where the game takes place) sits in the middle of. As I’ve said before, Teslagrad really draws you into its world from the get-go.
The real meat of Teslagrad doesn’t really get going until you’re inside the tower and find the Teslamancer glove. From there you’re given a number of puzzles to solve using your newly granted power of magnetism. The ability to punch with both positive and negative energy to charge certain objects in the environment makes a little more sense than it did in the alpha now, I’m happy to report. Though it’s hard for me to assess it properly as I already knew all of the solutions, of course. As well as punching, you have to use or be mindful of, depending on the situation, small robots and bugs to help you through the many areas – the former charges the young boy with magnetic energy, while the latter can be charged by you and becomes a moving magnet to attract or repel platforms.
The most fun part, once again, is riding on platforms that are levitated and pulled around in the air by a series of large and clearly very strong magnets. It’s just fun to be whipped around. Unfortunately, the demo finishes in the same place as usual, just as you defeat the fiery boss Fernus, and that’s a shame because I want to see so much more! And the trailer is teasing new mechanics, such as the “Blink” maneuver, which is pretty much the exact same short distance teleport ability that Dishonored had. As to any more mechanics on top of that, I’m not sure if there will be any as the buttons assigned to these mechanics begin to run out, though I believe there is one more to be revealed as of yet. However, the number of mechanics isn’t as important as how they’re juiced within the game’s puzzles, with new discoveries of how to use them coming at regular intervals throughout the game.
Anyway, I’m rambling now, so just check out the new trailer below and keep your eyes on this one – it’s going to be big, I hope!