The Amazing & Astonishing RPS Advent Calendar: Day 22

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Calendar Entry #22

It’s Teleglitch: Die More Edition!

John: I’m absolutely amazed by the number of games I’ve loved this year that I’m absolutely no good at. From Spelunky to Don’t Starve, I seem to have rediscovered something I thought was completely lost: the ability to replay the first few levels of something over and over until my fingers fall off. As a kid, I played the first ten screens of Chuckie Egg 2 perhaps a million times. I never got past the first two screens, because that game was ridiculous. Or Impossible Mission 2, for which I did not have the instructions, so never had any idea what I was supposed to be doing with all the tapes I collected. But I’d keep playing them and playing them, never seeming to mind. Roguelites seem to have reawakened that in me, and none more so than Teleglitch.

That it also looks like it might have been a game I was playing in the late 80s is surely just coincidence. My wife looked at it and said it “looks like a top-down version of Minecraft”. “It’s not like Minecraft though!” I said as I was being chased by ten monsters with no ammo and had already accidentally spammed all my explosives in a wrong-thing-selected incident I don’t like to talk about. My failure came, as it usually does, on level 2 moments later.

But I’m slowly getting better. While I certainly haven’t mastered the spiralling circle-strafing necessary for effective use of the ammo-reserving knife, I’m an awful lot more competent than I was. I’m far more sensible and judicious with bullets, recognising them as something to only ever be used in dire emergency. But I’m still no better at just getting out of a level before I’ve explored every inch of it. What if there’s more bullets over there?! What if there’s some canned meat?! Yeah, sure, I’m going to lose more health and use more ammo getting them than I’ll gain, but WHAT IF?!

I adore how it looks. Teleglitch does more with less than anything else bar Proteus. I love that enemies made of just thirty or so pixels can be so distinct, and so utterly terrifying. “OH NO!” I’ll think as I see a slightly different shade of green, and begin pegging it backward. And the sound – the use of sound is sublime, it’s scritchy-scratchy noises, the monstrous trainyard sounds as you walk past anomalies, and the buzzing, clacking, fuzzing sound of mysterious machines all ominous. They create the game’s soundtrack, accompanied by grinding doors, swishing knives, and dreadful guttural growls.

Teleglitch isn’t the sort of game I think I’m going to enjoy. An emphasis on difficulty and perpetual failure usually puts me off. But this one draws me in. I would happily spend entire days just playing it. In fact, so alien is the occurrence that I don’t even care about its story, just skipping past the text to focus on the running around. What’s become of me? It truly is a glitch. And it’s definitely one of the best games of 2013.

Graham: Like John, I’m rubbish at Teleglitch. I’ve fought my way towards a comfortable standard in games like Spelunky, but I’ve never really made any headway with Teleglitch. I still can’t resist haphazardly spilling bullets into pursuing enemies, or munching down cans of food unnecessarily just so I can make more cannons out of them.

That means I’ve never really progressed in the game, yet as an aesthetic experience, it’s stuck with me more than any other this year. It starts the moment you run the executable: a console appears, its blue background covered in streaming text as the game boots. It’s a throwback to games of yore – Id games especially – and it fits perfectly with the world of old command lines and clanking machinery you’re about to enter.

I love every little detail. The wibbly-warping of the phenomena eating the facility. The slow arc of the camera as it pivots around your movement. The way your vision floods into new areas as you open doors. The distorted explosion effect. The greens and yellow colour palette, the pitter-patting momentum of your footsteps, absolutely everything.

I love also that it makes you excited about mundane things. Finding a tube or an empty can in Teleglitch is as exciting as finding a magic potion in a fantasy roguelike. I spent a lot of 2013 playing games in which you snuffle around in bins, but it’s Teleglitch’s tiny sprites that most succeed in making scavenging exciting.

There’s plenty I wish was different about Teleglitch, but I still hope the games of 2014 are similar to it.

Adam: Many of my favourite games seem to have been drawn from an alternate history, a divergent branch from our particular machine age in which genres or types survived and flourished. Dark Souls is perhaps the strongest example of that phenomenon. It’s as if Dungeons & Dragons or Zelda deviated from what we know many years ago, eventually culminating in a weird dark fantasy masterpiece. However, to an extent, Souls sprang fully formed form its creators’ minds rather than following any particular tradition.

