Terraria PS3 review – Blocky adventure to the power of two (dimensions)
In Terraria – a charming, exploration-heavy craft-’em-up originally released to great acclaim on PC back in 2011 – it’s not winter you need to worry about. Night is coming. And after dark is when the beasties come out to play. The wisest course of action? Get the heck indoors, and stay there unless armed to the 8-bit teeth.
Terraria PS3 review
I was hazily aware of this when darkness first fell, but was still taken by surprise as it stealthily encroached. In the frantic, panicky scrabble to cobble together a shelter, I was of course killed – swiftly learning one of the game’s key tenets: be prepared. This isn’t a Scout meeting, so that involves always making sure your inventory contains enough blocks to hastily construct a dwelling, keeping a weapon hot-keyed to the D-pad at all times, and having some form of health boost handily equipped.
I decided to see if I could dig to the bottom of the world. After a few minutes of tunnelling through the dirt, I found a jellyfish-littered cave to explore
Block-based and largely focused on survival, building and exploring, the obvious touchstone here is Minecraft. The deliberately retro 2D graphics and vast, randomly generated worlds, though, lend Terraria an appeal all its own. It rewards veering off the beaten track, too. At one point, through sheer bloody-mindedness, I decided to see if I could dig to the bottom of the world. After a few minutes of tunnelling through the dirt, I found a jellyfish-littered cave to explore, and promptly forgot my self-imposed goal.
There are absolutely leagues of depth lurking beneath the cutesy surface, too. Using your axe and pickaxe, you head out to gather as many materials as possible, be they from jungle, desert or snowy tundra. Take them to a workbench and a furnace, and the world becomes your proverbial piece of seafood. What’s more, much of the thrill comes from discovery – with so many possible combinations out there, many aren’t signposted. I have sand and a furnace, so now I can make glass? Cool! And now I can turn said glass into bottles, which then let me transform my workbench into a makeshift alchemy lab? Awesome.
Crafting also means you can produce your own weapons. Right-stick aiming is occasionally a little clumsy, but you soon get a handle on which pointy implements work best against which bitey nasties – spears’ greater range of stabbing angles being especially effective against Slimes as they hop about, for example.
While your inventory is reasonably capacious, you can only actually use what’s equipped in its top bar, limiting you to ten items. It’s sometimes irksome, but forces you to think carefully about what you need to hand at any given time. Enemies continue to attack as you’re rooting through your supplies, too – keeping things tense and reinforcing that whole ‘preparation is key’ thing.
There’s also satisfaction to be found in getting the schedule of a day’s adventuring timed just right. Heading out to gather a bunch of supplies, and straying just far enough away from base to arrive home as night falls – ready for an evening of crafting and, if you’re feeling brave, a spot of zombie-slaying. There are hours and hours – and hours – of adventuring on offer in Terraria, all for just over a tenner. Be prepared to invest plenty of yours.