There has been a significant focus on games that let players build their worlds and environments in the last decade. This plays into an inner sense of creativity and has let players fully realize their ideas using the most basic building blocks. Teardown is the polar opposite of that, where destruction and mayhem truly reign supreme.
At first, Teardown is a bit of a trick on the eyes due to how the environment looks. However, this is due to the way the world is created. The player can destroy each block making up any structure, as long as they have the right tools. This makes every environment fully interactive, and the player has complete control to destroy or plan to their heart’s content.
The game offers different modes through which the player can cause destruction. In addition, the Sandbox mode allows the player to interact with any worlds and tools unlocked during the campaign. This gives reason to check out the campaign and further explore what this surprisingly complex game offers.
On the surface, Teardown doesn’t look like much more than a pretty game where you blow stuff up. While both things are true, it has much more to offer. When the player starts the campaign, they’re in a rundown building with the demolition company’s name printed on the front. While unassuming, it serves as a good hideout for the main character, who’s about to become a crook.
The player interacts with the computer to get missions and can watch the TV to learn more about the world. Often the news or some other parody show will show something about a job the player recently did or one they will in the future. While there aren’t any human character models in the game, the people that the player interacts with through emails and the TV become strong personalities.
At the start of the campaign, the player is a struggling demolitions expert working on turning it around by any means necessary. The player’s first job comes from a mysterious client who wants you to demolish a random house so he can expand his business. Then, you’re loaded into the map with all the tools you need surrounding the home.
The player’s only objective is to make sure that the house falls one way or another. There’s a brief tutorial showing the player how to pick up and throw explosive tanks, but other than that, the player has free reign over the map. While the game doesn’t explicitly say this, the player can drive the heavy machinery nearby and use it to knock down the building quickly.
Once you finish the first job, the game’s narrative quickly takes off. You’ve successfully moved forward with a business partner, but the police now know what you did. From here, the campaign and story evolve into a squabble between two rich people, a police investigation, and everything in between.
There’s certain humor here that deserves recognition, especially regarding the different emails you receive. For most of the campaign, it’s assumed that there is some madman loose, destroying buildings and stealing objects left and right. At one point, the player is tasked with stealing paintings from someone they had just taken them for.
These moments are amusing as seemingly everyone is scratching their head and trying to find the culprit who’s pulling off heists across the game’s world. Watching the different characters complain to you that this mad man is on the loose, then sending you on a very similar mission is such an ironic moment.
The missions themselves differ from simple demolition exercises to more complicated heists. Each type of mission requires planning as the player gets further in. Each new map poses challenges, obstacles, and opportunities for the player to engage with the environment thoroughly. For example, if there is a wall blocking the fastest route, then it’s up to the player to create one themselves.
Some of these challenges are genuinely very difficult, with the optional objectives feeling near impossible at times. Each of the timed heist missions only gives the player 60 seconds to find all of the goals and escape. No matter the map or how far the objectives are, players will only have a full minute to get around the map and get out. This is often really challenging and makes planning crucial.
There’s a lot of content in the campaign, and it definitely feels like more than just something the developers created to showcase their technology. The people and missions that the player embarks on can feel slightly repetitive, but there is usually some twist each time the player visits the same map.
The in-game physics are pretty remarkable as well, with the different structures reacting to weight and momentum. It’s fascinating when the player drives a vehicle into a thin wall how it will break apart on contact in those specific spots. Especially in a time where most games break apart things in chunks, it’s so cool to see a game that has destruction that feels so real.
The level of impact that this game will have on your hardware may be significant. As you break apart more things, especially all at once, the game will slow down as it tries to keep up with you. This is expected, but it’s still disappointing how quickly it happens.
The game supports controller and keyboard support near-seamlessly, which is always a plus. Players can pick up a sledgehammer and have just as easy of a time playing with either device. Getting used to the controls is a big part of having successful heists because a single mistake can set you back.
The Final Word
Teardown is a beautiful game set in a world that’s more destructible than anything in games before, allowing players complete control over a voxel sandbox. The detail of the world and physics is nothing short of amazing and will be studied by developers for years to come. With the extensive possibilities of content already in the game and modding, players will never run out of things to destroy.
Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!