While we review dozens of games at XboxOldies, we rarely come across something as unique as Teardown, so let’s take a close look as the “Destruction Heist Simulator” and see if it’s a smashing good time or a pile of rubble.
In the fictional town of Lockelle, you’ll jump into the shoes of a destruction company owner, with their finances in ruins, bills are mounting up and you’re facing having your gas turned off, so it’s time to take on a few quick jobs to help make ends meet.
First up is a simple task of reducing a building to rubble, you’ve got your trusty sledgehammer, and there’s some explosive canisters lying around, you might even find a rear-loader digger that’d make nice work of those walls.
With the first job complete, sure it might have been a listed building you ruined, but at least you got the payday, now things get a little more complicated, you’ll start working for local companies and residents, with most missions giving you targets to acquire before making your way to the getaway vehicle.
You’ll have an unlimited time to walk around, work out a route, and demolish anything in your way to create a path, but as soon as you activate an alarm, you’ll have to be gone in 60 seconds.
Usually our reviews only have screenshots, but Teardown is so unique, I wanted to show exactly how the game plays out, so the video above shows the escape run after more than half an hour of planning, as you’ll see, I’d already moved vehicles, placed planks as walkways and smashed holes in buildings as well as leaving arrows spray-painted around to help keep me on path – making my run as fast and fruitful as possible, but with fully destructible environments, the world is open for you to plan and attack as you wish.
There are a few slightly more linear levels, such as one mid-storm which sees you having to collect valuable artwork, but lightning strikes will keep destroying your path and setting buildings ablaze, meaning you’ll have to work quick with your fire extinguisher to prevent a fire-alarm alerting the authorities to your escapade.
Between visiting the 8 main locations, and multiple missions available on each, as well as some misisons like the storm-run stepping outside of the norm, I never found myself getting bored or tired, in fact, another review that’s due is going to be a day late, because I’ve been so hooked on Teardown.
Just on the core missions, you’re looking at least 10-15 hours of gameplay, but even if you spend the time perfecting each run to collect most of the optional objectives, or returning to earlier missions once you’ve unlocked better tools like the rocket launcher and upgraded tolls to give you enough ramps and shotgun shells to make a path through anything, there’s still plenty outside of the main campaign.
You can spend time searching each location for hidden valuables and stashed cash (using the earnings to upgrade your tools), head to sandbox mod to have free reign and destroy anything and everything you can lay your hands on.
There’s also a “Mod” section available with a curated list of mods from the PC version, including additions such as a laser cutter or jetpack which can be activated to use in all game modes. as well as complete user made levels to explore, though they obviously don’t provide the same time-sinking enjoyment of the core content, but still giving many hours of extra entertainment.
The overall presentation of Teardown is impressive across the board, menu’s are kept clear and simple and your computer provides everything you need to know about taking on the next mission or upgrading your tools.
The world is made of destructive voxels, which each have their own properties, wood will disintegrate when smashed with the sledge hammer, but for heavy brick or metal, you might need to drive a truck through it to make the desired hole. While it might seem a little Minecraft-like when you first see a wall smash into little cubes, it’s incredibly effective, and many times, looks far, far more impressive than you might imagine.
I did find some of the tools looking a little too basic and bland, and distant objects sometimes had a slight blur which was noticeable enough to be a little annoying, but not too much that it was distracting or detracting from the feel of the game. But otherwise, it looks and feels a gem to play, and it’s hard to complain when you’re given so much destructive freedom.
Audio doesn’t really have any major negatives, but it doesn’t stand out quite as much as i’d hoped, the repetitive smash of a sledgehammer, or the often-quiet ambience, is soon balanced out when you’re running through a thunderstorm, or you break the first alarm and your 60 second countdown kicks in with an upbeat soundtrack to give that added sense of urgency.
The real gem is the value, at £24.99 this has to be one of the easiest games to recommend, there’s also a £40 Ultimate edition, which gives a few extra’s including the £25 season pass, and while a season pass costing as much as the core content, might sound expensive, if there’s anywhere near the quality, longevity and enjoyment we have in the main game, it will be worth every penny.
Overall, Teardown is one of the best surprises for 2023, a great price, amazing unique repayable fun and very easy to recommend.
Teardown is one of the best surprises for 2023, a great price, amazing unique repayable fun and very easy to recommend.