Terraria PS4 2008 Review


Terraria

Terraria PS4 2008 Review

Introduction

When I first heard about Terraria several years ago, the first thing I thought was “Blocks and crafting in two dimensions? Sounds like a Minecraft clone,” and I wasn’t alone. A lot of magazines and gamers have commented on how similar Terraria is to Minecraft that it’s impossible to reasonably discuss Terraria without considering it in comparison to Minecraft, being the baseline sandbox crafting video game on the market today, and almost visually identical to Terraria. However, I’d still heard a lot of good things about Terraria and I bought it with my brother for us to play together. Suffice to say that now, sitting on over two hundred hours of gameplay, I am pretty much an authority on just how different Terraria is to Minecraft, and what exactly makes Terraria such an enjoyable game to play through.

Terraria is an open-world adventure sandbox game. The game was first released in 2011, and players are currently awaiting the release of its final update “Journey’s End” sometime in 2020. The game’s focus lies on the player exploring the pre-created, procedurally generated world, raiding the different existing buildings and constructions, collecting loot, building fantastic creations, and battling legendary monsters to find coveted artifacts. At a glance, this is pretty much a description of Minecraft. However, the key difference, besides the fact that Terraria is a 2D game played in third-person POV, is that Terraria is more linearized. Players wanting to build their own creations and slowly explore the entire world are free to do so, but the game has a clear final boss, as well as some twenty different intermediary bosses, and a handful of unique biomes with dangerous enemies to encounter and, if the player so wishes, cleanse, removing the traces of evil in the player’s world. There’s a lot more to Terraria than it seems at first glance.


Progression

Although Terraria is a sandbox game, it has a semi-linearized progression system. Ideally, players would slowly realize where they’re supposed to go and what they’re supposed to do by speaking to the various NPCs they can encounter and exploring the biomes available to them. Bosses and events are unlocked as the player progresses, first by defeating the Eye of Cthulu, a boss monster that has a chance to spawn once the player has increased their life capacity and begun building homes to house the various NPCs they find, and from there, the NPCs can guide the player to other bosses and the recommended biomes they can explore to find more loot. This is generally how the game progresses, although the difficulty ramps up significantly when the player defeats all the basic bosses and enters Hardmode, which spawns a variety of new ores and much more difficult monsters to Terraria. You have to remember that there’s no real “quest journal” or concrete tracking system for which bosses you need to fight. Players just play as they like and the bosses will just occasionally pop up to kill them, forcing the player to get strong enough to survive. It sounds brutal, but for players looking for a non-grindy, linearized, personalized growth experience filled with the defeat of a wide variety of uniquely designed and coded monsters, this hits the spot.

The Player Character and Customization

Something that I found a bit strange when I started playing Terraria is that the player separately creates characters and worlds for the character to play in. This lets players act as “world-jumpers” of a sort, carrying items from worlds into others and exploring as many worlds as they like. The boss’s progression is tied to the world where the bosses are defeated, but this feature lets the player collecting various unique or non-renewable resources from other worlds if their main world was depleted of that resource. The character is pretty much a blank slate. Players can choose what their character looks like during the game and while creating their character for the first time, but this is limited to changing their appearance or aesthetic clothing. In-game, however, players can choose different types of armor or weapons to kit their character out with, and the variety is large. Where a game like Minecraft is focused on the player building or exploring a never-ending, procedurally generated world, Terraria has the advantage in the richness of its content. The number of different armor-sets is astounding, and their accompanying themed weapons, toolsets, pets, minecarts, mounts, and almost every role-playing game item that can be imagined. As players progress, they can choose to specify their player’s class in a soft way, there is no real class system besides unique armors that boost magic, ranged, or melee type attacks. This, coupled with the huge number of different building blocks, furniture items, and items, makes Terraria highly personalizable. Players can choose exactly what blocks they want to use to build their houses or dwellings, and exactly what theme or toolset they want to use, enjoying the items and accessories they fight incredible bosses to unlock to show off to their friends.

Art and Sound Design

With Terraria, it’s very easy for me to rave about how good the music is. The composer of Terraria’s OST, Scott Lloyd Shelly, definitely knew what he was doing when he made the music for Terraria. From simple, joyous tunes for the player’s first steps in “Overworld,” to alien, space-themed tracks for the alien invasion events and the glowing mushroom biomes the player finds underground, the soundtrack of Terraria sets the mood perfectly for a sandbox game that richly dives into a wide variety of themes and items. Terraria’s art is also spectacular. Again, just like Minecraft, it pulls off a pixel-art look exceptionally well, but it’s blocked are more detailed, and its resolution is higher. A lot of the weapons and items are very detailed, and a lot of the time I found myself looking to unlock boss fights just to see what the bosses and their minions looked like.

Conclusion

It’s difficult to give a really concrete outcome to a game like Terraria, considering how there’s still content that’s going to be added to it, but I can definitely say that, like most successful Indie games out there, it picked a certain demand that the market presented and was able to satisfy that demand well. It works well as a sandbox game and gives players a lot of freedom to build what they like and explore all the different features of a very wide and expansive game. Its progression system is there for those who want it, and the bosses are challenging and fun to fight, if a bit hard on the nerves when you lose to Plantera for the fifth time in a row because you rushed into the fight without preparing. Best of all, this game has a relatively strong modding community, so just as you think that you’ve beaten the final boss and finished all the game has to offer, don’t forget that there’s an entire world out there of mods and modpacks bursting with new content.



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