Teleglitch is similar. It reaches back to Doom and Quake, but farther to the Amiga of my youth. It’s a terrifying assault, with no regard for health and safety. The existence of crafting, the randomisation, the viewing angle and the cruel difficulty level all invite comparisons to Rogue but Teleglitch is an arcade game. It has bullets for blood, and the apparent crudity of the graphics hides a perfectly designed lighting rig and a brutally effective simplicity.

‘Brutal’ is a useful word when discussing Teleglitch. It is a fine example of a brutalist game, aesthetically and otherwise, and it is without a doubt one of my favourites of this year. As well as inviting a regime of rigorous self-improvement, the difficulty also prevents Teleglitch from committing the great sin of many modern action games, which is to place far too much padding between the action.

Teleglitch is one of the year’s fully-formed treasures, at once a throwback to the past and a startling vision of a possible future.

Jim: My dark love for Teleglitch has been smeared across the internet like blood at a crime scene for the greater part of the year. The game is brutal. I can’t recommend it to anyone. I can’t stop playing it. I have The Boy Quinns to thank for pointing me towards it, long before the Die More Edition, in a conversation where he described it as “a phenomenon”. Beyond that I didn’t know anything about it, and I plunged in, swaddled in a mix of anticipation and nostalgia. It was somehow like the games that gripped me in the 16-bit era, but at the same time nothing like them. It was low-fi, even for the Alien Breed and Chaos Engine era, and yet it was somehow more accomplished than such games: the levels randomised, the weapons structured for crafting, the atmosphere unparalleled. A bruising nailbomb of a game.

Games are capable of expressing and addressing many things. Games in this very list touch on issues like paranoia, delusion, allegory or metaphor, they play with myth and ideology and expectation. Some of them are satire, or simply brash explosions of experiential bravado. Not Teleglitch, though. This is something more basic. It works on the lower part of your mind. It’s horror and violence. This is just a the throbbing undertone of videogames: running down a corridor, ammo spent, praying you missed something so you can turn and take on what lies behind you.

It is also proof – throbbing, warping, rumbling truth – that even the barest and most stripped down of visual palettes can evoke incredible atmosphere. It’s one of the most atmospheric games I have played, it accomplishes that out of next to nothing. It is conjuring. It is dark magic.

Back to the Calendar!


Top comments

  1. Benkyo says:

    One of those games that I can't just fire up and play after a long day of work. I have to psyche myself up for it on a weekend. And when I do, I have so much more fun in 30 minutes than I ever do during 6 hours playing something like Civilization 5 or Batman: Subtitle that I wonder why I don't play it more often. And then I have to take a break until I'm ready to play it again.
  1. daphne says:

    Ah, excellent. Good to see Bioshock Infinite not making the list. KRZ deserves it. Not so sure about Gone Home being GOTY, but there you are. #psychosis #delusions #denial #krz #why

    To be less wildly inaccurate, I do think Metro Last Light deserved to be on the list, too.

    • BreadBitten says:

      Why are you so pleased that a game DIDN’T make the list? Were you so put off by the the experience that the very mentioning of the game’s name makes you wince? Did the game crash your PC? Did it steal your money, ruin your kids and is currently pleasing your wife better than you ever could?! Forfuck’s cake!

      I’m not trying to defend BioShock: Infinite (I JUST got the game as a Christmas gift and haven’t even installed it yet) but this is kind of thinking does not promote harmony in a community that is already rather frictional to begin with.

      • Gap Gen says:

        For the sake of Fuck! *raises sword, rides into battle*

      • DrScuttles says:

        Bioshock Infinite spilt my pint.

      • daphne says:

        My post was completely serious and it is good that you responded to me in this fashion.

        • HermitUK says:

          Also, at no point did you say Binfinite was a bad game, you merely pointed out that it wasn’t one of the top 25 PC game releases of this year, which is a sentiment I’d entirely agree with.

          • daphne says:

            Yes, it is a very good game. But in terms of actual impact on me and my perception of gaming in general its effects definitely wore off so swiftly I myself was not expecting it and thus was taken aback.

            Kentucky Route Zero on the other hand… I really do feel it’s the game that stood out most to me in 2013, and one that does carry games forward in its own literary-theatrical ways. Thus I’m rather disappointed that it hasn’t been mentioned yet, as the RPS hivemind opinion of it was similarly high.

