Have you ever wondered what would happen if both Mario’s and Minecraft’s styles were combined into one game? MarioCraft, perhaps. Or even Mineio. Well, it’s neither of those. In fact, the game you’re thinking of doesn’t exist. But the closest, most enjoyable thing to it right now is Re-Logic’s Terraria. Dig, fight, explore and build in a 2D land full of different monsters, from Slimes and Skeletons to Floating Eyeballs, Zombies and dozens more. The game is also home to an assortment of NPCs, who you can attract into your home, each offering a new, unique feature. The recently released console versions on both Xbox Arcade and Playstation Network even give players the chance to find hundreds more items available only on console, which is even more incentive to give Terraria a go.
Terraria falls into the genre of a 2D Action-Adventure. You begin this adventure in a randomly generated world, standing in an unknown biome, with no one but your first NPC, The Guide, offering you basic knowledge of how to get started on your journey. What’s nice about Terraria is the lack of objectives, but amount of independence and freedom you’re given in this untouched land. Your first action may be moving left and right across the surface of the world, coming across different areas like regular old deserts and Forests, or rarer and more mystical locations such as the Hallow: A place full of magical and mystical things such as rainbows and unicorns (Not kidding) or a Corrupt biome, which is full of deadly, mutated creatures defending the hell they live in.
The main objective is to upgrade, although this task is never given to you specifically. You are expected to mine ores for armours and weapons, fight monsters to gain coins and items as well as creating a stylish, safe home to live in. If that home is good enough, you may be joined by certain NPCs, all of whom can offer a wide range of perks such as: weaponry, health, information, items and many other neat little tricks.
I had played Terraria previously upon release on the PC, which was over two years ago. So replaying it again on the PS3 felt like a whole new experience. It played a lot better than I assumed it would, as I expected a difficult to control adaptation of its steam-based counterpart. However, the end product was exactly as it should have been: Terraria. Nothing less, but definitely a lot more. It was easy to control; which is a crucial point in the game, as you are required to look in the direction you want to mine, fight or build. Luckily, the game provides the player with two cursor styles. A more specific one, which allowed for precise actions such as building or mining around pools of lava. Along with a more relaxed style, that highlighted the nearest blocks and spaces, easing the strain on the player.
One great factor Terraria possesses is the amount of replay value it has. On your first run through, you feel as if it will never end. This may be because you are the reason for your success and not the game, due to it not giving you any hints or pointers as to what to do, excluding the tutorial. You are forced to start at the bottom and work your way to the top, gathering rare items along the way such as weapons and armours. You are even the cause of your own health and mana upgrades, collecting life crystals which are hidden throughout cave systems underground as well as stars which fall in the night.
Once you have upgraded yourself sufficiently, with the best weapons, armours, items, health and potions you can find; you may feel like killing some of the bosses, which include giant skeletons and eyeballs, an exaggerated slime and many more. Upon killing the final boss, the “Wall of Flesh”, you are instantly changed to Hard Mode, which adds to the longevity of the game even more, incorporating new biomes, monsters with more health, extra items which are a lot rarer and an extra tier of bosses, making the previous ones even stronger.
There are only two suggestions I could think of which would improve the game, the first being tweaking to fix some minor bugs I encountered on my playthrough, which include the accidental repetition of the same background music now and again. Although the music is very enjoyable and adds to the atmosphere of different areas, I feel it took me away from that when it jumped from the middle of a piece to the very beginning, for the third time in one minute. Another gripe which may just be due to my personal opinion is that the cursor is not as accurate as it could be. When players are on the computer they have the ability to be very precise with their mouse. This doesn’t follow through onto the console versions, however it is understandable and players will become accustomed to controlling its movement.
Overall, I have enjoyed playing Terraria on both PC and now PS3. Being given the chance to build my character from nothing, up to the warrior he is now gives a great feeling of progression. I plan to carry on playing it in the future, as I feel there is even more to discover in my world as well as crossing over to the harder mode, which will most likely improve the experience that much more. Terraria has the fantastic ability to absorb you into its 2D world for many more hours than you first decided on, which is no mean feat in modern gaming. One hour can turn to three very quickly when you’re digging, building and fighting evil monsters, and for around £10 on Xbox 360 and PS3, that’s a great deal.
Have you played Terraria? Do you feel it’s a better experience on console than PC? Leave a comment and let us know