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Teardown is a heist sandbox where you can smash everything to pieces

Teardown's approach to heists is as subtle as a sledgehammer. It's a heist sandbox where you have to plan and pull off criminal capers in a world of destructible voxels just waiting to be beaten with hammers, crushed by cars and generally just wrecked. 

Missions start off in an exploration phase where you can wander around without pressure and break stuff to your heart's content, but you've also got a job to do and items to pinch. The moment you grab the first item, however, the 60-second timer starts, turning it into a race to get the rest of the loot. That's where your smashing skills come in. 

Using whatever is lying around, from vehicles to planks of wood, you can break through walls, blow up buildings and construct paths and shortcuts to get you to your goals as quickly and efficiently as possible once the countdown begins.

Tuxedo Labs' Dennis Gustafsson has been posting his experiments with physics and destruction on Twitter for over a year, including this neat example of the creative way you can interact with the environment:

Everything can be picked up, flung, stacked or used to construct more elaborate tools of destruction. The actual construction system looks pretty basic—just sticking stuff together—but with plenty of room to get creative. There's no correct solution and Gustafsson says that he doesn't have a specific path in mind when designing them. 

If your plan falls to pieces, you can return to the planning phase, and you can also analyse your heists to see the routes you took and how you might be able to shave off another second or two. Not unlike Hitman, the sandbox seems to encourage playful, silly experiments while also letting you obsessively try to master it. 

Teardown is still early in development—though it already looks very promising—so there's no release date yet. Expect it at some point next year.  

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.