      • Turkey says:

        The hate of anything Bioshock stems from its System Shock legacy. Bioshock along with Oblivion are held as the most egregious examples of high treason against the PC gaming master race.

        • DatonKallandor says:

          Also known as “games that inferior in anything but graphics to games that came out in the fucking last century”. Being more than a little annoyed at games media praising FACTUALLY INFERIOR games as the messiahs of the medium is completely understandable.

          • tormos says:

            and, with the “FACTUALLY INFERIOR” comment, this argument lost the remaining shreds of its credibility

        • Yglorba says:

          I don’t think people hate it, but hailing Bioshock Infinite as this big leap forward is silly. It was a competently-done but very generic FPS; it was fun to play, but easily forgettable once you’ve completed it.

          At the time some people acted like it was this huge leap forward in storytelling or gameplay, and I think it’s pretty obvious that when you look back on it with a few months’ distance, it wasn’t really all that. It was fun to play and had an interesting setting, but it never really integrated the setting, story, and gameplay (in fact, they felt less and less integrated the further you got), and in the end I felt that it focused too heavily on its weakest aspects — the final parts of the story were the kind of handwaving thing you’d expect to see in a typical comic book. I mean, some comics are decent, and unfortunately it’s true that many games manage worse, but if Crisis on Infinite Whatevers style “what if there are, like, OTHER WORLDS, maaaan?” is the best storytelling a game can manage, we’re in trouble.

          The setting was vastly more interesting, but the game unfortunately felt like it ultimately wanted to ignore all that in favor of navel-gazing.

          And it’s hard to miss the fact that gameplay has mostly been regressing over time, yes. We went from a deep and detailed inventory and hundreds of distinct and interesting powers in System Shock 2, to a simplified inventory with somewhat fewer powers (and drastically more limited stealth mechanics) in Bioshock 1, to having only two weapons at once and only eight powers total in Bioshock Infinite. Sometimes simplifying something can make it play better (System Shock 2’s psionics system had problems), but I think they’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

    • Gap Gen says:

      So it’s your fault I’m getting Philips lightbulbs adverts all over the site.

    • Mags says:

      Are you a time traveller? It hasn’t finished yet.

    • Terragot says:

      If early access applies then Day Z could be a wild card (Jim loves that game).

      Even though it looks like all bets should be on Gone Home, I wouldn’t count your winnings just yet. We had a similar run up to the final day last year where they used Hotline: Miami as a massive red herring and then gave the GOTY to Far Cry 3.

      • Grey Poupon says:

        The standalone is worse than the mods for the time being though.

    • plsgodontvisitheforums_ says:

      Excuse me, which officer let you through?? Do you even have a posting permit? Looking closer, I see your picture does not match your appearance at all! What is that, you are wearing glasses? Well then, you wouldn’t mind dipping your fingers in some ink and pressing down on this paper then, would you “daphne”… Ah, I see, no registered aliases and you are intending to overstay your entry license.
      Hah, I’ve detained entire families for less! Where’s that button!

    • USER47 says:

      Don’t forget last year, everything is possible:).

    • fish99 says:

      Isn’t there 2 days left?

  2. Gap Gen says:

    I really should play this. Need to check if I’ve bought it; indie games have a tendency to sneak onto my hard drive in bundles.

    • alms says:

      If you mean indie bundles, the only way you could’ve picked this up is through the currently running IndieGala Limited.

      And since we’re on topic, it’s just $3.29.

      link to

      yours truly,
      the Bundle Guy

  3. wcq says:

    Ah, Teleglitch. Good game, good game.

    This game murdered me violently and constantly until I figured out how to make my ammo reserves last. Sticky grenades are your friends.

  4. UncleLou says:

    This completely passed me by somehow – downloading the demo right now.

  5. trout says:

    fantastic game! beating the original it is perhaps one of my most significant gaming achievements – the die more edition has me stuck around levels 7/8 – hard to believe it could be even more brutal

  6. Yachmenev says:

    I do hope that Gone Home is GOTY now.

    I guess it’s that game, Kentucky Route Zero and Bioshock Infinite, and I really don’t think the two latter deserves it.

    But, opinions, I guess. :)

    • Ernesto25 says:

      I kinda hope it isn’t and Bioshock would be perfect for this year of pc gaming which is a bit meh i liked some of the list indifferent to others. Then again i’m not massively into Proteus , gone home (nice voice acting but exploring your own house i think i oculd do that irl), dear esther etc . Kentucky route zero isn’t finished so it be strange to be top.

