08 – Terraria (PC)

First Published: January 7th, 2013

Last Edited: January 8th, 2013

Shout Out To: Reddit users mrstickman and ThereWasADream for spelling corrections! :D

In this day and age, it seems that the concept that lies beneath the “ideal” open world game has taken a turn for the worse. Worlds that are large (or even without end) are considered the standard, and anything else is labeled as shallow. It pains me to see our culture developing such strong tastes for the bigger and, as they see it, the better. While I cannot deny the fact that a certain appeal lies upon the shoulders of a game with dozens of miles of open terrain to explore, I also can say with confidence that developers often make an attempt at crafting a game that resembles one of Earth’s many great oceans: Large, seemingly endless, bursting with life. The only problem with this approach is that they often keep their heads above the water and fail to see that the metaphorical waters of the final product fail to be any more than six inches deep.

The point I am trying to get across is that Terraria is not a game that pushes the boundaries of size in a video game, because truth be told, even the largest worlds of Terraria  look petite compared to another independent sandbox game that I can’t seem to remember the name of…. Might have had the word “Mine” in the name, I am not sure. But yes, Terraria is a game that fits a lot into it’s seemingly constrained universe.

Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

One minute into my adventure, I was clueless and seemingly hopeless. It is hard to describe, but there is just an extremely soul levitating rush that comes alongside one’s first jump into this rich, complicated game world.  I was scared, but at the same time awestruck by pleasant sounds, sights, and life forms that all interacted with my character in ways that were seemingly euphoric (Damn, it is really time to come back to Earth and write this review…). There is just simply a certain attribute existing in the universe created by all those fine people over at Re-Logic that satisfies the aesthetic side of me.  The game’s graphics are charming at times yet freaking terrifying at others. Expect to develop an urge to turn the lights on while playing, because being a thousand blocks below the surface and facing some of the game’s more daunting common enemies will scare you right out of your chair (not literally… well maybe).

Yeup. Those exist.

Yeup. Those exist.

But from that point on, Terraria only continued to grow more and more magnificent. Bit by bit, it revealed little pieces of it’s incredibly confusing nature. But thankfully, what could have turned into a frustrating and boring experience is held up by an extremely lenient but linear nature. It is obvious a lot of thought went into balancing nearly every aspect of the world, because as you progress through the world, gaining stronger equipment and slaying mightier beasts, you will rarely feel cheated. Bosses are tricky affairs, but can be handled with limited grief using one’s brain (Intimidating, I know….)

Terraria manages to remain interesting not because of sheer size or scale, as it doesn’t really posses either of those luxuries. Instead it manages to pack a mighty punch in an experience that provides several dozen hours of entertainment before you even get to the good stuff. Even in all it’s greatness, Terraria will wear you down. In my eyes, Terraria falls closer to the adventure category than that of a sand box, but that really should not scare anyone away. Nearly every aspect of the game is well designed and was executed brilliantly. It’s an experience that can be frustrating at times, and could possibly get boring after 40 to 50 hours of game play, but that number range is relative to say the least. It’s a great game, but it will require your cooperation to make yourself enjoy it. If a little challenge here and there doesn’t scare you away before you really give it a chance, Terraria will prove to you that it is an extremely deep and fully fleshed title.

8.6 / 10

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