Teslagrad 2

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Modus Games
Developer: Rain Games
Release Date: Spring 2023


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Switch/PS5/PS4/XSX/XOne/PC Preview - 'Teslagrad 2'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Jan. 30, 2023 @ 6:00 a.m. PST

Teslagrad 2 is set to be an exploration-based Metroidvania game with magnetic physics and will use the visual style that won the hearts of the players in the original.

Teslagrad 2 follows the story of a young girl named Lumina, who's off to an island for reasons unknown. It seems like she's trying to find or rescue her lost family, but as she approaches the island, she's shot from the sky by pirates. Her ship crashes, and she finds herself with nothing but her wits and a pretty cool pair of boots. She'll need to find a way to survive, but thankfully, her crash landing seems to have left her in a place with plenty of secrets to discover.

Teslagrad 2's preview build only gave us the basics of the story, but what's more interesting is in how it's told. There's no voice acting, no text — nothing of the sort. The visuals carried the storytelling, making use of the environment and the character's animations to convey things. I enjoyed the simple storytelling that maintained the quick pace of the game. The graphics are also well animated, with colorful environments and some extremely cool-looking monster designs.

Lumina's power set in the preview build was largely focused around electricity and magnets, as you might gather from her name. She begins with the ability to briefly turn herself into a bolt of electricity, which can be used to dash across gaps and pass through solid gates that her human form can't. Over the course of our playtime, we unlocked new abilities. One ability took advantage of the magnets in the area. Red magnets could attract you, and blue ones repel, and it was critical to figure out how to use them to your advantage.

Other abilities were more straightforward but still interesting. One allowed you to use your electric bolt underwater, which meant you could zoom around beneath the seat and use it to go up waterfalls — or launch yourself out of the water and into the air. Another was a pair of electric boots that made your slide supercharged, allowing it to break walls and stick to special railways. Each ability naturally combined with the others, and it'll be interesting to see how far this goes.

Combat is a part of the game, but it isn't the centerpiece. The preview build featured two bosses and a handful of enemies but no "true" weapons except for the electric slide shoes. Some enemies were immune to anything, so all we could do was throw boxes at them, while others would gradually become overcharged with electricity if you dashed through them, causing them to explode. There were no traditional weapons, and defeating enemies was more of a puzzle than a traditional fight. Your character has no HP and dies in one hit unless they can find a shield, which gives them two hits instead.

Teslagrad 2 has some Metroidvania elements. I could already see areas in the preview build where I would need to return later. I'm interested to see what secrets these areas are hiding. I did find a few cards while exploring, which seemed to come in sets of three, but what occurs when you collect all three will need to wait for the full game. I'm really intrigued to see how the game opens up and encourages exploring, as the map screen makes it look like a fairly large area.

We only got a bit of hands-on time with Teslagrad 2, but what we played was positive. The simple, smooth gameplay and mix of various powers already felt great, even at what was clearly the lowest level of available skills and puzzles. The storybook-like atmosphere gave it a lot of flavor and charm. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more of Teslagrad 2 when it comes out for every console and the PC later this year.

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