      I wouldn’t’t be fussed if they were top but i wonder why we didn’t have better games this year (some releases were disappointing i guess but still).

      2013 is the year of GOG for me

      • PopeRatzo says:

        If you could make a lower-resolution top-down Kentucky Route Zero where you die all the time, it could become the RPS Game of the Century.

        • The Random One says:

          It already has the essential truck simulation element.

    • GameCat says:

      If Gone Home will be GOTY, then overall gaming journalism quality will drop below “Twilight romance fanfiction written by 12 years old kids with high fever”.

      Kentucky Route Zero is surrealistic work of art delivered as point & click/text adventure game that can compete with classic surrealistic art. It also couldn’t be delivered in any other form than game.

      Gone Home is quite unique on first glance, but except of totally realistic setting (without any aliens, superpowers, metaphors etc.) in 3D game (but that setting is often in IF games/text adventures) it doesn’t really doing anything new. I’ve seen it all in Dear Esther (limited interaction) or Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (dealing with real problems, but in metaphorical way, that’s why I emphasised “realistic setting” ) and these games are doing it better.

      Also, KRZ have room full of bears, you can’t win with that!

      • drewski says:

        Gone Home is basically a meatball over the plate for RPS to whack out of the park; are you sure you’re on the right internets?

        I mean, it’s not my GotY either but complaining about RPS liking the most RPS game ever seems a bit…llike you’ve missed the point of the site, I guess.

        • GameCat says:

          That’s why I’m talking about “video game journalism quality going down” – even if it’s for greater good, we’re talking about goddamn games here. Otherwise it will be just ridiculous like kid winning band/singer contest just because he have sad backstory, so his skills doesn’t matter. Meh.

          And from me it’s all, I will not say anything else about That Evil M Word That Every Game Have And It Is Not A ‘Murder’ thing. I’m just little sad that RPS once was really great and now sometimes it’s almost unbearable. :(

          • WrenBoy says:

            What little there was of Kentucky Route Zero was utterly beautiful but there was very little of it. Obviously there are three episodes still to go but what rubbed me up the wrong way (a little) were the encounters which were purely text based. Certainly in the first episode it felt like this was almost half the encounters.

            I really liked it and think it deserves to be on a top 25 list but since its only 40% finished I can see them leaving it out completey. That TellTale wolf cop game didnt make the list either if Ive been paying attention.

            Gunpoint and Gone Home for the last two places if there is any justice.

            I thought Gone Home was great for what its worth. Much better than I was expecting.

          • drewski says:

            But it’s always been like this, that’s my point. RPS bows at the feet of the Patron Saint Gillen and write devotions to the Holy New Games Journalism. Gone Home is basically the distillation of everything RPS has ever championed in videogames (I’m going to look silly now if it’s not on the list).

            If you genuinely think Gone Home isn’t a game then that’s fine – but it’s everything RPS has *ever* been. Nothing’s changed at all.

            Anyway, Teleglitch, eh?

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Gone Home is basically the distillation of everything RPS has ever championed in videogames

            How so? Just because it’s first person? I thought the background of RPS was more like immersive and emergent game design. Gone Home might have an immersive design on the surface, but it completely lacks the systemic depth that I thought RPS was into. Maybe they’re more interested in games telling mature stories Because That’s What Will Make People Take Our Medium Seriously.

          • The Random One says:

            Maybe they’re interested in games telling mature stories Because I’m Tired Of Being Treated Like An Idiot Teenager Having Terrible Empty Plots And Massive Great Tits Thrust Upon My Face. That’s why I like genuinely adult games, anyway.

          • AngusPrune says:

            Considering last year’s GOTY was Far Cry 3, a game in which you literally were an idiot teenager who had massive (well, ok, moderately sized) tits shoved in your face in a terrible, empty plot, I don’t think that’s a consistent theme.

