Crossovers! I freakin love em! Especially when they come out of no where between two entities that have no business melding with each other. Superman and Bugs Bunny, Charles Barkley and Godzilla, The Punisher and Eminem I could serious go on here, but what we have been gifted here is a crossover I didn’t know I needed but turned out to be one of the most enjoyable independent shooters I’ve come across in a long time in 10tons Tesla vs Lovecraft is an incredibly intense twin stick top down shooter that pits two powerful minds from two very different mediums against one another with the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla against the American author H.P. Lovecraft of such literary classics as The Call of Cthulu among several others creating an experience that wouldn’t go unappreciated t any gamer looking for a fun and simple bullet barrage.

Tesla vs Lovecraft’s story is charmingly light and straight forward, but with the style of gameplay that this title offers its good to know that it’s not being convoluted and weighed down by a complex Kingdom Hearts/Metal Gear of a plot. The story begins with Nikola Tesla presenting his inventions to an audience when an enraged H.P. Lovecraft begins to protest them before being taken away by the police. Whilst seething in his cell he summons forth an array of creatures from the underworld to rip our lad Nik apart and puts the wheels in motion for our game. A good strong story for a strong game, this takes me back to the tales told in the arcade classics from the good old days which only complements its overall ethos a lot better. The only downside I feel was the lack of appearance from the titular Lovecraft who after being featured in the opening cutscene hides behind his deep ones for quite some time before showing his face again.

Tesla vs Lovecraft’s art style takes on a top down perspective, gives a wonderfully expansive view into each level, which range from deliciously macabre foggy London streets, cemeteries and cliffsides. All of which evolve gracefully to feature new blockades and things to destroy to add substance as you travel further and further into this game. The chosen viewpoint also helps to accommodate the absolutely huge amount of otherworldly creatures that come to give you grief which come in many different varieties and are clearly inspired by Lovecraft’s fondness on big, fishy, tentacle-y monsters all of whom want to rip you apart in many different ways which adds the challenge of keeping an eye out for each kind when there are o many to deal with. There is also a terrifically atmospheric and mood setting soundtrack that sets the tone well from the opening menu and brings tension into bullet storming through each level and its keyboard heavy sound simply goes hand in hand with the scientific mind of your playable character. Also with the amount that happens on the screen I didn’t experience any frame rate drops which only went to show the impressive workmanship that went into this game.

Where this title mostly comes down to the grit of it all is in its exhilarating and ultimately satisfying gameplay. With it in most part being a twin stick shooter you go from level to level mowing down creatures from the deep until there are no more to be slaughtered, which is easier said then done with the various portals around each stage that spews out more and more monsters until you eventually find yourself to be certifiably Zerg rushed. Through each level power ups drop out of thin air to help you along the way including different weaponry like shotguns, tommy guns revolvers, X-Ray blades and even a goddam nuke! As well as other upgrades like fire bullets and shields. You also level up as you play and when you do you are given the option to pick a perk which can range from anything including more health, speed, faster fire rates, more power ups and piercing bullets. These however go away when you complete the level and start from scratch from the next one which I feel is a good touch considering on some occasions you will find yourself becoming ridiculously overpowered at some points. You will also get the ability to teleport through the power of science which will on a number of occasions become your saving grace when your backed into a corner but the main coup de grace at your disposal is The War Pidgeon. You will eventually get to a point where you start each stage temporarily at the helm of this mech and OH LORDY! Is it awesome! The crowd control you perform through this game is satisfying enough but watching your foes splatter into pieces at the mechanical hands of it makes for great gaming. However, Tesla vs Lovecraft pretty much digs it heels in and sticks to this formula throughout, making the an otherwise great experience feel kind of repetitive, there are other modes such as endless mode where the creatures don’t stop coming and you see how long you can last and the options to fight in the Aether and Eldritch worlds which offer amped up difficulties and co-op which help to add flavour though. There are also other RPG elements featured by collecting crystal once you killed a certain amount of each species to purchase upgrades with.