Tom Hooper aka Atomp
I originally wrote about Terraria in July when the release of patch 1.2 seemed imminent, now it’s October and the release occurred on the first of this month. It may seem strange to write an entire article purely on a patch, but that’s because the scale of 1.2 is not what you’d expect. To describe 1.2 as a patch is a stretch, hell if were paid then I’d be reluctant to call it DLC. This is something else, something closer to an expansion pack in the same vein as the Civilisation series, but for free. I will attempt to keep superfluous information to a minimum and as such this will be a little shorter than normal, but know this; there has never been a better time to pay that £6.00 and get Terraria.
First off I’ll go through some of the interface changes and bug fixes, as these have made the game a much smoother experience overall. The big addition is the map and I cannot stress how awesome this is. Not only is there a mini-map with 3 modes to toggle through but there is also now a scrollable and zoomable world map. These maps are created and rendered at a 1 pixel per block resolution and are not only very helpful but great to look at. There is very little as satisfying as exploring a huge cave system or dungeon and being able to see what that exploration has granted you with a look at the world map. The map resolution means that you can see individual torch placements, meaning you can see the strings of torches along whatever route you took and it also shows chests that you may initially miss. The nature of the map uncovering is based upon light levels meaning that exploring with a potion that makes ores and chests glow will uncover these items on the map for later collection. The mini map is a smaller version of the world map which can either be an overlay, in the corner or off altogether. The transparency of the mini map can also be changed, meaning that it can be as intrusive or discreet as you please. The UI is altogether smoother and more usable with changes in various inventories in order to alleviate the problem of an instantly full inventory, although that still can become an issue. Another functional change is the ability of character to walk over single block high bumps which makes movement a great deal smoother and less frustrating. These are among many of the general polish improvements that the game has received in the latest patch and in short the end result is amazing and makes the game an absolute pleasure to play.
The patch hasn’t just seen polish and bugfixing as there have been a great deal of content additions, at all levels. This isn’t just a hard-mode content update for high level characters and long term players, it’s recommended to play this patch with a fresh world and fresh character as the additions are present at every level. These additions include many new items, enemies, mechanics, challenges, bosses and biomes. This is a lot of content on top of the already great content available in the base game the huge additions afforded by patch 1.1. There’s enough to keep you very very busy for a long time, my current play time according to Steam is 111 hours with 38 of those being since the release of 1.2 and I’ve barely even dented the hard-mode content. For whatever reason you play Terraria; the combat, the exploring, the building, the wiring, you’ll find new stuff to play with.
Terraria was a damn fine game to begin with as my previous review concluded and was easily worth the amount asked for it, and now the value has only improved thanks to what can only be described as a great developer. Patch 1.2 is PC only however there are console versions of the game available with their own little touches as well as Android and iOS versions too. In short whilst the 1.2 additions are PC only your Terraria itch can still be scratched elsewhere. The chances of a Linux port are not particularly high however, at this stage I believe 1.2 to be the last major alteration of the game and it is unfortunately XNA based meaning that porting would not likely be the easiest task (although with Mono being as it is it may be possible). The system requirements remain much the same as before, which means that it remains easy to run. This patch has seen Terraria become even better and what with an announced sequel Terraria 2 things are likely going to get better, in short now is the time to buy Terraria.