Developer: Tuxedo Labs
I've been putting off writing this review because even though I've sunk more than 30 hours into this game and finished the main story, I'm still not really done with it. Regardless, I thought it was time I review it even if I'm going to keep playing it in the future. When my partner first heard about Teardown, a game where you can endlessly destroy things, he right away knew it was going to be a perfect game for me. Teardown is a voxel-based destruction game in which you are assigned to missions by different clients trying to steal from, destroy, and vandalize each other's property. Although Teardown wasn't what I exactly what I expected and had some tedious missions, overall this game is an incredibly fun, chaotic, and limitless sandbox.
Teardown has a campaign mode that the game expects you to start with before doing any sandbox levels. You start this campaign mode as an owner of a demolition company, except your company is not doing well and you're largely in debt. Desperate, you begin to take on some shady requests from new clients. The dialogue in the game is purely conveyed through e-mails you receive from your mom and from clients. The first mission you're assigned to is (illegally) blowing up a building in other to further your client's agenda. Occasionally you get to do a mission like this again but most of the later missions turned out to be more focused around stealing secured items in a time-sensitive heist format, with destruction just being a tool to assist. At some point, these shady jobs end up getting more and more dangerous and public, to the point where you begin to be pursued by different authorities even while doing missions. When you successfully complete missions you'll also be granted new tools and upgrades to those tools. You start out with a simple sledgehammer but move on to rocket launchers and pipe bombs. If you decide to play some sandbox levels, you can use any weapon or item from the game freely as well user-submitted Steam workshop mods.
Normally, I'm a little biased against the look of voxel games. I find that when the style is used for games with people or animals in it, they look really weird and robotic in voxel form. However, this game uses voxels in the perfect way. It's a game completely about using different items to break different materials, and those materials can break down realistically into smaller chunks of voxels. Sure, it doesn't look 100% realistic, but the way that things break does usually feel realistic. I'm constantly impressed by the satisfying way in which you can break walls or cars into little tiny pieces. When I was playing on my Steam Deck, I turned my graphics down to medium and the framerate to 30 and the game was able to run perfectly and I felt that the quality was still excellent. When playing on my PC, I could have my settings turned all the way up, but even then a lot of explosion all at once can cause the game to chug a bit. To be honest, I wasn't really focused on the music in this game most of the time as there were a lot of destruction sound effects covering that up. However, the setting up of heist levels does usually have some cool, suspenseful background music to add to the mood.
Something I wanted and expected from Teardown was a game with limitless ability to destroy in objects realistic and fun ways. It definitely fulfilled that wish. However, what I wanted and expected from a campaign mode was something I only got from a few missions: destroying a building or some sort of large object using all your tools. Instead, most missions involved planning a heist so that you could steal a series of items in a limited amount of time before you got caught. Sure, this too involved destruction because you have to clear a path for yourself, but not in the same way. I really resisted the "planning" phase of heists at first and tried my best to just wing it, but at some point this didn't suffice. I ended up learning how to plan a good heist, but it definitely wasn't my favorite part of the game. I wasn't really motivated to steal more than the minimum required items, because doing the optional ones would add even more time to my planning. However, I will say driving cars at top speed and crashing them while I jump out was a very fun part of heists. For me, an ideal version of the campaign mode would involve less of the timed heists (and being hunted while doing a mission) and more missions to destroy things in creative ways. Regardless, the game intensifies closer to the end and you get do some real unique missions - some really fun, some a little scary.
Recently, a new DLC story was released for Teardown, and although I just barely got started on it I'm impressed that the developers were able to add that much new campaign content for free. It's a completely different story, too, so you're not playing as the same character from the original campaign. Even without that, the steam workshop community for this game is so active and creative that there's endless really cool mods you can download to play with. There's creative new levels, insanely destructive weapons, and even new gameplay modes. I've only scratched the surface, but I had a ton of fun playing with weapons such as the physics gun, the hook shotgun, the laser, and messing up the "Californian house" and library levels. Much like earlier in the game when I first got explosion tools, I found myself laughing at sheer level of chaos I could cause with these new tools. This is definitely a game where the community mods add a new, really worthwhile layer to the game.
Teardown isn't a perfect game, but it is incredibly well-done and definitely a game I will definitely be jumping back into. I'm looking forward to completing the new campaign missions, but I do need to give myself a break after playing a lot of the heist missions. It scratches an itch for me and I genuinely have a lot of fun just finding fun ways to destroy things. I spent a lot of time in this game goofing around and trying new things even outside of missions. I really recommend this game to any fans of physics-based games, sandbox games, solving puzzles in your own way, or heist games.
Teardown is available on PC
Played on: PC (Steam Deck)
Last Played: 1/15/2023
Playtime: 35 hrs