To commemorate the beta of Steam Reviews, as well as passing 1,000 hours in Team Fortress 2, it only makes sense that I finally write a recommendation for a game that has been close to my heart since the day I was first introduced to it: Terraria.
Terraria has proven to be a lot of fun to play, and has been one of my biggest video game time sinks in recent years because of it. Between lenient system requirements, a solid (albeit imbalanced, at times) combat system, a broad permittance for exploration and a wide selection of building decor, it's the type of game that strikes me as having something for everyone. Which is good, when you consider that it also has multiplayer. Even better when you get to the late game, which has a wide array of weapons, armors and tools to allow for a wide variety of specializations.
Building and exploration are strong points in favor of the game, but the gameplay mechanics are something I'd like to single out for praise. For a 2D game, its combat system has a lot of spectacle, and perhaps that's part of why I find it so charming. Hurting enemies--even those who are vastly inferior to you--feels good. It's satisfying to hear the hit sound on the more squishy enemies, and watch them explode into fine little chunks when they die. Ground movement could be better, but certain late game items give you the ability to dash and fly, which really expand how you can explore and fight. And with a wide selection of weapons, every player is bound to find a roster of tools, spells and fish-related artillery that fits their playstyle.
The game isn't without flaws, mind you. With the game's update history, the launch endgame now vastly differs from that of the current one. This has led to some balance and progression issues, the most glaring of which being how sluggish the early game feels. It worries me that the start of the game might dissuade some people from playing, when they might love what the late game has to offer. The game also has a bad habit of recycling mob AI with reskins, though this is averted by adjusting certain parameters and giving them unique abilities to hide the fact. Even though I have more to say about the shortcomings, there's just too much good in the game to stay mad about what effectively boils down to nitpicking.
Plus, it has hats. Any game that has a selection of hats gets brownie points.
Watch some trailers. Read some other reviews. If this looks like something you'd be interested in, then take it from me: give Terraria a chance. The game occasionally goes on sale for 75% off, so pick up a four pack for yourself and three friends. If I'm wrong, then I cost you a meal at Subway--not subliminal advertising--and I'm sorry. But if I'm right, then it'll be well worth the price. We're expected to pay $60 these days for a fulfilling gaming experience. This is one that'll run you $10, at most.
Posted: November 25th, 2013