When I started playing Terraria, the first thing that went through my mind was, what the hell am I supposed to do? I had no idea what I was doing, easily dying and having trouble just figuring out the game. The game just throws the player in a randomly generated world, with no instructions. Despite this, it wasn’t long until I started figuring things out. Now when I play Terraria, I am constantly thinking of what can’t I do?
First off let me make this clear, this game is very similar to minecraft. Now mind you, unlike most people I know, I went from Terraria to Minecraft rather than vice-versa, which is probably why the beginning of Terraria was so challenging to me. Had I known that the first thing I needed to do was collect supplies and build a house, the game would have been a lot easier. Not to say that game leaves you with out and directions at all, the game is kind enough to leave you with an NPC who provides some useful tips if you click on him, however even these tips can be confusing for a new player to this genre.
So what did I do? Well after building a house, I started digging, and collecting supplies. Terraria requires the player to start off slow, and work your way up. Starting with a smaller pickaxe made out of wood and eventually mining iron with that pickaxe to create an iron pickaxe that can mine harder minerals. The same also applies for weapons; you have to work your way up from the wooden sword to a copper one, etc.
The game is constantly rewarding the player for exploring the land, providing massive incentives to keep looking for materials. This progression makes the game very addicting. One night I was getting very tired, and was about to stop playing and head to bed, when I decided ‘hey, lets see if there are any good minerals over here’. Eventually that going to bed plan would be put on hold, replaced by another two hours of exploring. I could easily spend all day exploring the world, and never see the same thing twice. A ‘large’ size world would take hundreds of hours to explore the whole thing.
The best part about the progression in this game is it is never forced, but still helps a lot. Want to easily break through this rock type? Get a nightmare pickaxe, however if you can’t get that item at the moment, go ahead and use dynamite, it just isn’t as efficient. The only reason a player would want to grind for items is to make the game easier, not to make the game possible, as all the content is open from the start. While it is true that there is some end game content that almost requires good gear, a player can still get a lot out of the game by taking it at a slower pace, and progressing on their own time.
Beyond just exploring, the game also has many events that go on throughout the game to keep things interesting. On a night you may have planned to use to craft your next armor piece in your home, there could be a zombie apocalypse, or as it is called in terraria, a ‘blood moon’. Zombies invade your house from all angles, and you must defend it, preventing them from getting in to kill you and your NPC’s.
Did I mention NPC’s? As a player builds their house, they must also build rooms for NPC’s to move into. These NPC’s all have different purposes, but are all important. The merchant for example will allow the player to sell their items, rather than just throwing them away. NPC’s can be very important, especially early in the game. Letting them die is no big deal, as they will respawn after a few game days, but not having them can be a huge nuisance when you need them for things.
Terraria is always encouraging the player to keep playing, providing the player with many things to beyond the game play of looking for materials. The game has many different kinds of NPC’s, all of which have set areas where they spawn, but still remain random enough to keep the player on their toes. Just found a mineral deposit that you really need? Go grab it and meet up with a giant worm that can dig through the ground and kill you. The player is never alone in this vast world, always having something to fight and kill. This makes the game much higher pace than most other RPG style games.
Although if you are in need of some quiet time, in most cases your home is a safe haven. Only during special events is your home unsafe, or if you happen to forget to close the door behind you. Making the home completely safe is a wonderful design decision, as there are a ton mobs everywhere else, and sometimes the player needs some time to sit down and plan their next item.
Terria’s mob progression is also well thought out, as the game has no level up system, the difficulty of the mobs progresses another way. Typically, the difficulty of mobs goes up the deeper the player digs underground, however the game does provide plenty of incentive to dig underground as the deeper you go the more common rare minerals become. As the player goes deeper, the world also starts to get more challenging, as the player is met with lava pits, and larger caverns that can kill any player with its fall damage.
