How do you start an article about probably the most famous video game in the world? If historical anecdotes about this 1984 title are legion, it’s because today it is a pillar of pop culture, and even of history in general. A catchy and addicting concept, heady music: founding concepts that contributed to the dazzling success of the puzzle-game of Soviet origin, and that is still what it is about today.
Released in 2018 on PS4 and in 2019 on The Epic Game Store, Tetris Effect arrives for the first time on Xbox with Tetris Effect: Connected, a new version embellished with new multiplayer modes, in temporary exclusivity before being offered in the form a free update next summer for owners of the game on other media. Tetris Effect: Connected is also available on the Windows Store. This version is not yet compatible with VR at the time of this writing, but the developers have promised a patch soon to correct this problem.
Hang on your seat belts, turn off the lights, put on your headphones and turn up the volume: we’re off on a journey through the cosmos.
Are you sad?
The first contact with Tetris Effect will certainly give you a smile on your face and you immediately understand that the experience will be visual, sound and above all, intense. The interactions to move the Tetrominos on the game matrix produce sounds, samples that complete the sound loop in the background. The level progresses, the music gets carried away, the samples evolve, and we are plunged into the heart of an unexpected sensory experience. Originally designed for VR, the experience also works very well in 2D. The sticks allow you to visually adjust the playing field, to take advantage more or less of all these elements that come to enhance your peripheral vision, while you try to find your reflexes of the 90s.
If you haven’t played Tetris in years, you’ll find the rules have changed a lot, and you’ll have to come to terms with new things, like the ability to keep a piece in your inventory and trade it in for later. On the other hand, aficionados of Tetris The Grand Master will have no problem here to destroy the game, by cursing ill-conceived rules that ordinary people will struggle to understand. And for good reason: in the shadow of the internet, there is a competitive Tetris scene, so talented that it would almost disgust you of the game, so much the blow in the ego is intense while we think back to our hundreds of hours on Game Boy and the seasoned gamer that these should have made of us. If by chance you were an expert on the subject, you will only find here the story of an average player.
Tetris Effect is above all a journey, an experience through 27 unique levels that are linked in clusters of 5, before a final fight. Each level is made up of a musical loop that evolves as you progress, and each course has a strong identity. From the color to the shape of the Tetrominos, to the psychedelic visuals that revolve around them, each level is a universe in its own right. Once the line objective has been achieved, a transition accompanies your passage to another environment. Bewitching, sublime, each change of internship is a journey, an adventure that we can’t wait to discover. You keep your matrix between each stage, until you finish a region. You will then get a region score, which will depend on your performance.
In addition to the classic Tetris figures that you can perform (T-Spin, Tetris etc.), an “area” gauge is gradually loaded, which you can trigger to try to survive during a delicate phase, or to increase by your points significantly by erasing “bonus lines” that do not count towards the objective (more lines in total, therefore more points at the end). Three difficulty modes are offered for the journey mode, as well as a Theater mode which will allow players to enjoy the soundtrack and visual effects without playing.
Nah it’s not me, it’s the onions
The Effects mode for its part offers you to participate in a series of challenges to increase your level, develop your virtual avatar and climb the rankings. The scoring aspect therefore takes its place here. If the alchemy works so well, it’s because besides being visually stunning, the soundtrack that accompanies the game is just as fantastic. We start and end Tetris Effect in the same way: tears in my eyes. The emotion provided by this mixture of genres is unique and cannot be expressed correctly in words: you have to try it to understand.
Developed by Monstars and Resonair, and published by Enhanced Games, it is not surprising to find behind these teams names known as Tetsuya Mizuguchi, co-producer of the game, already responsible for kinesthetic experiences (yes it still has its small effect at Scrabble) like Rez, Lumines or Child of Eden.
In terms of overall performance, the game runs correctly at 60FPS with its S | X Series optimization, respectively at 1440p and 2160p resolution. The Xbox One X meanwhile runs mostly at 60FPS in solo and can suffer from some drops in multi, while the Xbox One version is on its side stuck at 30FPS.
N / A the outlet I am connected
This new version of Tetris Effect comes with new game modes, this time oriented multiplayer, locally or online. Embedded in a story of black holes and corrupt constellations, no less than four game modes are available.
In Connected mode, you will have to team up with 2 other players to defeat a series of computer-controlled bosses. Once in the area, the three matrices merge into one, and players will have to collaborate on a single board for a time. Each in turn, the players can place a piece, seeing in advance the pieces that the others will be able to play next. Once again, the magic of Tetris Effect works and you quickly find yourself collaborating, moving your room to make room for another player, or wriggling frantically to show others a better location.
The Zone Battle mode offers you duels in 1V1 where the use of the Zone will be decisive to achieve victory, while the Score Attack and Classic Score Attack modes will also offer duels, but by choosing respectively the rules of Tetris Effect, or the much stricter rules of the original game. It is also with the latter that we realize how much the game has evolved over time, and how the original gameplay seems rigid, oh so much more rigid. Finally, you will have to choose between ranked games where each mode has its own ranking, or local or friends mode for games without pressure.
These multiplayer modes come with a few new tracks that early adopters will be happy to discover. Note, a community event takes place on the weekend, which will potentially allow you to unlock a rather nice secret that we will hide well from discussing here.
The hunters’ corner: A total of 42 achievements, many of which will be unlocked quickly simply during your Trials mode trials, and the rest as you play. On the other hand, for rank S everywhere… good luck!