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Written by Nathan Carter on 11/14/2023 for XSX  
More On: Teardown

Teardown may be the most satisfying game I have played in a long time. What do I mean by that? Well, this game is just perfect for blowing off steam. Watching as walls and buildings explode into a piles of voxels never gets old. With a wide variety of tools maps and missions available to cause carnage, this is up there as one of my surprise hits of the year. 

The first thing you'll notice when playing Teardown for the first time is the voxel style art design for the game. This just gives this game such a charm to it and is perfect for a game that allows you to destroy the environments. I spent some time just looking around the maps and admiring the work that went into the locations, buildings, and items within them. You start off Teardown as the owner of a failing demolition business and will soon start to get jobs at your computer. At first it starts off simple enough, like asking you to demolish a broken-down building, but as you complete missions you will be asked for help at your PC by various individuals. The game has a great sense of humor to it, like when two men feuding with each other keep asking you to sabotage each others businesses not realizing you are the one doing it and thinking the other is responsible. The missions at first will range from having to completely demolish a certain building within a map to having to steal cars and files. Eventually as the game ramps up you get missions about everything from having to demolish an entire shopping mall to sneaking into a facility to photograph robots. I do like the nice touch of your warehouse starting off as an old decrepit building but slowly turning into a beautiful business and home as time goes on. 

The maps all look great, and you get a nice variety of locations here. From a chemical facility, to a shopping mall, a billionaires mansion, a small island village, and more. I want to say that pretty much every single thing in the map except for the ground and some walls are completely destructible, and this is critical to how you will go about completing missions. For instance, if one of the items you have to steal is in a house, you can drive a construction truck through the walls to create a short cut for yourself. Or if an item is on the top floor, you can go to the top floor and the blow out all the floors below you to create a place to drop down to exit quickly. This will also be key, as a lot of the missions in the beginning of the game are heist missions, meaning there will be a number of items you need to steal scattered around the map. The goal is to pretty much create for yourself the fastest path to be able to steal all the items and get back to your escape vehicle. Once you grab the first item, a 60 second timer will start counting down and you need to make it to the exit vehicle before it ends. This can be a lot easier said than done. There were a lot of times I escaped with literally less than one second left on the clock. I never got frustrated or bored by this. 

You also get tons of equipment to bring along with you to aid in your destruction. The sledgehammer can destroy weak walls and windows. The blowtorch can destroy metal reinforcements like window frames and gates. As you progress, you will unlock more equipment and some of this becomes extremely helpful. The shotgun can easily blow metal doors apart, the bomb and rocket launcher can open large holes in just about any surface or structure, and the rocket booster can fling stuff across the map. You also get a fire extinguisher, which is important because most maps will have fire alarms. Causing explosions can cause fires to break out, so you have to put them out quickly or risk the alarm going off and the 60 second timer starting. This equipment is all a ton of fun to use and so many times I would have to reload a save or restart the map cause I would just sit there blowing stuff up with the bombs or the shotgun before finally realizing "Oh yeah, I should try to complete the mission". 

Really the only complaint I would have is that the loop of trying to find the least path of resistance and then having to outrun the 60 second countdown timer when an alarm goes off does get a little repetitive. But once you make it out of Act 1, the game will start to open up more with a wider variety of objectives, including one where you have to get items to your getaway van while a tornado is ripping through the map and can launch you and said objects in the air and send them flying. Another incredibly fun mission is having to absolutely demolish a shopping mall food court before the timer ends.

Teardown also features a Sandbox mode and a Challenge mode. The Sandbox mode drops you into any map you have unlocked so far with no objectives or fail conditions and just lets you play around as you please. Let me tell you, I could spend hours in this mode just destroying things. The Challenge mode has two types of missions, Heist and Destruction. The Heist missions play out like the campaign missions although there are no requirements as to how many or which items you have to take. Simply just grab what you can within the 60 second time limit and escape. Destruction mode is the one I love though where you have to destroy as much of the map as possible within a certain time limit. 

The game also comes with a selection of mods curated by the developers. You get some maps that you can play in sandbox mode or perform a heist mission in and there are also some modifiers you can choose to play with or not - like having a mini gun available. The game also comes with the two expansions Art Vandals and Time Campers, each with their own campaigns. There is also incentive to go back and replay missions. Each mission has required objectives, but there are a number of optional ones as well, which will earn points towards leveling up and earning new equipment. There are also many hidden valuables in each map that you can steal to earn money. Money can be used to upgrade your tools as well. Simply put, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck with Teardown.

This is a game that wasn't on my radar, but is now a contender for my top 10 list of best games that I have played in 2023. It is such a joy to play. I had such a smile on my face playing this and it is such a nice contrast from other games I've played this year, especially multiplayer games which can turn into giant toxic sweatboxes. This is something that I can just turn on, chill out, and blow off some steam while I start blowing away anything in my path. 

Teardown is one of the most fun games I have played this year. The combination of destructible environments and timed heists never gets old. Not quite mindless, Teardown is still a great way to turn your brain off and just blow stuff up. It is packed with so much content that you likely won't get bored of anytime soon. 

Rating: 9.5 Exquisite

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. My earliest gaming memories come from playing Lady Bug and Snafu on my fathers Colecovision and Intellivision respectively.  It wasnt until I was 6 years old and played a Mortal Kombat 2 arcade machine in a game room at a hotel that I truly fell in love with a videogame. I have so many wonderful memories of my dad and I playing Mortal Kombat on SNES every night after dinner. Throughout my childhood NES, SNES, Gameboy and Sega Genesis were the loves of my life. Here I am 35 years old and still as much in love with videogames as I ever was. 

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