Terraria Review


Since its release back in 2011 on PC, Terraria has become a multi-million hit with fans all around the world. Venturing away from the PC it can be enjoyed across a variety of platforms including console and tablet devices. Now Terraria returns with an even bigger adventure awaiting you on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. With more content than ever before will it knock Minecraft from its comfy perch as one of the top sandbox games?  Read on to find out.

Game: Terraria
Developer: Re-Logic
Publisher: 505 Games
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4


Terraria is a simple yet complex gaming experience and this is made quite evident in its visual styling. The graphics are reminiscent of the classic SNES 16-bit era, with pixelated sprites and environments that are humbly charming. Unlike Minecraft to which this bares some resemblance, you are immersed in a 2D side-scrolling world brimming with activity just waiting to be discovered. The maps are vast and detail is in every nook and cranny, with environments that continually transform around you. Plants will spring up everywhere and weather can be unpredictable. Whilst some zones are bright with a vivid colour pallet, others encase you in so much darkness that you can’t see a thing, greatly enhancing the ambience to suit the many locations. Backdrops further emphasize your surroundings, with lush jungles and murky mountains that span far off into the distance, you can’t help but feel somewhat small in this colossal world.


The games visuals remain the same and a new release on current gen has not changed this. Why you ask? The answer is simple, Terraria has no need for stunning lifelike characters or high end textures. Its retro visuals are full of pure delight and take us back to the simple, pleasurable days of gaming. Hours spent staring at your screen are made cosy and familiar yet suddenly there will be something you haven’t seen before, it’s full of surprises! This game is a visual classic and to take away its plethora of pixels would be a tragedy!


Whilst there is not an extensive soundtrack available Terraria offers at most times a tranquil experience to lose yourself in. Musical scores consist of various synthesised electronic chiptune beats that really take you back. As you explore the music will change depending on which type of environment you find yourself in and adds to the ambience of your surroundings, defining their mood and complementing their scenery which is a rather nice touch. It is minimalistic, helping you pass away the hours and not distracting your concentration, however it can be used as a good indicator, alerting you to things not yet in your vision. Whilst you may feel safe there are dangers lurking in the farthest reaches of the world. Tunes will at times take a more sinister turn, indicating the dangers you may be walking into or that maybe it’s time to seek comfort from the night. It is wise to pay attention to the change in sound to avoid walking into dangerous turf, something you may quickly regret. There are no voices to be heard apart from the occasional moaning zombie and the only other sounds that disturb you from the background music are the splats from a recently killed enemy or the gentle pitter patter of rain.


For those who have yet to experience the joy of Terraria the gameplay is very similar to that of Minecraft. For returning fans it remains much the same of what you have come to love with a plethora of additional content making the game feel fresh and so much greater. There are so many more wonders to discover, with over 1,300 craftable items and 15 bosses it’s almost 3 times larger than before.

Terraria is an action-adventure, side-scrolling sandbox RPG with its core essence based on discovery and adventure. Whilst there is no story to follow there is still a sense of progression to be found and it provides you with the freedom to play the game as you desire, truly making the experience your own, and there is something to be found for everyone to enjoy which is the key to the games success. Some may wonder how the controls compare to the PC and it is not as big a leap as you may think. The top inventory bar allows you to scroll through items which may be a little frustrating however items can also me mapped to the d-pad for easier access. There are two modes available, auto is easier but movement is more random whereas manual acts as a mouse, allowing for precise direction and placement. To start with you get to customise your very own pixel sprite, with a wide variety of hairstyles and colours to choose from. These features are basic however as you craft new items and explore you can change your look. The game has 3 modes of difficulty, Normal, Difficult and Hardcore which is not for the feint hearted. This is where progression comes in. As you go about your business, should you decide to take on the feat of defeating the many bosses the game will eventually progress into ‘hard mode’ which will drastically change your world and is irreversible, so caution to the wise this is for those looking for a challenging thrill. If you are seeking a more casual and relaxed experience they are best left alone. With 5 save slots and 16 world slots there is plenty of room for your friends and family to get in on the action too. Not only this but you can play local co-op with up to 3 other players on split screen. Whilst this makes for a more entertaining adventure, having to share the screen takes away the view of the expansive world around you. Mulitplayer also includes a PvP option, allowing you to attack your friends both local and via online play by inviting players to your world, where you can go it alone or form teams. For PS4 players cross-play is also available for PS3 and PS Vita versions so you can play with the wider community. The full scope of your adventure can be controlled, with small, medium and large maps to choose from you can decide how far you want to go.

