Minecraft is a game that has always eluded me. I’ve watched and smiled politely as many have enjoyed its mix of crafting, blocky aesthetic and survivalist aspects, while I myself have failed to understand its draw. I’m sure that these very words alone are enough to make people want to feed me to the creepers and exclaim that who am I to review any games here after.
I now find myself, after spending some hours with Terraria, knowing two things. One, I understand the stye of game play offered in Minecraft and two. I think I just might prefer what Terraria is offering a lot more, thanks in part to its much more accessible gameplay albeit on a smaller scale than Microsofts latest acquisition.
Visuals aren’t really everything here, which is a good thing two as there really isn’t anything to write home about and arguably something that doesn’t translate all that well on the larger screen. Perhaps that could explain why many fans have an undying love for the PlayStation Vita version.
This next-gen iteration hasn’t lost anything in translation however, in fact it comes as a complete package with a vast amount of fresh content, including new items, rare ore, crafting material, world types and in short a generally much larger open world to play around in. Obviously this a good thing for old fans of the game and those, like myself, looking to jump in for the first time and see just what all the fuss is about.
Addiction is a word you best get used to when talking about and playing this game, admitting you have a problem is the first step after all! It’ll sink its teeth in and eat at your free time like something fresh from the twilight zone!
So whats the story?
Well, you’ll start your adventure in traditional fashion, creating your own little avatar from a handful of colours and styles, then you’ll land smack bang in the middle of a brand new world, armed with a simple sword for self defence and a couple of tools in the form of a pick axe and wooden axe.
Without much further ado, you can then begin the hard graft that will become your life on Terraria, mining ore, chopping down trees and of course fighting against endless streams of evil green beings, after your flesh.
Why are they after you? who knows, maybe you’re the real villain here, encroaching on their land and stealing their ore! but that’s a conspiracy theory for another day!
You’re not alone in this brave new world, in fact along the path of adventure you’ll be introduced to a handful of fresh faced survivors but the first you happen to bump into is the most helpful who just so happens to teach you to make a shelter and warns you to hop to it!
He’s not just blowing smoke up your…well, he’s not lying. As soon as that blazing hot sun goes into hiding, your new home becomes host to the biggest monster mash you’ll ever have seen, and if you’re stuck far fro your shelter when this begins, good luck getting home!
As you go on surviving, you’ll quickly learn just how important mining is, allowing you to unlock better gear and material for crafting stronger armour, weapons and tools to refresh the cycle all over again. Once suitable equipped, you can hunt bigger quarry and dig that bit deeper for better treasure and make much better shelter to cower in when the night dawns.
A simple system at heart that never loses its addictive nature, that need to play for just another five minutes and get craft that next set of armour, all in the hopes that when you eventually push the boundaries far enough to bump into a boss, you’ll be well enough equipped to survive the encounter and maybe even win!
Should you do so, the rewards could be huge!
Once you’ve decided to take a break from working solo, there’s multiplayer ready to offer you something new, a new dimension of survival. Jump online and you can team up with other players or, if the mood takes you, switch over to PvP and go head to head with a stranger!
The game changes little in the sense of core mechanics but with more people means even more risk for even more reward, should you have the nerve for it.
One thing of note here however, is the extreme lack of any hand holding. You’ll get an extremely small tutorial in the opening moments but beyond that, its up to you to experiment and explore to progress but this is no bad thing, I love a good challenge and this only improved the experience for me, much more!
My only real issue was that while I enjoyed my time greatly with Terraria, it still niggled in the back of my mind, constantly, that it just didn’t feel right experiencing it on a larger screen. It runs smooth, sure and there’s no glitches or slow down and barely any load time but it just feels somewhat out of place.
Overall Terraria on the Xbox One is a great little title with a lot to offer if you’re willing to give it a go. If you already own it on another platform however and all the DLC, there really is little reason to grab this version.
MLG Rating: 8/10 Format: PC Release Date: 04/09/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Terraria by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 1 week on a Xbox One. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.