[UPDATE:] After careful consideration and pushing myself to delve deeper into the game, I have upgraded the review score from a 6/10 to a 7/10. As one progresses past the issues toward the beginning of a new game and becomes more familiar, the exploration and discovery concepts make things a great deal more fun and interesting. Please be sure to visit our Terraria Community Forum and add your tips, suggestions and strategies to help newer players progress. If you choose to host a server, you can feel free to list it there as well for multiplayer fun!
The date is finally here, and the much-anticipated Terraria is finally available on the Steam store. That said, this is not the first time the masses have begun to play. While only in development for just over a few months, the developer builds were leaked onto the internet multiple times and were spread around like wildfire. As for myself and the rest of the Gaming Irresponsibly staff, we waited until the release date until giving the game a shot.
My opinion? The hype may have been overstated. The game is a bargain for 9.99 on Steam, but while the die-hard fans pre-release may hate me for saying as much, the title doesn’t live up to the amount of anticipation it was given.
The controls and gameplay from the beginning feel a bit unresponsive, and the actions for each of the tools takes some getting used to. Help is given through an original NPC, but as you read you may already be under siege by random slimes.
Building in the 2d world is not as simple as it might have been – there are a great many concepts that get in your way at once. Before the imminent hailstorm of negativity from the fans, I want to clarify that this review is aimed for the people who haven’t even heard of the game before, let alone watched all of the “let’s play” videos.
I feel that the game could have benefit from more time in development, as was the original plan. Perhaps the leaks or the over-excitement of fans sped the release date too quickly, but there is a distinct feeling that far more work needs to be done. Yes, the developers have stated that there will be additions and modifications coming soon, but this is the official paid release, and it is no longer a beta.
A nice addition would be a quick tutorial that could go over the basic controls and buttons. The “guide” npc is a nice idea, but in execution it makes things more difficult than they could have been. Personally, I would ditch the old man and give players an optional tutorial with each new character.
Whereas games like Minecraft have an addictive building style and are more like a simulation than a true “game”, this title sends you into battle fairly quickly, and without a weapon. As a player progresses and learns more about the gameplay, this will no longer be the case, but new players can expect quite a bit of confusion.
Materials must be gathered, but no direction is given as to what type of goods you need to gather. Wood, dirt and slime-gel will get you far, but not far enough before flying eyes and zombies begin to come at you as the night falls. Digging yourself down and even placing doors from the outside won’t keep zombies from spawning within your tunnels, and I found myself becoming annoyed fairly quickly by the horde.
With the cons out of the way, I will begin to focus on the pros. What this game does perfectly is a complex crafting system that can be fun for players as they progress. Keeping items in your inventory allows you to choose from a list of possible results, which make item creation a breeze if you have the right materials on hand. If you’re missing one item from a recipe, however, there is not a lot of help to guide you.
The art style is very Super Nintendo era, and I loved that. Together with the music and sounds, the retro feel of the game made the overall feel of everything a bouncy and fun experience. Once night falls, the darkness gives everything a more creepy feeling, but the mood is correct for the gameplay.
My overall score for this title as it stands is a 7/10, but that score is highly likely to change as the basic issues are resolved and new development is added. The developers have already announced that change is on the way, so I would still suggest buying this game while the price is low if you can afford it. It has a great deal of potential.
How do these ratings work? Click here for descriptions!