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Doom With A (Top-Down) View: Teleglitch

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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Adam Smith


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