Monday 15 May 2023

Teslagrad 2 Review (Switch)

We’ve covered the original Teslagrad on just about every format imaginable and it speaks volumes that with each new release it has dragged us back into its world. When Teslagrad 2 was announced we were excited and then when it dropped out of the blue on the digital stores a frenzied panic ensued to get hold of a copy. We are pleased to say straight from the start that if you liked the original game then you’ll love this one too. The wider gaming community though better get ready because this is one tough cookie.

The plot follows a girl named Lumina who can wield the powers of magnetism. Her airship crash lands in the remote Wyrmheim and she must embark on an adventure to explore a giant tower with the hope of being reunited with her family. The plot remains fairly in the background of Teslagrad 2, it’s there if you want to dig into it through a series of illustrations and videos and there are a few cut scenes but mainly you’ll be focusing on the platforming and puzzles.

As you would expect it looks gorgeous. One of the strengths of the original game was that it looked like a sort of illustrated cartoon, and this is no different. It really draws you into the harsh environment well and after about an hour we had taken so many screenshots the folder needed clearing out. The characters are also better integrated into the environments than with the first game. In the original, moving characters often looked like they were sort of gliding along the landscape. This has been addressed here and makes the whole thing seem more tangible and solid. It also helps with collision detection and ability to judge the blink jumping.

Lumina has a host of moves and skills at her disposal which continually expand as you progress. The first of these is the iconic blink jump from the first game. This sees our heroine teleport forward a certain distance. It was a completely integral feature of the original and while it does feature heavily here you also have a lot of other toys to play with. These include slide boots which zoom you along the floor (and double as a way to get you around the castle quickly), a magnetic aura which sticks you to things and activates platforms and a downward spike dive which can be used smash through breakable floors. Later you’ll also get a magnetic throwing axe which you can cause all sorts of chaos with.

It may sound strange, but another improvement is the edges of platforms. There were far too many instances where you just couldn’t seem to grab onto things before. That is no longer the case which is helpful in a game as challenging as this. Checkpointing is also much better with players often popping back to just before the tricky section they just died on. It can be a bit annoying with boss battles as there are a few unskippable cut scenes and animations you’ll be seeing a fair few times but generally it is a huge improvement. Anyone who has reached ‘that’ section in the first Teslagrad will know what we mean.

Although much has been improved there are still frustrations. An early one for us was an electric moose boss that halted our progress for well over an hour and there are one too many situations where it seems you just can’t get out the way and death is inevitable. Most of the bosses though are very well designed and require creative thought to overcome. An electric snake is a particular highlight which walked the line between frustration and satisfaction well, providing an exciting encounter without hindering our progress for hours.

We also ran into some technical stutters through one section of the game which kept stalling it. Not ideal for a precision platformer. This only seemed to effect one specific part based around a long upward tube though and when we were anywhere else the issue resolved itself. It’s also something the team are aware of so it could well be patched out.

Overall, Teslagrad 2 is a fun and energetic platformer that fans of the original will love and most newcomers would probably be best starting with. Most of the flaws of the original game have been ironed out and there are a host of cool new toys to play around with. A few sticking points that stopped our progress aside, we absolutely loved our time with the game.

Overall 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment