Doom With A (Top-Down) View: Teleglitch

By Adam Smith on November 26th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Teleglitch puts you in the shoes of a researcher on Medusa 1-C. It’s an ultra-intense top-down version of a shooter you have fond memories of, perhaps Doom or Quake, with the addition of randomly configured levels, desperate ammo shortages and screen-wounding glitches to mark every bullet, blast and bite. It’s the work of three indie devs in Estonia and you may remember my coverage of the beta many months ago. The full version has just been released and I’ve played for an hour this morning, which involved spending almost five minutes running through the second level with a horde of monsters chasing me. Try the demo and look at the trailer below.

If you’re the head of an evil megacorporation that specialises in necrotic tissue regeneration and the creation of non-human combatants, it’d only be polite to perform your research a long way from humanity’s most popular residential centres and holiday resorts. The distant planet Medusa 1-C, with its toxic atmosphere, would be perfect. That way, when the flesh-vats inevitably start coughing up furious zombies and the robots revolt against everything biological, the only people in danger will be your staff.

Welcome to your new job on Medusa 1-C!

I didn’t expect any kind of plot so I was quite surprised to find plenty of atmospheric in-game text, which is often discovered out of sequence. On my first panicked run through the opening level, no computer terminal deemed it necessary to warn me about the consequences of touching the broiling darkness that has infected the base. It didn’t look particularly friendly but I wandered into shadow anyway. On my next attempt, a terminal described what had happened to my previous incarnation. Yech.

Each level always take place in a specific part of the base but the parts that make up that area are stuck together randomly. The mad science storyline even explains that, which is the sort of thing I appreciate.

Even the first level can be brutally difficult but once you get used to conserving ammo as if you were playing a survival horror game, making every shot count against the weaving and wobbling enemies, and exploring every corner for potentially life-saving containers – well, once you do all that you’ll still die a lot, but you’ll make progress. Do try the demo. I suspect a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised by this.

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28 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    Shades of Nox…

    • Premium User Badge

      BathroomCitizen says:

      You know you are bringing a tear to my right eye, right?

      It’s a damn shame we don’t have more games with such a brilliant control scheme.

  2. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Ok. This looks rad.

    • grundus says:

      What he said, except substitute ‘rad’ for ‘awesome’ because I’m English and we don’t say ‘rad’ here unless we navigate the world using a plank of wood with wheels on.

      • Doghaus says:

        What he said, except substitute “awesome” for “completely spiffing,” because I don’t say “awesome” unless I am describing something that inspires a feeling of fear and reverence.

        No but seriously this game looks totally rad.

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          That’s what SHE said.

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          What he said, except substitute “completely spiffing” with “rad” because I bet this world is full of toxic waste and even though the rad is an outdated unit there is probably still enough radiation there to warrant its use.

  3. Lobotomist says:

    Finally Alien Breed the Roguelike :)

  4. Radiant says:

    Whoa, ok must buy.

  5. Premium User Badge

    JB says:

    I enjoyed the beta demo (I guess that’s what it was) a lot, so I’m happy to see Teleglitch is still going strong. Off to have another look at the site now!

  6. Bennus says:

    The beta was incredibly tense. But, if I remember, you were at the mercy of what the random levels gave you at the beginning, it wasn’t very balanced (but beta so forgiveable). Will try the demo. This would probably have an easy time getting greenlit on Steam.

  7. Ergates_Antius says:

    I like the intro text.

    Research fields:
    *Teleportation
    *Necrotic tissue reactivation
    *Genetic research for military purpose
    * Robitic and nonhuman combatants

    What could possiblygo wrong?

    • little grilly says:

      On top of all that, the AI went insane. I mean, why not?

      best demo i’ve played for a long time. really exciting. Strangely, on first impressions, I think I might prefer it to Doom:RL.

  8. One Pigeon says:

    Nice sound effects there. Everything feels nice and full.

    Will definitely give the demo a shot when I get home

  9. mckertis says:

    Didnt Crimsonland teach us anything ? Hold 2 mouse buttons to fire ? What ?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      I was expecting you to be able to set it up as a twin stick shooter. :(

    • Phasma Felis says:

      It’s a deliberate design decision: you can sprint or you can shoot, but not both at the same time. Make sense to me as a survival-horror nod, a reminder that you’re a frail human, not a invincible space marine.

  10. wcq says:

    Brutally difficult? Did I just get extremely lucky, or is the demo easier than the full game?
    I just went through it without dying once, combining items at random and dropping grenades at my feet.

    Maybe playing Hotline Miami on the weekend honed my top-down gunslingery.

    • Adam Smith says:

      I haven’t tried the demo unless it’s the same one that I played way back when, but the full version is consistently destroying me. Mainly ammo shortages if my accuracy isn’t good enough but also hordes of enemies every once in a while, just for good measure.

  11. tangoliber says:

    Awesome. Roguelikes keep getting closer and closer, but I’m still waiting for someone to make a true FPS roguelike. I’m able to simulate the experience for now by randomly generating levels for Doom, using monster/weapon randomizers, and then self-imposing permadeath. But eventually, someone has got to make something official!
    Imagine the randomized weaponry of Borderlands, randomized levels in the style of Doom (keycards), and the class/crafting system of Dungeons of Dredmor.

    • Ernesto says:

      I like the idea of an FPS roguelike!
      Just tried the demo for Teleglitch and I’m very pleased. I think it’s well worth the 10 €.

  12. Mericet says:

    I don’t want to spoil anyone’s ‘fun’, but stay away from the pipes in level 3 unless you have a detector.

  13. der_Zens0r says:

    wow, i love the sound and the atmosphere (the area of view is great!), but am I the only one who has a problem with those big pixels everywhere? I will play through the demo and decide afterwards if I could stand the pixels

  14. Lemming says:

    I like the idea and the look of the gameplay but why does it have to look so lumpy? I appreciate some people make lo-fi a design choice but here it just makes things look like I’m not wearing my glasses.

  15. Skabooga says:

    Well, a half hour with the demo, and I’m sold. I wasn’t looking to buy a game today, and now I’ve gone and bought two (Legend of Grimrock for 75% off? It would be a crime not to buy it! {Damn you Steam!}). This is getting ridiculous.

  16. Junon says:

    I don’t really mind the pixel graphics but I couldn’t stand the fullscreen mode. There is a batch file that puts the game in a well-behaved window.

    The game itself is pretty fantastic. I especially like the teleportation effect which is suitably disorienting.

  17. goettel says:

    Loving the demo, but a tenner feels a bit steep.

  18. MartinNr5 says:

    Just wanted to chime in that this runs slow as molasses on my Windows 8 box with an ATI HD Radeon 4800.

    This box is quite capable of running The Witcher 2 though so I don’t think it’s the hardware or the drivers that’s to blame.