Teleglitch, released late last year, is quite a wonderful roguelike. It's also really incredibly difficult. Like, "good luck getting to level five" difficult. So when I heard about an upgraded version titled "Die More Edition," I got pretty frightened. How much harder could it get?
Teleglitch: Die More Edition (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed]) Developer: Test3 Projects Publisher: Paradox Interactive Release Date: July 24, 2013 MSRP: $12.99
First of all, the AI has been upgraded. Enemies can still be kited like crazy, in other words forced to chase you, if you run past them all in the earlier levels, but they are now smarter about moving around in the environment. So while it's just as easy to kite them, it's way harder to actually lose them. Many times, when I find myself with little to no ammo and entering a giant room with many monsters, my first instinct is to just run. However, what inevitably ends up happening is that, as I run further and further while kiting more and more monsters, I'll hit a dead end, turn around, and simply be overwhelmed.
Additional levels have also been added to the game, but they're not just plopped haphazardly into the game's progression. Instead, the game now allows the player to choose the next level in certain cases. So instead of going from level one to level two, the player can choose to go to level 2a or 2b. These new levels offer new environments not seen in the original game, and are a great addition for those who have played through the game once already.
The most significant, and my personal favorite, addition to the Die More Edition is the "RSG," or Random Starting Gear, option. Normally, you'd always start with a pistol and some ammo in addition to your trusty melee knife. In a world of randomly-generated everything, knowing how each new life would start provided a calming and welcome sense of familiarity.
With RSG turned on, your starting item is randomized from eight possibilities, all of which are new to the Die More Edition. The Pink Death, for example, will penetrate any armor and deal massive damage, but only comes with two shots in a clip. Sometimes, you'll just start with dynamite and chocolate.
My personal favorite is the shockblade, a melee weapon. It forces me to play in a completely different way, since starting off with no ranged weapon can be very dangerous. It is also incredibly powerful, taking out the basic enemies in one shot. I always tend to play games with a focus on melee, so I feel in my element when using the shockblade.
It's important to mention that the RSG is only available to users who purchase the game before July 31, 2013, as it's considered a "pre-order bonus." It's kind of a bummer that the best thing about the Die More Edition won't be available to everyone, so I hope they offer it up as cheap downloadable content down the line.
At times, the randomness of the game's drops and areas can make it feel a bit too difficult. Sometimes it seems like you are always destined to die no matter what you do, especially early on when you don't have many items to craft together. I, as well as many others, would have definitely appreciated the addition of an "easy mode," if for nothing other than to explore the game's later levels without the requirement of a stroke of luck and intense, machine-like focus. I don't think it would undermine the game's focus if it were presented as a secondary option, as the more casual players could at least experience the breadth of content the game has to offer.
The Die More Edition certainly lives up to its name. As if I didn't die enough in the original Teleglitch, I found myself really struggling to get to the fourth level (of nine) of this new version. It's got other bells and whistles like new dossiers to help expand the lore further as well as more upgrades for weapon crafting, which serve as the icing on the cake for this already-beefy version of the game. Straight up, the Teleglitch: Die More Edition expands upon the greatness of the original game in every way possible.
Teleglitch: Die More Edition - Reviewed by Patrick Hancock
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.
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