          • dE says:

            In my opinion, games will be taken seriously, the second they find their own place and identity. Currently, games are trying to be like Books, Movies and Music all in one. It’s the fight of generalists against specialists on their hometurf. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy games pretty much the way they are. I can laugh about the stupidity in One Finger Death Punch, I can also enjoy the meta talk of Stanley Parable and have a good time either way.
            They’re both good examples of what games can do, without trying to be something else. One Finger Death Punch is, to me, the culmination of gaming mechanics, of gameplay distilled down to the essence. Stanley Parable is all too self aware of its own limitations. It takes narration in games and deconstructs it in an enjoyable fashion. And perhaps Gone Home is also part of that. I didn’t see it’s appeal (not for lack of personal relatability), but if it managed to communicate certain feelings and emotions to some people, it’s also paving the way for gaming’s own identity.

            Think of it like this:
            Movies show, music sings, books imagine but games can speak with you.
            That is the niche it should go for, in my opinion, to be taken seriously. It’s okay to have the stupid within games, really. No need to equal stupid fun with discrimination though, they’re two seperate things.

            And as mandatory:
            No offense meant to anybody, no flame intended, no attack on anyones personal space.

          • drewski says:

            “How so? Just because it’s first person? I thought the background of RPS was more like immersive and emergent game design. Gone Home might have an immersive design on the surface, but it completely lacks the systemic depth that I thought RPS was into. Maybe they’re more interested in games telling mature stories Because That’s What Will Make People Take Our Medium Seriously.”

            I don’t think the perspective matters at all to RPS, no.

            I think RPS is all about the feels you get from gaming. Obviously they got the best feels from Far Cry 3 last year; I’m expecting the best feels to be from Gone Home this year. I don’t think they discriminate based on what kind of game or genre or developer or perspective – it’s all about what gave the most fulfilling experience. Sometimes that might be childish glee; sometimes it might be complex systems; sometimes it might be an immersive environment. But it’s always going to be about how they felt about it.

            I don’t think that is, in the OPs words, “Twilight romance fanfiction written by 12 years old kids with high fever”.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            RPS is all about a reddit-esque misappropriation of a verb? Yikes.

        • PopeRatzo says:

          like you’ve missed the point of the site

          You know, you could save us all a lot of time by explaining it.

    • Xocrates says:

      If Gunpoint doesn’t make the list I’ll be very sad.

      • LionsPhil says:

        But whatever happened to the rewrite in the new version of Game Maker or whatever with the hopefully fixed level editor?

      • Turkey says:

        Me too. If it wasn’t for Spelunky, it would be my favorite game this year.

        The gameplay mechanics are super satisfying and fun even if it was over way too fast.

  7. airtekh says:

    Ahh Teleglitch. It’s a game I like and admire, but can’t quite bring myself to love it.

    It’s bastard hard, which I don’t have a problem with; my issue is that the roguelike bit, the randomness, isn’t quite as random as I’d like. For a game this difficult, you’re going to be playing Level 1 quite a lot; and even now, a few months on from when I did play it, I can picture in my head roughly what rooms I will encounter and what weapons will appear.

    • Lone Gunman says:

      I agree. When I restart the game it feels like I am playing the same layout again. It just doesn’t feel different enough each time. So whilst it is fun it just isn’t as varied as say something like Spelunky.

  8. almostDead says:

    Just too fucking, fucking hard.

    • Lambchops says:

      I feel your pain.

      I wanted to enjoy it, I really liked the atmosphere but I just couldn’t get past being rubbish at it and I really didn’t think I was getting better; perhaps due to a general deficiency in my aim (feel free to make your own jokes about the state of the toilet rims in my bathroom!).

      • Synesthesia says:

        Find the secret exits at lvl 3. Level 4 has a quite unnatural difficulty spike. You can go past it. Once you get your good weapons up, like the rifle, it will get easier. I got through it on the previous version, i’ve yet to win it on othe die more edition.

    • thecommoncold says:

      Wholeheartedly agree. I feel like I should have liked this, too, considering some of my favorite recent games include Dark Souls, FTL, Risk of Rain, and Dungeons of Dredmor.

      I like a game where the player needs to get better to win, but this borders on capricious. Enemies with guns just cook you too damn fast, and knifing all the stragglers after bombing the bulk of them gets tedious.

    • The Random One says:

      I get the same kind of enjoyment John mentions from Spelunky. I’ve only made it to the second world twice. Teleglitch is far beyond the line for me.

  9. Reapy says:

    I finally got this and am actually a bit off put by the bullet hoarding. I honestly find the circle strafing not quite as fun as shooting things, but you basically have to conserve ammo or die. I’m not very far along, but I hesitate to play since I dislike the knife dance so much. I’d have preferred the starter pistol to be weaker, with more ammo laying about, then leave the ammo conservation to the other guns.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      I know what you mean. I have the same problem with this game. I love the atmosphere, and I’d like to play some more, but melee is no fun.

