Having never played nither Minecraft nor the PC version of Terraria, I was always interested in seeing what the fuss was about. As someone who has put a lengthy amount of time into other games, I can see the appeal for a game which is open for the player to do whatever they please. So after playing around 60 hours and JUST scratching the surface I think it is safe to say I am enjoying my time in Terraria. But that isn’t to say that there are some things that drive me insane.
Terraria is an open world game with a 16-bit art style. While it is nothing flashy, there are a fair amount of particle effects to make it more than just your run of the mill retro homage. You basically just make a character, select his/her difficulty, and get dropped in a world. From there you have this vast world to explore and it really is up to you to decide what you are going to do. The game doesn’t tell you much, and it never will. While I like this, some players will hate that there is no carrot on a stick to keep you progressing further. I pretty much just went online and looked for things to do, after a few hours of messing around in the world initially.
One thing I did first was to build a house. There are mobs that come at night, so you will want a place to hide out during these times when playing early in the game. Building this pretty much took over the first couple hours of my game. I couldn’t just make a simple house, it had to be a multi-story mansion, with many different rooms. This is where I first starting crafting things from the materials I had been gathering from exploring the different areas. Crafting is fine when it works. I have had some issues when I was holding all the items needed and standing in front of the correct station, yet the game would not allow me to make the item that I wanted. It is also very time consuming having to transfer items from your chests to your main inventory over and over again. When I play games like Monster Hunter, you can craft items even if you aren’t holding them, which helps a ton and saves a great bit of time.
Being that this game is a port of a PC title you must be wondering how the game controls. Because much of the actions in the game used the precision of a mouse mining and placing objects takes a little more time. The game does offer up two different control methods however. By pressing in on the Right Stick you can change the way the cursor is handled. One acts just like a mouse with full control of movement, this is good for building or mining specific sections, while the other uses an auto-aim like function which is good for general path-clearing or attacking. Also menus while slightly redesigned for a controller in mind are still cumbersome.
As I mentioned before the game really doesn’t tell you what you need to do. After a while a boss might attack or goblins may invade, but there is a lot of time in between those events. I found out quickly that the Terraria Wiki was my best friend. Not only did it have a guide for things to do, but it also has a ton of info on different items and crafting recipes. It is really something to always have open when playing.
Another big focus of Terraria is the multiplayer. Sadly this is where I ran into most of the problems when playing the game. Currently (although I hear this is being addressed in an upcoming patch) you can only play games with people on your friends list. So if no one you know is online, you are stuck playing by yourself. But when you do get a friend on most of my time with the game has been a lag filled mess. You can hear about it on our podcast, but I have been kicked to the XMB without warning numerous times when playing multiplayer. The game does autosave, so I didn’t lose much, but it is still something you never like to see. Also there has been a few times where the game simply stopped rendering terrain while playing, making cliffs and tunnels that fall to oblivion. Hopefully future patches can help sort this kind of stuff out.
So do I think Terraria is worth your money? Yes, but I would really recommend checking the demo out first. For a player with some creativity and a wild imagination, I can’t think of a better game to play on PSN. Just be wary that the game has it quirks and can be fussy at times.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Exploring my world
- Crafting and finding loot
- Boss fights
- Things that happen at random
What I Dislike:
- Not being able to switch difficulty of my character
- Map is blurry when zoomed in
- Bugs, bugs, bugs
- Online is almost unplayable at points