Terraria (XB1 Edition) Review

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I’ll say this right now, Terraria is a hell of a lot of fun. It’s as if someone has turned Minecraft into a Mario game…minus the cool moustache. It becomes spectacular when you have friends to play with. Anyone having played this on the PC will know that making an MP game, had its frustrations – NAT problems, IP address mining and use of third party apps just to play with your pal in the same CITY often put people off, or turned them to buying a server. Happily, the ability to crew up and lay the beats on a Giant Floating Eyeball with teeth – has become infinitely easier now that this terrific game has found its way to Xbox One.

That’s not to say this game doesn’t have its problems. My main major gripe is the controls. In an attempt to replicate the free flowing building that takes place within the game, the guys at Re-Logic and 505 games have given joypad users the choice of two control methods for the cursor – most games that use a cursor undoubtedly suffer when ported to a console – this one has as well.

terrariamobmp_combinedscreenThe cursor when on its default setting, can be pointed using the right analogue in the general direction you wish to chop, mine, attack or build, then it will snap to the next logical position when doing so. This is a massive help when digging through layers in a straight line. Point the right stick down and it will dig all three lower blocks beneath you for a quick descent. When the stick is left in a neutral position, whichever way the character is facing it will also attempt the same three block smashing (unless the cursor has snapped to a tree). This can cause minor annoyances such as missing odd blocks of ore, or not chopping wood from the base of a tree.

Perhaps as a nod to this Re-Logic have added in a second cursor type/choice. A quick depress of the right analogue and the cursor becomes free flowing. Blocks are now placed at the extent that your character can actually reach to (about 4 or 5 blocks from the body). This brings it much closer in line to the PC version; however the cursor speed is sloooooooow. This means that building a defensive mud wall to keep out pesky zombies becomes a risky mini-game in itself, as you battle cursor speed vs. the interminable shuffle jump of the early game’s deadliest enemy.

The core game is excellent however. The bright colours and massive selection of blocks, ore, weapons and bonkers enemies (the unicorn being my favourite… Right up until it two shots you).  The focus of the game being to take your avatar – from the new creator – and mine, craft (wink), slash and axe your way around a procedurally generated world with the aim of building your entire arsenal of weapons, armour and house fittings from the materials available. Sounds overly simple, yes it is.  The way this game differs is just how you go about it. The addition of a statistics system, a fully functional magic system (which is amazing) and a crazy amount of random events – attacking goblin armies, zombies that will kick your backdoor in. Then add several world changing events such as meteorite strikes and corrupting effects make this game a great addition to anyone’s gaming library.

terrariamobmp_screen157Wrapping up: This game can get difficult if you haven’t made the next tier of armour and weapons. The bosses will kill you over and over.  This is especially true if you don’t set up your home base well. This will prevent you access to some of the vanity items and cheap sources of healing potions and ammunition, as your housing spaces need to be set up to encourage NPC’s to move in.

Where the game falls down is due to the control system and cursor. This was always going to suffer when ported to console. However with a little patience and perseverance this game is rewarding singly, and crazy awesome with the addition of mates.

Score: 7/10