Certain mobs are also only found is specific biomes. Terraria has three main biomes that are distinct from the normal one. Jungle, Corruption, and Dessert. Each biome has different characteristics and mobs to fight, and each has specific items and weapons to find and build. For example, the Ivy Whip can only be created from supplies that are found in the jungle, or ever so helpful orb of light can only be found by crushing shadow orbs in the Corruption Biome. These distinct differences between the three various biomes provide incentive to explore them all, rather than just ignore them.
The game further ups the difficulty thanks to several distinct bosses, which are all triggered in various ways. The eye for example, can either randomly spawn as the worst time possible, or can be summoned by collecting lenses. Skeletor on the other hand can only be killed once, and is there simply to unlock the dungeon. These bosses all have unique loot, and incentives to kill them, however the actual fights are not that complex or difficult. Most bosses have attacks that are easy to avoid, and simply involve them flying through the player to deal damage, once you have done once boss successfully, the player should have no problem fighting out the mechanics of all the others. Some variation between the bosses beyond loot and health would have been nice.
Each world has one dungeon also, which is one of the most challenging parts of the game, however offers some of the best loot. Dungeons have also been made especially difficult thanks to traps, and their sheer length. Forcing the player to collect keys to get their loot further add to the difficulty and length. Good luck doing it alone without the best gear available outside the dungeon.
Speaking of playing alone, you don’t have too! As long as you got a couple friends and someone who is willing to host a terraria server, the game is fully drop in, drop out co-op. The best part is the server world is completely different from your single player world, but plays exactly the same.Go farm for materials with your friends, do the dungeon with your friends, and work together to make your own story.
To make things more difficult, the game scales difficulty based off how many people are on the server, if you have 7 players playing at one time, mobs will be significantly more difficult to kill and take down. While this sounds like a great feature, it only makes sense if all the players are working together. No matter where the players are, the scaling still takes place. If each player decides to work on something different, each player is going to have a harder time doing things due to she sheer difficulty of everything.
The games multiplayer goes beyond co-op, with party systems and even PVP, but this is when the game starts to feel incomplete. The party system, while cool, give no incentive to create multiple parties. PVP is not fun at all due to imbalanced weapons, and no dedicated maps to play in. Thankfully, due to the nature of the game players can create their own scenario and maps for use with PVP, but it would have been nice to have that included.
Speaking of building, this is an area where Terraria really shine. The game encourages you to build, simply because it is always providing you with materials to build with. Once you start the building craze, your mind goes crazy with ideas on what you are going to build next. Want to build a castle made out of gold? Terraria lets you do it, so long as you take the time to farm the gold. Want to build a floating island? The game lets you. This creativity is further encouraged by allowing the player to build with friends, speeding up the process of building, and letting your creative minds work together.
One of the best parts about this game however, is beyond all the gameplay. The developer support is simply outstanding for this indie game. The game is constantly receiving hefty updates filled with content, and the developer promises many more coming down the line, and so far all for free. The developers also maintain a strong community, by constantly keeping their fans up-to-date on future content, and never leaving anyone in the dark.
Outstanding and Addicting gameplay that keeps going and going. This genre may be new, but its gaining popularity for a reason.
Fun Factor: 10/10
This game was made to have fun with. It doesn’t sacrifice fun for anything.
The visuals in this game, while simple, are incredibly stylized and work perfectly with the gameplay.
Replay Value: 10/10
Constant developer updates, randomly generated worlds, farming based gameplay that’s fun, along with co-op, what’s not to love?
The multiplayer in this game is fun as long as you have friends who are willing to play the game with you. I have spent countless hours playing with friends. It may be missing a few small features, but overall still feels like an almost complete package.
Total Score: 97%
Terraria is a simply outstanding game that is only going to get better and better as time progresses. Frequent updates and strong developer support is going to keep the community and the game alive for many year stop come, and waste many more hours of my life. Terraria is easily one of the best games that has come out this year, and is more than worthy of the score it received in my review. This is one of the best games to come out this year. Good Job RE-LOGIC, for making one of the most fun PC games I have played in a long time. Keep up the good work.