Dig everything. Fight anything. Explore everywhere. Build stuff.
Those are the basics premises of Terraria, the 2D sandbox adventure that has now made its way to the new gen, and those four simple things define the entire game. Will you create? Will you destroy? Will you just go searching, sword in hand for the biggest damn boss 505 Games can throw at you?
Well, the answer is all of that and much much more. For putting the huge hitting Minecraft to one side, Terraria is quite possibly the ultimate do anything anywhere anytime title.
Starting off with a character customisation screen that gives you the chance to create your own dude or dudette exactly as you wish, you’ll quickly be thrust into the dog eat dog world of Terraria. What you do from there on in is completely up to you.
And depending on your view point, that is either the best thing in the world, or the worst that could happen.
From a personal point of view, I can pretty much take or leave these sandbox titles. I’ve never properly played Minecraft but have had to endure many many hours of watching the kids play, watching the kids watch and watching the kids argue over what should be built, what should be destroyed and what should basically just be left alone. DanTDM has got a lot to answer for.
But surprisingly, Terrraria scratches an itch that Minecraft misses. Whilst you can go about your every day (and night) business to your hearts content, there is much more of an emphasis placed on creating the ultimate weapons, armour and eventually magical spells in Terraria. Exploration plays a key part but for the vast majority of time you’ll be spending jumping and swimming around your world, the bits you uncover and dig deep down to find are mostly found with a purpose in hand. Again though, what that purpose is will differ for each and every player in the game.
Killing enemies is something you’ll find yourself fully engrossed in as well. Whilst the more you explore, the more resources you’ll find and the better weapons you’ll be able to create, you will need to ensure you grab enough of these as you attempt to push back the forces of evil. With coloured blobs, zombies and flying Demon Eyes as standard enemies, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon some of the bigger bosses, you’ll need to use all your skills and weapons to their best abilities in order to come out alive. Some of the enemies you’ll face are completely insane, but it does at least give you something to work towards…a goal if you like.
Of course, if you prefer to hide out in a house for the night then the option to build the greatest mansion the world has ever seen is right there in front of you! But you’ll have to acquire the relevant materials first!
With differing difficulty levels, three sizes of worlds available (although to be fair, the small world is plenty big enough for my liking), Terraria isn’t something you’ll find yourself playing and completing over the course of a few days. Instead, prepare to invest plenty of hours into your world either with long sessions or the odd ten minutes of exploration when you feel the need.
Throw in the ability to split the screen between two to four players, each with their own unique characters, skill sets and weapons being brought to the fore, and a team of players can quite easily go about dealing with things in the very best of ways. Even the addition of playing across Xbox Live is a welcome one and whilst getting involved with a stranger didn’t ever work out as planned – there doesn’t seem to be much of an online presence here, I’m sure if you could grab a friend from the other side of the country then you’ll be abel to go about showing your handy work off like nobodies business.
I can’t however pretend for one minute that the open world nature of Terraria is to my liking. I need direction and purpose in my videogames and Terraria does neither of those things. I do however fully understand the draw of the game and for either a seasoned Minecraft veteran or a total newbie to the sandbox genre, what Terraria does, it does very well indeed. In fact, other than a strange idea to make the player pause the game each and every time they wish to zoom in or out of the world, there is very little to dislike.
Just be sure to switch off the damn repetitive tunes as soon as you can as whilst the gameplay audio leaves much to be desired, the constant looping of a horrid 8 bit soundtrack is enough to drive anyone potty.
Dig. Fight. Explore. Build.
Terraria does exactly what it says on the tin!