Is Teardown the most unique gaming experience for years? It’s a question that came to mind after first laying eyes on the sandbox destroyer a few months back. After playing, I think it could well be just that.
In Teardown, you are looking to pull off the perfect heist. In fact, you’re looking to pull off a number of those heists, as you work your way through a pretty deep campaign, tasked by others in hope of earning cash, paying back debts, proving yourself as the go-to for all manner of criminal activities.
You may think that is nothing new. We’ve been partaking in heists for years across the likes of the PAYDAY games, in GTA Online and the reboot of Saints Row. But when have those heists ever involved a world that is fully destructible? As in FULLY destructible? Nah, not once.
It ensures that Teardown is a bit of a cracker to work your way through, as you attempt a variety of tactics and strategies, all in hope of tackling the primary and secondary objectives that are sent your way. And when those strategies and tactics fail? Well, you just smash the hell out of the place, as fast and as hard as you possibly can.
We won’t go into the story of Teardown too much, but it mostly revolves around you rocking up in a world in which paybacks are needed. Having a computer terminal to hand, sundry dodgy characters pop up in your inbox, requesting your ‘services’. You don’t hesitate to accept, if only as when money is involved, debts need to be settled…
Tasks surround a variety of things. One mission may have you trying to knock down a building, stripping it of its size. Another will have you working out the best way to dunk some expensive cars in the sea, or to steal some safes and documents. We’ve found the sheer variety found in these missions keeps Teardown fresh, especially as every single mission can be undertaken in a huge variety of ways.
Take the levelling of buildings for instance. Whilst your initial starting sledgehammer may well get you some way, chucking explosive barrels brick-wards will help. Pipe bombs even more so. And if you still need to shift some parts of the structure, jump in a crane and start swinging arms around.
The same goes for that car mission example. You may think that getting behind the wheel and driving off as fast as you can will be all that is needed, but when those cars are up on a lift with no wheels? You’ll have to get creative. Worse still, others are alarmed and so as soon as you start to move them, the old bill are notified. Believe me, alarms in Teardown are not your friend.
Every mission comes with an overview map, detailing the position of your main objectives and any secondary missions that you may wish to take on. It’s this map which is utterly key to your planning, mostly as once one of those alarms goes off, you’ll be left with just a minute or so to get the hell out of Dodge, leaving the scene in your getaway vehicle. It means that the planning of a Teardown mission could take tens of minutes, all whilst you set things up, ready for the big conclusion to be over in a matter of seconds. Fail, and you’ll be captured, put behind bars forevermore. Or left to give things another crack.
Thankfully, Teardown comes with a wicked quick save system. At any point in time you can ping a quick save, ensuring that if – read: when – things go awry, you’ll be back to try again within a matter of seconds. It’s this which is key to ensuring that Teardown is perfect for jumping into, whether that be just for a few minutes as you scout out areas, marking stuff with your spray paint for a later heist attempt, or for hours on end as you get right into the nitty gritty. And if you’re still finding things tricky after that, there are plenty of menu options which will allow you to make life a little easier, or harder.
When you include an absolute ton of different, unlockable challenges that are found away from the main campaign, as well as plenty of DLC pieces, Mods (honestly, some of these are crackers) and more, Teardown is a game that we can see only going from strength to strength.
But really, this is a game that is going to appeal to those that just want to smash stuff up. It gives you all the tools you could need for that. The sledgehammer is soon complemented by a blowtorch (and yes, that world of Teardown is happy to be set on fire), the opportunity to create walkways with planks, utilise a shotgun to rip things apart again and more. When you then consider that should the small tools not be up for the job, then a host of driveable vehicles will be, then it gets even more exciting, although possibly less strategic.
See, once you start hooning it around in a digger, a forklift, a crane or boat, best intentions soon go out the window and you’ll just be happy to smash stuff, destroy buildings and get out of there with your primary objectives intact. Going back in at a later date to scoop up the secondaries, scouting new pathways is then more than doable.
As those heists play out, and as the world around you slowly begins to deteriorate, you soon realise that, despite the voxel-visual nature – or perhaps because of it – Teardown is actually a really good looking game. For something created out of the most minute of blocks, the level of detail is off the scale, ensuring that at no point will you ever be lost in a maze of murk. We’ve been astonished by how creative some of the campaign stages are, and just how well they’ve been put together.
Of course, we could attempt to build stuff like that ourselves in the Creative mode, but that would require imagination; something that is lacking this end. For those who want it though, somehow tired of smashing stuff to the ground, building up all-new creations should well excite. Perhaps this is where the Minecraft community will start to get involved.
You may take a look at Teardown and wonder what all the fuss is about. Those thoughts may not change much after the first hour or two of play. But once Teardown clicks, it clicks like nothing else you’ll have played for a good while. Getting to grips with the ideas behind it, considering strategies, working through tactics and then putting them into action, hoping that all goes to plan, always feels good; fresh, due to the sheer amount of variety that is involved. Drop in the Challenges, the Mods, the Creative mode as well as promises of content to come further down the line, and you’ve got a game that will power you through days, weeks, months, and probably years of content, all as you continue to build it up, and knock it down.