    • Frank says:

      Ditto. Maybe when they take this 3D (I’m thinking like how Carmack started with a 2D game, “Catacombs”) it will be more enjoyable… But probably I’ll never find enemies dodging an me having few bullets fun. I can see how someone good at this could get by mostly with their knife, but that ain’t me.

  10. PopeRatzo says:

    I wish I could enjoy failure as much as you guys. That’s going to be something I work on in the coming year.

    No, it’s not. The problem with enjoying failure is that you get used to it.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      It’s not very clear what you’re saying here. Games (actual games, not interactive fiction etc) are all about learning and overcoming challenges, and failure is an integral part of that. The most pure non-digital games always have a loser. Are you saying that characteristic makes games harmful in some way?

      • draglikepull says:

        I like to play sports. I don’t care if I lose at sports (usually). But if I tried to play a sport with people who were so much better than me that my team was always down 10 goals 5 minutes into the game I would find a new sport to play.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        I don’t think constantly, predictably losing is the only way to learn.

        When a game tells you in the title that its stated purpose is for you to die a lot (which is pretty unoriginal considering last year’s “Prepare to Die Edition”), then there better be some part of the experience that is enjoyable besides the losing.

        I realize how edgy and transgressive it is to play games to lose, but as I’ve said before, it’s a mindset that most undergrads grow out of or run the risk of accepting. It’s one thing if, as the martial arts masters say, you lose and then come back to lose better. It’s another thing when losing becomes a reason to celebrate, and I’m afraid that’s where we’ve gotten. People celebrating how badly they lost and calling it all “intelligent” and “cultural”.

        I admit however that it’s something of an innovation for a game to not only be very very difficult but also have very low-res graphics and repetitive gameplay. It fits right in with this year’s “so bad it’s good” theme.

        I have designed the ultimate RPS game. It’s a pair of twelve-sided dice with single dot on every face. The object of the game is to roll a seven. I’ve got a kickstarter running so I can create the “Prepare to Lose Edition” where there all the faces are blank. See? Procedurally generated!

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          There’s a reason why there’s a small difficulty renaissance at the moment, and it’s because games have become progressively easier over the past decade or so. (Probably since stats about the number of players who actually finish games came to light.) So if a game is too hard for you, you can play something else, because there are plenty of easy ones.

          If people actually played to lose, there would be no joy in these games. People play to win because they want the feeling of satisfaction that comes from overcoming; they just accept losing along the way. You’re ascribing completely false motives to players.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Every death in Teleglitch or Spelunky is a minor setback just like missing the net might be in soccer. You keep shooting at the net until you score a goal, i.e. finish the level and eventually the game.

      If you’re so afraid of failure you should never play any sport because of all these times the ball gets stolen from you or you miss your shot. Oh noes, you might get used to being bad!

  11. Jac says:

    Clearer proof that Football Manager 2014 will be crowned the RPS bestest game of 2013.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      The fact that they included Saints Row IV so late in the Advent Calendar is a hopeful sign. Maybe it’s a sign that the crappy lo-res navel gazing downer trend is running out of gas.

  12. PopeRatzo says:

    Games in this very list touch on issues like paranoia, delusion, allegory or metaphor, they play with myth and ideology and expectation.

    And dubstep guns.

    I would love to see computer logs of which games the RPS writers actually play most. I think it’s like people who say they listen to mostly Stockhausen and read Heidegger and then you go to their house and find Deerhunter on the turntable and comic books all over the place.

    But take heart. There is a point in life when you start playing games for fun again. When you feel you don’t have to prove anything or impress anyone and can just let go. For me, it was when I realized my kids were going to grow up OK and I was happy being married to the same woman for the rest of my life.

    • AngelTear says:

      Yeah, who cares about culture and intelligence when you can have “just fun”. All those pretentious people who want us to know things, we don’t really care, we just want to shut our brains down and be happy consumers without critical thinking.

      Nietzsche would call you “The last man”.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        Nothing says “culture and intelligence” like Hotline:Miami, which was one of last year’s top Advent Calendar games.

        And Dark Souls just reeks of “culture and intelligence”. So does, let’s see, shall I go down the list?

