Saturday, July 2, 2011

Terraria Review

Since it’s debut 2 years ago, Minecraft has drawn much attention due to it’s open-ended gameplay and emphasis on creativity. In the 2 years there have been a few projects that were so heavily influenced by Minecraft that they seemed like nothing more than clones of the original game. Then comes along Terraria, a game that takes many of the addictive aspects of Minecraft and expands on them in a way that almost sets it apart from Minecraft completely.
Terraria, developed by indie team Re-logic, is an side-scrolling game with action like that of Castlevania mixed with the open-world creation gameplay found in Minecraft. You have the choice of three different level types (Small, Medium, and Large) and can create a custom character that can be carried over to any other single-player level as well as any multiplayer level.
The game starts you off in the middle of nowhere with just some basic tools and a helper to give you advice on how to get started. It doesn’t take long for you to realize that you are going to need some sort of shelter as enemies will start to come after you fairly quickly. Killing enemies with your sword will cause them to drop some items and occasionally some money, but once night comes it’s obvious that your current equipment just won’t cut it as enemies become stronger and appear in greater numbers. By digging down into the ground you’ll notice that many of the game important items are found in underground caverns and you’ll need these items to upgrade your character and be able to proceed. As your character progresses, so does the world. Once you complete certain tasks, people will begin to move into the area and will sell you helpful items.

Battling one of the boss monsters in Terraria
Crafting is an important part of Terraria as it is the only way to obtain a majority of the weapons, tools, armor, and items in the game. Crafting simply requires you to have the items required as well as the proper crafting tool. (table for basic crafting, fireplace for forging, etc.) Almost every item you come across can be used as an ingredient to create something else. Of course, certain items can only be found in certain areas of each level which gives you the incentive to explore every part of the level. Crafting is not just for creating weapons or armor, you can also create summoning items that will spawn boss enemies that can drop extremely helpful loot allowing you create even more new items.
The menu system is basic and very limited. From the main menu you have the option to adjust video settings between fullscreen and widescreen, adjust sound levels, change cursor color, and a few other minor visual adjustments. In game, the only menu is your inventory which displays all items you have and your current options for crafting.
Terrari is a fantastic game that is only really limited by it’s basic design though there is still a lot of gameplay to be had here. Even the smallest map could take a player up to 10 hours of playtime to see everything. Add to this the ability to play with other people online and you’ve got a game that is well worth it’s current $10 price tag. The development team has also stated that they will be releasing updates for it that will add new items, areas, and also the ability to play with 255 players on one server. Anyone who enjoyed Minecraft but wanted more of a game to play will probably fall in love with Terraria and I would recommend this to any gamer with a capable computer.

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