After a long period in Early Access, Tuxedo Labs has released Update 1.0 for its voxel-style heist and destruction sandbox, Teardown. Now fully available I played around with it a bit, trying out its physics system and wreaking havoc while doing various jobs to see how it worked. I won’t spoil too much, but I was quite impressed.
The goal of Teardown is to pull off heists, which can range from stealing a car or valuable documents to more outlandish things like burning down a building or throwing a safe into the sea. The taste lies in the variety, because although Teardown is a predatory game, the true excellence of its proposal comes from its physics and the destructible sandbox in which it operates. Because of this, Teardown is both a robbery and demolition and demolition game.
It might seem like an odd combination: Landing a hit requires stealth and leaves no trace to avoid being caught. Teardown blows that idea away, allowing the player to indulge their wildest desires for destruction. Want to throw a propane tank out the window and see the damage it does to the building in front of you? Continue. Fancy driving a bulldozer into a factory? Just do it. Do you want to know how long it would take to set a cabin on fire with a blowtorch? Now you can know. In the single player campaign mode, as long as you don’t draw the attention of the emergency services by, for example, setting off an alarm or starting a fire so big it reveals your position, you have complete freedom of action in the level – once you reach the objective, suggested to you and before exiting this level.
If that sounds too much to ask and you want to see if you can reduce the level to cinders, Sandbox mode is for you. Personally, I think having a goal, something that requires planning and a strategy (albeit an absurd one at times, straight out of a Hollywood heist movie), gives the game the sense it needs.
The fact is that no matter how you choose to play it, the physics system and incredible sandbox are constant. Whether you’re a fan of the voxel style or not, Teardown’s virtually limitless ways to interact with the world ensure gameplay is always fresh and fun. You’ll never feel like you’re repeating yourself because there’s always a new way to do things, whether it’s with tools (e.g. sledgehammer or blowtorch), vehicles (construction machinery, sports cars, boats…) or the Manipulation World of Crazy New Shapes (I recommend you take a look at the physics of water and how it can be incredibly destructive if we let it get out of hand).
It’s an immersive experience that serves as a good example of what a physics-centric game can do. The biggest nonsense will eventually fascinate you and you will end up using the environment as a kind of testing ground to let your imagination run wild. It’s not the kind of title you play day in and day out for weeks, but does it fulfill its role as entertainment? Without doubt. And it goes even further thanks to support for mods, allowing the community to take the bull by the horns and create a whole new set of challenges and experiences to explore.
Nowadays, Teardown is a very attractive title that you should definitely try if you’re looking for something new and unique to entertain yourself with. However, I think the best is yet to come because it’s one of those games that feels like it’s going to reach new heights once the community puts it to the test.