        Maybe the problem is that you think culture and intelligence have to suck to be worthwhile.

        Nietzsche would call you “The big phony”.

        • Benkyo says:

          Playtime != Quality time. Every minute I spend playing Teleglitch is time well spent, but I do spend at least ten times more time playing fodder that doesn’t challenge me rather than games like Teleglitch because the human brain has a hard limit when it comes to mental exhaustion, decision making and challenges. Looking at time spent playing a game is a very poor indicator of game quality.

        • AngelTear says:

          I’m strongly in favor of “Just/mostly intelligent games”, but I can respect someone who thinks “both fun and intelligence matter, we want a bit of both, sometimes together sometimes separately in different games” which seems to be RPS’s stance on it. I find it hard to respect those who say “All that matters is fun, intelligent games are just pretentious stuff for hypocritical people”, which is exactly what you seem to imply.

          Nietzsche would never use the word phony. That’s more of a Salinger word. On the other hand, link to

          • PopeRatzo says:

            Oh, you’re talking about the philosopher Nietzsche. I thought you were referring to Ray Nitschke, the great middle linebacker for the Green Pay Packers.

    • Oozo says:

      Then again… I’m hung-over, and long sentences in parantheses make my head hurt.

      • welverin says:

        “You’re awfully quick to forget that just yesterday, the entry was “Saint Row IV”. Sometimes, you can have your cake and it, too, and be happy about it.”

        And more importantly, last year’s winner was Far Cry 3, not the choice for the stuffy pretentious time who wants to show the rest of the world how cultures and intelligent they are.

    • Urthman says:

      “You’re just pretending to like that” is somewhere in the Top 5 Lamest Internet Forum Comments.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      I’d love to share those logs with you! My most played games of the year are, I think, Crusader Kings II, EU IV, Euro Truck Simulator, Pinball Arcade and Football Manager 2014. Maybe Out of the Park Baseball as well. At least three of those are among my favourites of the year, probably all, but I also spent seven hours playing Teleglitch and it’s certainly among my favourites.

      And I’ve seen Event Horizon around thirty times, because I enjoy watching it with friends who are in tune with its daft genre bullshit, but I’ve only seen The Master twice.

      The Master is a masterpiece. Event Horizon ain’t.

  13. Benkyo says:

    One of those games that I can’t just fire up and play after a long day of work. I have to psyche myself up for it on a weekend. And when I do, I have so much more fun in 30 minutes than I ever do during 6 hours playing something like Civilization 5 or Batman: Subtitle that I wonder why I don’t play it more often. And then I have to take a break until I’m ready to play it again.

  14. Radiant says:

    Very quickly; the key to Mission Impossible was the “step” move.
    You didn’t have to jump across the small gaps. You could edge up to the side and then ‘stride’ across by holding left or right.

    The dude would then just walk across the gap without jumping.

  15. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Hot damn I am psyched to see Teleglitch get a shout out, what a brilliant game.

  16. Casimir's Blake says:

    They ruined it.

    The original version was near-perfect. It was possible to gradually progress without feeling utterly overwhelmed, “learn” the levels, and reach the end and feel utterly triumphant. The difficulty curve was pretty much spot on.

    It isn’t any more.

    The player is never given enough weaponry or ammo. There are often too many HUGE groups of enemies that rush you from behind by surprise, and not nearly enough containers or secrets containing anything worthwhile. Teleglitch DME is frugal to the point of frustration. I completed the original version a couple of times, and it was tough but utterly satisfying on a similar level to Dark Souls. This is far, far worse. And the ridiculous save system that requires you to go back two levels then progress through another four levels to reach another save point only adds to the frustration. (Edit: This WAS present in the Desura edition, but as the difficulty was fairer, it was less of a problem.)

    There is a “Teleglitch Extended” mod which adds a lot to the game and redresses the balance to a degree but it’s still no longer fun and an exercise in extensive frustration.

    The brilliant atmosphere and sound design is still present, the gun combat is still visceral and satisfying. Teleglitch is one of the few recent games that will throw a variety of different challenges you at once, at different times, in difference places and it takes skill to take this all on. But most of the time you’ll be stuck with the knife. Assaulted by 8 mobs at once. Backed into a corner. Screaming.

    They ruined it.

