Teardown Deluxe Edition – PS5 Review

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Teardown by devs Tuxedo Labs and published by Saber Interactive is a voxel art-style game that have you destroying things. Working as a demolition service you quickly fall into the world of heists whereby you need to cleverly think about how best to solve the puzzle that lies before you. While it will require brute strength to pull off, there is a method to the madness!

The ultimate game to take out your frustrations on

Smashing things is always fun to do, especially when you are not the one who is clearing up the mess. Teardown comes in 3 variants. There is the standard base game, deluxe that includes 2 of the latest DLCs and Ultimate which will have 2 further DLCs by the end of 2024. Available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC, I got to play the Deluxe edition that was recently released on PS5.

screenshot showing a brown wooden building on fire. It looks like sunset with an orange tinge to the sky. There are cranes and water beside and behind the building.
I really didn’t want to do that!

Gameplay

I have spent many an hour on Red Faction Guerrilla where you could challenge your friends in demolition battles. There is certainly nothing more rewarding than toppling a building. Enter Teardown. A single-player game whereby you are only really limited by physics and your creativity.

Playing in a first-person mode through the campaign, you begin the tutorial and innocently destroy your first building. With just a simple hammer at your disposal, it takes a bit of time to go around the walls beating the hell out of them. You soon discover however that you haven’t quite been told the truth regarding the pretence of your delivered services and land yourself in a bit of trouble, both with crime lords and the police. Going back to your computer in your warehouse you can select the next mission as well as spend earnings on upgrading your tools and items to cause greater destruction.

screenshot showing a pc screen with an grey inbox window. Several messages are listed from various clients who wish you to carry out work for them.
From your computer, you go through your inbox to discover new missions.

Carrying out mission after mission you begin to try and right things by breaking into houses, escaping with goods as well as demolishing buildings to enable gangsters to get their way for planning consents.  The deeper you go, the more the story develops and as you unlock more tools such as blow torches, fire extinguishers and shotguns.

Plan

While one mission may be a simple demo job, others have other obstacles such as intruders and smoke detectors to navigate around. One early mission had me replay it several times as the moment you steal the first item an alarm goes off giving you 60 seconds to get the remaining items and escape. You have to plan the whole heist and perform it in one go. One wrong turn or hole is not made in a wall and you are caught.

screenshot showing a tropical island with green palm trees along a cliff top. A rocket launcher is causing destruction in the blue and white concrete building that is in front. There are numerous holes and a fire rages.
Rocket launchers are immensely destructive!

Bring your own PPE

The controls are simple to learn and you are soon running around the fairly decent-sized maps with your multitude of tools. The physics are brilliant. Cut a hole in floor and it will fall away if unsupported. Pick up a gas tank and throw it at a wall and it will create a hole. The feedback on the controller has you feeling what you are doing. You can get hurt so make sure you don’t accidentally set fire to yourself or get struck by falling debris! As a huge plus, all of the vehicles can be entered and driven, a lovely touch!

screenshot showing the challenges menu screen. There are 4 shown in the grey window, 2 of them have white padlocks and need to be unlocked.
One of the many challenges that you can play through.

As well as the campaign mode there is a challenge mode as well as a sandbox area. The sandbox allows you to freely play in the maps that you have so far unlocked through the campaign, with unlimited resources. If you can’t wait however, there is the option to unlock all 9 of the maps in sandbox so that you can go on a voyage of discovery.

screenshot showing a top down map view of a sandbox island. Lush green palm trees, blue water and buildings create a topical haven.
Sandbox also allows you to shape the land how you wish in creative mode.

Teardown is the gift that keeps on giving as there is also a free mod pack that allows you to turn on all sorts of modifiers to use in the sandbox mode. I really enjoyed the laser that simply burnt through anything in its path as well as set fire to any woodwork. There are also dog companions, hook shotguns as well as vacuum cleaners and races! They are all great fun to experiment with and remain on whenever you load up and go to sandbox mode until you turn them off.

Graphics & Audio

At first, I thought that Teardown was going to look like Minecraft, judging by the title screen, however, it is not that similar in that it is made up of far smaller blocks. The voxel graphics work well alongside the physics engine, creating dramatic explosions and demolitions at every press of your controller button. The lighting is amazing and to be honest I was really not expecting the level of fluidity that I did while playing.

screenshot showing a green army jeep being driven across a sandy beach. There are some raised shacks each side and a cliff top with a grey and blue building above.
All of the vehicles can be operated, including boats.

The sound effects as you smash, burn and cut your way through objects accurately represent the material that you are interacting with perfectly. Metal clangs, brick thuds, glass shatters and wood has that dull thwack. Vehicles each have their own engine sounds giving you an idea of the power they have. The bulldozer has a raw throaty roar as you take down trees and walls.

The accompanying title soundtrack has an espionage feel to it with James Bond-style guitar plucks and melodic keys playing against a fast-paced jazz drum rhythm. Each level has its own style of music, from slow, mellow beats to adrenalin-inducing skits that makes your heart race as you know you are against the clock.

Longevity

Teardown has a huge longevity. Firstly the campaign is not easy. You can’t just approach each mission with the same smashy smashy attitude. You have to think about how to solve the puzzle, as one false move and you are reset to the beginning. Secondly, there is the sandbox for endless fun. My littlun absolutely loved exploring and creating carnage within each map. Thirdly, the mods make the sandbox mode even more appealing, adding more objects and tools to your arsenal to play with.

screenshot showing a grey and blue building that was on a raised platform slumped into the blue water. Smoke pours out from the cracks. A line of green palm trees are behind on a raised cliff top.
I got carried away shooting the columns.

Final Thoughts

If you have had a bad day and what to let off some steam, Teardown is the game for you. Similarly, if you want to solve puzzles and pull off amazing heists, this is the game! I thoroughly enjoyed my playthru of the various modes and loved not only how simple it is to learn, but also how intricate and destructive it can be. The voxel graphics look amazing and the physics engine is a true marvel.

Teardown gets the Thumb Culture Platinum Award from me!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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About Author

Atari ST, PC & PS4 Pro gamer, Father and Rock legend. Can normally be found lost somewhere in Bolivia during his spare time! PSN: Psycho_sparky

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