Review | Teslagrad 2
Oh do I so enjoy visual treats—particularly the 2D, traditional painting kind. Teslagrad 2 offers just that and more, developed by Rain Games and published by Modus Games, this physics-heavy Metroidvania title has you take on the role of a red-haired young woman whose ship crash lands on her way to a kingdom long lost to electricity and magic and what have you. Chased by the likes of pirates and, well, anything that moves, you’ll need to pick up bits and pieces of gear to help you navigate the mazes that are the ruins of what was once a great land.
In Teslagrad 2, like any other Metroidvania title, players will be navigating a non-linear map, picking up new pieces of gear to navigate what would otherwise be closed off locales and card collectibles. Unlike other Metroidvania titles, our red-haired angel is a non-combatant. And a fast one to boot, because the player will spend their playtime in Teslagrad running about and solving physics-focused puzzles to advance further on. You’ll need her quickness because just about anything that moves in this game wants to kill you. Par for the course, but it feels overly emphasised here—perhaps because of that lack of direct combat and having to work your way around obstacles being your main goal.
It’s a good thing that Rain Games has made sure that you feel prepared. Yes, death is a common occurrence, but you’ll always restart quickly and very close to where you last got glassed. New electricity-based powerups and level mechanics are introduced to you gradually and always with a beginner’s trial so that you always have a good idea how to run around your terrain. Levels also scale really well, and with the game’s beautifully rendered visuals and upbeat Nordic music I really felt as if I were scaling the ruins of an old kingdom proper. The story of the place is told through murals, paintings, and sometimes videos although I’m not quite sure who left those behind. All of the story telling is silent and it never gets in the way—you can engage with it at your own discretion. Heck, you’ll get more details on the world from the game’s store page.
Now the game doesn’t state it outright, and though I’ve mentioned it a few times, this game is a physics-heavy platformer. I haven’t played one of these in a while, the last one being Unravel 2 and even further back, Fancy Pants Adventures. Sometimes dying happens because your electric focused powers flung you in the opposite direction of where you wanted to go. Or in many cases, the hitboxes of baddies are way larger than they should be. It can get rather annoying at times because even as I mastered the buttons, I would sometimes fail to make a jump several times or get annoyed when I’m zapped by a foe even though I am fairly certain I jumped out of their path.
On the bright side, the electricity-based powers are really fun. Our fair maiden can teleport, slide, defy the polar opposites, and more. You’ll need to time the use of your powers to pass through walls, create them, stick to ’em, etc. The pacing of the levels are tight enough that you’ll be encouraged to just keep going. Now, if you are to just follow the game’s main story, you’ll finish it rather quickly. But the pacing of the game is solid, and I highly suggest going out to collect the cards littered throughout the map and, really, just explore it. The visuals alone make it worth it, and the little touches like how our fawn will put up her hoodie when outdoors and take it off when she’s back indoors.
Teslagrad 2 is a short but well-designed and pleasant experience. Perfect for those who just want to master speed and puzzle solving in a Metroidvania over fighting hordes of enemies.
Review | Teslagrad 2
Xbox Series X
- Beautiful visuals and music.
- Strong character controller, mechanics, and proper introductions to them without the need for long tutorials.
- Solid level design and pacing that keeps the player moving to the next story beat.
- Large enemy hitboxes.
- Much more slippery than the average physics-heavy platformer. Makes for a lot of annoying deaths.