    • xaphoo says:

      Agreed. The game has become too hard to be fun. It’s now only enjoyable by a masochistic and excessively patient few.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Hm, it might be so. I still havent beat this one, but i managed to do it on the first release.

    • Lambchops says:

      It’s funny how extended editions can bugger things up.

      Spelunky got it right, a smattering of new enemies, some new secrets to discover and a bonus extra hard bit that most mere mortals (myself included) will never reach.

      Binding of Isaac got it horribly wrong. It was always a game on the cusp; with more progress meaning more unlocks, meaning a greater risk of getting an unbalanced mix of items that leaned towards over or underpowered. Which was fine when the game was at a reasonable length but the extra levels of the first expansion coupled with even more items (messing up the balance yet more) just made the whole thing way too arduous – when you quit a run early after being dealt a shit hand instead of having fun trying to tough it out against the odds it’s a sign something has gone wrong. Didn’t even bother with the second expansion.

      I’m intrigued to see which way the new FTL stuff goes (it’s a game a lot of people would already say is the wrong side of the line but in the current build I still find it fun to go out in a blaze of glory).

  17. Chaosed0 says:

    Before I say this I want to preface: I’m not trying to brag. I’m just trying to figure out what kind of different experiences there were. Because yeah, the game was hard, but to the point of frustrating? I think maybe I had that experience a total of one time, and it wasn’t even the time that I ran out of ammo on level 8. I’ve finished both the regular edition and the DME, and while the latter was harder, It wasn’t so much that it was completely off-putting. I almost never use the knife. I almost never had to skip parts of the level. I almost never use explosives on monsters, save the bosses. I’m kind of interested in why people are so frustrated with the game.

    • Frank says:

      Here’s a hint: you are better at this game than we are. Yes indeed, to the point where we find it very hard. Me personally, I found no fun in learning to play better, and so stopped. I probably got to around level 3 or so, and may have quit without actually dying just because I didn’t like the prospect of continuing for more of the same. I’m not saying I hate the game, just that its combat and resource mechanics are not a good fit for my tastes and skills.

      You could have probably guessed that, eh.

  18. lautalocos says:

    one time i reached that boss that looks like a scorpion. it really scared me, and i didn´t play the game since then. damn, that thing was frightening.

    im probably going to get the die more edition and play it again.

  19. Shadram says:

    Has Neverwinter been on the list yet? I remember John being quite taken with it, and it’s a great game. Possible contender?

  20. Houd1n1 says:

    So sad that our eyes have to suffer to play good games. I realize most of you are trying to look not too shallow by overlooking the graphics, but, at some point, you have to be honest with yourself. I think good story and gameplay are the most important part of a game, but graphical appearance is still a part of a game, and you shouldn’t ignore it completely. This game, right here, looks like complete trash graphicswise, and anyone who says that he/she is COMPLETELY ok with it in year 2013(almost 2014) is a liar and cannot be taken seriously by me, or any other person who is honest with him/herself. RPS, I have been following you for a long time but sentences like this one “I adore how it looks.” are just plain bullcrap, and you know it. Please try not to destroy your reputation by trying to be a hipster-abovemortalstandards-farseeing-wise-experienced site, and not only ignore, but “admire” obvious flaws of a game. AND NO, it’s not a matter of taste, the game objectively looks shitty in a graphics sense. Thanks.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      People about as full of themselves and confident in their own “objectivity” as you have said the same thing about the first impressionist paintings. And just like the photorealistic art of paintings back then, the photorealistic trend of today’s games is driving straight towards a brick wall of boredom.

      They’re not “overlooking the graphics”, they’re saying their crudeness actually helps the athmosphere, leaving you imagination fill out details much better than AAA 3D models could. Hence the resulting picture in your mind is actually more convincing and beautiful.

      Lastly if you’re only judging it from screenshots, you’re an idiot.

      • Houd1n1 says:

        Who said anything about photorealistic? :)

        P.S. I simply cannot encourage calling laziness a design choice.

  21. Antistar says:

    To me, reading this article comes across as something like:

    “I found this (really meta) game that involves being actually physically tied to your chair and having your toes smashed one by one with a hammer. It’s great!”

    No it’s not; it’s horrifying!

    I tried Teleglitch (the demo, I guess?) when it was first mentioned on RPS, and my reaction was basically “oh, so this is like the first level of Doom if every enemy was replaced by several cyberdemons”.

    And I never played it again.