Once plunged into the game you will find yourself right in the thick of it. Unlike Minecraft you are provided the basic tools to dig, fight, explore and build for survival. The one main advantage to the console versions is the added tutorial which takes you through the basics to help kick start your adventure. This is extremely useful for newcomers to the series or to refresh your memory and may just help you survive your first night! The land is filled with nasty creatures so your first priority should be building a safe house which also acts as your spawn site. Once you have your little shack this is where the real fun starts, the world is your oyster! Terraria encompasses a wide variety of environments known as biomes. As you traverse left and right you will come across these different biomes which have been randomly generated meaning no one world is the same. Starting in a rather basic forest you will discover expansive deserts, freezing wintery snow and ice scenes to the dreaded crimson or corruption, which are the most treacherous lands best left until you are better equipped. You are not however limited to the sides. If you reach for the sky you will find floating islands up in the clouds or you can dig your way all the way down to the depths of the underworld, but again these are filled with ferocious enemies so venture if you dare! Each biome has its own unique features, along with materials, collectables and enemies. Exploration is the best part of Terraria as there is so much to discover. Stumbling on a new hidden cavern fills you with excitement as you ponder what treasure you will find whilst others will captivate you with beauty. Some places will instil fear as you venture into dark depths. Sadly as much as I would like to explain all the wondrous things I will leave you to find out for yourself as I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun!

Crafting is an essential task if you wish to make stronger items and build more elaborate homes for you and the various NPC’s you will encounter on your adventures. NPC’s once unlocked will prove a valuable asset to you as you can buy and sell items for money. They provide various services, from a merchant to a dryad and provide some form of company until they wander off leaving themselves vulnerable to attack, however oddly enough they seem to survive rather well. With over 1000 different crafting recipes there are many ways to enhance and customise your gear and decorate your home. Weapons and armour are essential to help you survive and there are so many variants to discover! Weapons come in a wide variety and you can craft to suit your play style. For melee based combatants you can craft swords and spears and for more ranged attackers there are bows, magic wands which require mana and even snowballs. In order to upgrade these items you will need to source various materials. New materials have been introduced offering a more diverse range of options. Basic materials such as pumpkin, copper and tin will provide basic attack or defence whilst more precious ores such as gold and platinum will provide greater stats but will be harder to find and in smaller quantities. Falling stars can be collected at night to boost mana poins and crystal hearts are hidden to boost health. It is wise to find as many as you can if you are to face some of the tougher enemies. Enemies come in various forms and will not only attack you but also many innocent cute white bunnies that roam the land. Basic enemies include slimes and zombies or demon eyes which you will encounter often, with an increase in numbers at night. There are many fun variations to their designs which will often make you laugh. You may just encounter a zombie dressed as a superhero or an eskimo and on rainy days they may wear a yellow raincoat or a slime will have an umbrella. Just where do they get these from? Whilst these are common the bosses require a summoning for which you must first gather the correct components which often lurk deep down in caverns in the crimson. These will take you on rather perilous journeys but come with rare rewards if defeated. Scavenging can also lead to some nifty gear and there are plenty of pots, chests and abandoned homes to loot. Abandoned homes often contain fancy art or ornate clocks to turn that shack into a bachelor’s pad, and decorating a home and designing amazing pieces of architecture is a great way to take a break from all those zombies.

Terraria is a constant source of amazement. Just when you think you’ve seen it all you stumble across something new and it is that sense of wonder that compels you to explore further. I can only touch the surface here but believe me you will have a fun time exploring what Terraria has to offer!


I can’t stress enough how enormous this game is! So much has been packed into this new release that to discover all the various crafting recipes and to reach every corner of the world feels like it could take a lifetime, and probably could! Not only is there so much to discover but with the freedom of play provided it is up to you how long you make it last. For those who wish to seek out every boss and delve into the hardcore gameplay, to unlock new biomes and enemies this will still take substantial time before you can face them. For those who wish to play casually, be it killing time or building lavish buildings then you can play forever, there is no end!


I must admit that this is my first experience of Terraria and I cannot believe what I have been missing out on! It is a simple and pleasurable game but then the crafting mechanics are so complex that without using a guide it can take forever to discover recipes. I have not used a guide and I would advise to resist. The essence of the game is adventure and discovery, and the sense of joy and achievement gained form finding new places and items you can craft with what you have found is fulfilling. I have barely cracked the surface and this will definitely keep me coming back for hours every night, it just lures you in! Yes it may borrow elements from Minecraft and some may think it’s just a copy however as a player of Minecraft I found this to be a more pleasurable and satisfying experience. As a bonus, any that purchase Terraria on the PS4 will also receive a free copy for the PS Vita for a limited time only, so what are you waiting for!


Writer for NGB. Has an unwavering passion for gaming and enthralling stories. Avid collector of Collector Edition games, she is constantly on the lookout for new additions to add to her ever growing collection. Indulges in RPG's, Action-Adventures and Puzzle titles. Dragon age and Mass Effect devotee.


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