LIKE MINECRAFT, BUT WITHOUT THE MINECRAFT
Terraria is an interesting game with a not so fresh idea. Essentially, it is Minecraft if Minecraft was made into 2D and given more story and characters. After watching some people play Terraria on YouTube, I decided to pick it up when it was on sale on the PS Store. After around 8 hours with it, I think I got enough of an idea of what it is to write about it. Obviously I will be making many comparisons to Minecraft, given how similar the two games are to each other, but I will try to limit those comparisons.
The basis for Terraria is interesting concept, taking much from the universe of Minecraft. However, some of the original ideas created in this game were very good ideas and add to this concept of games. One of the best things in this is the variety of weapons that you can use to kill enemies. From spears to guns to boomerangs to swords, you can do damage with a large variety of things.
Each weapon is unique in the ammo it uses, the damage it can do, how many people it can hit, and how fast it can be used. They also have a specific place and time to use each of them. When you are in a small hallway, you do not want to use a swinging weapon such as a sword, but it would be more useful to use a stabbing weapon like a spear.
Speaking of inventory, the inventory system in this game is a treat. Moving items around in your bag is quick and snappy, looting crates is quick and simple, and the overall just aesthetic of the screen makes me happy. The inner perfectionist in me loved this screen way more than I honestly should have.
The mining aspect of this game is very good as well. With the game taking place in a 2D field of view, you can have a basic idea of what minerals can be found before wasting time digging to them. In Minecraft, you really only have your own field of view when mining, but in Terraria you can see in a large area around you.
This cuts down on the time spent wasted looking for a specific material. If I am looking specifically for Iron, then I can look around and see the blocks near me to have an idea of which direction to go. I actually love this about this game and it is one of my favorite things that I found in this game.
The biomes in this game are also very well done. You start out in sort of a plain biome, but by moving to either left or right, you can change the biome that you are in. Each biome has its own enemies of varying skill level, music, and environment.
This makes me want to go out and explore the world. I want to see what new places I can see just around the bend. However, this will lead me into some of the things I don’t really like about this game.
THE NOT SO GOOD
Maybe I just suck, but the difficulty spike is insane when you travel to another biome. I had the bloodworld on my left and a jungle to my right. I had some pretty solid gear to my knowledge: Iron Armor, a spear, a silver sword, a silver bow, and a blessed boomerang I found. Sure, let me go out and check the bloodlands.
That didn’t go well. I’ll respawn and maybe head to the right and check out that jungle place.
Note that these are the first two areas outside of the starter location. Every gamer is going to go either left or right from the start to check it out. When you throw them into a scenario where they die so quickly, they feel like they were cheated. You have players saying things like, “How was I supposed to know this place would be that much harder.” It quickly can kill a game if I felt like I was cheated into death.
The next thing is the camera. I’m sure you’ve noticed from all the screenshots that the camera is faaaaaaaar from your character. And they do a good job of making the items you get pop out at the screen and make it easy to read, but I often found myself looking at a pile of enemy that I killed, confused if there were any items on the ground that I missed.
I don’t know how this could’ve been fixed though, since the camera makes the mining aspect of this game so much better. It is just a flaw in the design and the look of the game and what they were going for.
Those are some minor inconveniences that I could forgive, but there are some things that really bury this game for me.
The first and worst thing in this game is the way that you take damage. In every single game in existence, when you get hit by an enemy, you get a brief moment to compose yourself and have some invulnerability. Not in this game. You take a hit, you better make goddamn sure that you aren’t going to land near another enemy. Because they will gladly take another peg off your life. This gives you no time to think about what you are going to do when you get hit. You have to just pick a way to go and pray that another enemy will not be there to slap you. I died MANY times because I was hit back to back, sometimes more than two hits in a brief period.
Next is the lack of any direction on what you are doing. And you can point to Minecraft and say that they do not really provide any information as well. But this game is clearly way more fighting based than Minecraft and there is only so many mindless zombies I can kill before that gets boring as shit. But I can’t really get to the next area because the biome there has much harder enemies. You get some idea on what to do from the villager guy that spawns in your spawn, but he doesn’t really give you any forward direction. He pretty much says, “Make houses and do stuff for more people to show up.” Great, thanks.
Because I didn’t have any idea on what to do, I sprinted through bloodville and got to a snowy biome. This area had what looked like a castle in it. “Awesome! A place to check out and hopefully get some new items.” I thought. There was an old man who said something about coming back at dark. So I did. Then I went in to check it out and got one-shot killed by some fucking giant skull.
That’s not fair. That’s not fun. That’s absolute bullshit. And because of that death, I lost all my money.
Because of the lack of any direction, I found myself bored way faster than I should have. Which is a real shame, because this game really shines in some aspects. But the bad parts of it really killed any chance that I would want to go back and play anymore. The game is good enough for what it is, a Minecraft clone with some interesting combat and a very interesting setting. But these things can’t really save the things that really put a dent in the game. It’s tough, but I would have to give it a 5/10. Right smack in the middle. There is so much potential for this game to be amazing, and maybe it is with multiple players, but for just one person playing it really falls flat.