For those who haven’t played Minecraft, you can be forgiven for passing Terraria off as a side scrolling adaptation of Mojang’s title. But for the lucky millions who have experienced Minecraft, you’ll already know that Terraria is so much more than that. It goes so much further down the mine shaft than Minecraft ever did, and with its attention to every little detail, it’s far much more expansive than the previous cuboid king. But nearly two years on from its PC debut, how does Terraria hold up with the transfer from keyboard to gamepad?
Terraria is a very attractive looking game. It’s charming 8-bit side-scrolling adventure sees you mining through an expansive world creating items from the blocks you mine, helping you navigate through dungeons and defeat bosses. The world is your oyster, it’s yours to access and break every nook and cranny. It’s up to you whether you want to soar high up in the clouds, or dig down low in the fiery regions of Terraria‘s hell.
It’s safe to say that Re-Logic has done a very good job of transferring controls to a gamepad. You can easily equip items with the D-pad buttons, which is a life saver when you suddenly drop down into a mine shaft and find yourself facing a bucket load of slimes – one of the enemies present in your journey. Mining, chopping and slashing is all handled incredibly easily too thanks to the right stick. Clicking it in lets you toggle between free aiming and grid based control – thus letting you trade range for accuracy.
The soundtrack is stunning, creating an atmosphere that guides you through the lonely pits of your world, giving you solace and helping to shut out the horrible noises that go bump in the night. You’ll also notice that as you descend deeper and deeper into bowels of oblivion, the music changes if it senses that you’re close to something important. Closing into to an enemy that’s harder to kill, or bigger than normal mobs you encounter, the music becomes more sinister, letting you know that you’re not safe.
If you’re new to Terraria and everything it encompasses then 505 Games has been kind enough include a handy little tutorial for you to sink your teeth into. This guides you through surviving your first day and allows you to get to grips with how things work in the word of Terraria.
The split-screen is, as expected, a really fun addition that allows you to quickly formulate plans and co-ordinate correctly to defeat the next boss or to mine more minerals. It’s let down, however, by a rather large and noticeable frame-rate drop. It’s a shame too because the split-screen multiplayer is very fun with the potential for a lot of play-time there to be had, especially with PVP enabled.
The release of Terraria for PlayStation 3 is certainly a welcome one, despite the time delay. It utilises the PS3 gamepad wonderfully, allowing everything to feel incredibly natural as you work your way through the world. Its shortcomings aren’t anything that can’t be fixed in a later patch, especially in regards to same-screen multiplayer – luckily the online multiplayer is solid, which comes as no surprise when looking at the multiplayer on PC. If you’re tired of Minecraft or just wanting something new, Terraria is definitely worth picking up for the price that it is.
Audio/Visual – 5/5: The graphics are lovely with a soundtrack that perfectly compliments the onscreen action.
Gameplay – 5/5: Thoroughly enjoyable with so much to do you’ll be busy with it for a long time to come.
Innovation – 4/5: While a port of the PC version, it brings in split-screen which is good but let down by the frame-rate drop. They’ve done well to make the port an simple experience.
Value – 5/5: So much gameplay to be had here, with online multiplayer and split-screen adding so much more to this game.
Overall – 5/5