Terraria Review

By Lauren Alessandra on November 23, 2014

Since its initial release on the PC in 2011, Terraria has held its own among many other games of a similar ilk. this is partially because it has now been steadily released on almost every major platform (even iOS) and because of its simple mechanics - you dig, build things, and fight monsters. However, what you'll find is that Terraria is so much more than that and also that uncovering all of its secrets takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. For anyone who has played the game though, having to start all over could be a very overwhelming experience.

At a basic level, in Terraria you are tasked with building yourself and your NPC guide a house by using the many materials around you. Beyond that, you are then tasked with defending yourself against nasties. Starting off you have an axe, a pick, and a sword to defend yourself. Anyone who has played the game before should be able to just pick things up quite quickly, but if you're playing the game for the first time and haven't gone through the tutorial or even looked at content online for tips, your first map could prove to be quite a frustrating experience. There aren't really any breaks in this game. You have to build your house quickly before nightfall so as not to be bombarded by Zombies and Demon Eyes in the night who will prove quite difficult to kill especially if all you have are your starting weapons. Granted your NPC Guide offers a bundle of information like this should you choose to talk to him, but where to go past building your first house is completely up to you which is both the game's strength and weakness.

Being a sandbox game, Terraria is not very linear. Every world you create is completely random and although there are some similarities when you enter certain "biomes", there are no worlds that are completely alike which makes each new world completely unique and fun to explore. There are 3 different world sizes to choose from; Small, Medium, and Large. And each has its pros and cons. With the small worlds, the special resources you need to mine are much closer together and the game also loads faster thanks to the fact that there are less blocks. With the larger worlds you are afforded more space to build and explore as well as more chances to get valuable items among other things.

The only thing that is somewhat linear are the arrivals of the NPCs, which most of the time don't show up when you expect them to. It's all quite random. Your first NPC in your fleet is, of course, your guide. The next NPCs show up once particular conditions are met. For the most part, you don't have to worry about them. The only time when they become a nuisance is when an event like the blood moon occurs and you have zombies opening doors left and right.

Each of the NPCs offers different services. The guide mostly just offers basic information, but there is also a merchant who sells you some basic tools in exchange for coins which can be earnt through defeating monsters. There's also a nurse who can heal you and cancel any debuffs for a price. Initially the NPCs are simply there if you need them, but you could quite easily play through the game without engaging with any of them. The tools the merchant sells can all easily be made with the right materials and as your health regenerates over time, you could just simply wait to heal or perhaps make a bonfire to regenerate your health faster.

Although the PC version of the game is a bit easier to use control wise, with practice, you'll be breezing through your menus with your controller. When digging, you have a "smart" dig and then you have a "manual" dig. The "smart" dig is your default and it works by assuming where you want to dig next and the "manual" dig allows you to choose specific blocks to pick. Overall it works pretty well but doesn't have the type of control that would come with using the PC.

When it comes to graphics, Terraria takes the approach of less is more so instead of going for questionable 3-D graphics, it sticks to the classic 2D 16-bit graphics which really helps give the game some character and freedom. There are so many different types of items you can create and with the graphics being what they are, it seems to have given the development team more artistic freedom.

The atmosphere of the game is pleasant, but also a tad creepy as you never quite know what's going to happen. Going down the different tunnels to the bottom of the map means encountering different bosses and at times they can be quite eerie. This accompanied with some gorgeous music makes Terraria a really fulfilling title. There is the option to play with a friend, which makes things like fighting bosses and exploring a lot easier, but the single player experience is just as good. There are plenty of different items to collect so if you're looking to collect all of the trophies, plan to spend a lot of time on this game.

Final Thoughts

If you haven't given Terraria a chance yet, it's definitely worth the experience on the next gen consoles. The game looks gorgeous and offers a ton of content if you're willing to put the hours in. For those of you who have played the game before though, we only suggest this if you haven't already tried the console version as it doesn't really add that much to the experience and unless you're a hardcore enthusiast, it might not be worth the effort. Thankfully if you've played the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita version, you can transfer your saves to the new version. Overall though, Terraria is a lovely game with simple graphics and gameplay.

The music is exceptional.
Content offers hours of gameplay.
Customizable clothing and furniture help to make your world your own.
Not ideal for those who have already played the game on other consoles.
There isn't any storyline to follow.
There isn't much help for those who are new to the game.
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