Voxels, Heists, Destruction! Teardown is out on Xbox Series consoles. Bashing, smashing, burning, and exploding your way through varied environments, it’s your job to steal, destroy, and infiltrate. A criminal for hire, the world is your destructive plaything. Ye beware, if timers are not your thing, then do not enter the world of Teardown for timers rule all.
You’re a regular Joe, desperate for cash. You get an email about a job, and go destroy a house for a corporation. After doing the gig you find out that they didn’t own the property and you just broke the law! Things spiral down from there with crazier jobs coming your way left and right from criminals and the police alike. You’ll have 20 missions spread out over five different maps in the main campaign, and it took me roughly 11 hours to finish them all. DLC was added over time to the game on PC and it’s here at launch on Xbox if you love what you’ve played and want to spend a little more.
The basic setup of each mission is “you have a target(s) and the moment you go for it alarms go off and you have a minute to snatch it all and get to your escape vehicle”. The first mission has no timer, you’re just smashing up a house and I loved it. Sadly, for me, the majority of the game is a race against the clock to destroy and/or steal specific objects on each map. The timer begins when you take the first item that is tied to an alarm system so you’ll need to spend a while planning your escape route.
It’s a solid premise that has thankfully been built up smartly in the game’s DLC. I was given a code for the game and said DLC and could feel the improvement of their craft in the latter. It’s such a great premise, even if I’m not the biggest fan of timers in the campaign and the sandbox mode rules for when you just want to go in and mess around. There are challenges outside of the campaign which greatly added to the longevity of the title and mod support should keep the destructive fun coming for years.
The main gameplay mechanic of Teardown is its “destroy everything” gameplay. You can smash any and everything, though sturdier materials will require some heavy construction equipment. You’ll begin the game with a sledgehammer and quickly unlock a wide variety of damage-dealing devices. A personal favorite was the shotgun, using it to casually blow away houses brought out my inner psycho.
You can find various items to sell in each level and you’ll use that money to upgrade your gear. It’s a basic meta-game that adds a lot to the replay value. I would spend a lot of time searching each level for every valuable I could because the upgrades felt meaningful to the gameplay. Each level has vehicles strewn about it and learning to use them to set up your escape is key to completing the tougher missions. You’ll have a set of required objectives and optional ones. Getting all of them done is required for the 100%’ers who want to do everything.
There were a few missions where I bashed up the wrong areas and had to create a ladder out of a crane. The openness is awesome, as while there are “best paths” you can do most of the goals however you want once you’ve figured your route out. Quicksaving and loading allow you to experiment so you’ll want to do it often.
Teardown is a voxel game, giving that classic old-school look as you bash through everything around you. I remember back at launch on PC the game did not run well, so I was happy to see the excellent performance on console. Aiming for 60fps it rarely dipped hard enough to bother me. Even in the most chaotic, fire-filled scenes, things ran steadily and the controls held up well. Each map has a theme and I think overall that the game looks great.
It’s not going for a realistic or beautiful art style. It’s a functional one, focused on the task at hand. That being, of course, destroying buildings so you can perpetrate a heist. One of my favorite missions to try and 100% was one where I had to dump six cars into the ocean. Figuring out how to position each one, carefully slicing off alarms, and working them all into the water before I could hightail it back to my escape vehicle was incredibly tense.
The audio in the game is inoffensive with a decent soundtrack that never gets in the way. Writing is smart, mostly confined to your emails which set up each mission. Bug-wise I ran into zero, it was rock solid the entire time which is such a delightful rarity today.
Wrapping Things Up
Teardown is really damned fun. The devs took a solid premise and built a great sandbox around it. Performance on console is better than I could have hoped for, and with proper mod and DLC support it should have tons of content for years to come.
Xbox Seris X
- Voxels Are Fun to Smash
- Good Leveling Systems
- Smartly Reused Maps
- Funny Writing
- Adherence to Timers in the Campaign May Not Be For Everyone