Released more than 5 years ago on PC (May 1st, 2012) in North America, Bluehole Studio’s TERA is a fast-paced, well-established MMORPG. One of the first things you’ll notice is the depth of its combat system: attacks have weight and deliver stunning effects. It feels like an action game rather than a slug like most MMOs. TERA also leaves room to skill, which can — in some cases — cover the lack of higher quality gear. Before we continue, let us read a bit about the game’s lore.
A long time ago, two powerful titans known as Arun and Shara met and fell asleep. Their dreams led to the manifestation of TERA, a world where 12 god-like beings were born. At first, they waged war against each other. Shortly afterwards, mortals entered this world and were drawn into these battles. Both races fought against each other in “divine wars” that left most of the gods either killed or greatly diminished. A lot of mortal races also got wiped out, such as the Giants and Sikandari.
The remaining races now form an alliance: Humans, Amani, High Elves, Castanics, Poporis and Baranka must fight a common enemy known as Argons. These vile creatures come from the Underworld and threaten the very existence of Arun and Shara, thus of TERA‘s.
Amazing Open World
TERA is home to some of the most beautiful regions and biomes in a MMORPG. The range of colors used truly brings it to life. From lush jungles to ancient temples to floating cities, there’s a lot of unique environments to get immersed into. The scale of the game just feels epic. Exploring the zones with a horse is a joy, and later (at level 65) you will be able to breeze through the skies with your own flying mount.
As we’ve hinted at in our introduction, TERA sets itself apart with a very satisfying combat system. One where you feel in control of every movement. Skill does make a difference since the combat is action-oriented, a great change of pace from more traditional MMOs. It almost feels like a hack’n’slash game at times: no wonder it’s called an Active Combat System.
In TERA, you aren’t limited by tedious cooldowns and tab-targeting: you can move around your target, execute quick attacks and enjoy it all unfold in front of you. You can dodge incoming attacks, roll through enemies, block and even strafe. This also means a higher learning curve for players since there are a lot of possibilities with combat mechanics. Monsters are not just punching bags for your skills either: they move, dodge and even flank you.
It all boils down to an evolved combat system where skill plays a huge role rather than being an afterthought.
At its core, TERA is a game developed in South Korea. As such, there’s a few things that knock the game experience down. First is the poorly optimized engine: an Active Combat System requires a lot of stability. It’s disappointing how the developers never really were able to fix the numerous FPS drops, which means sometimes you’ll experience a lot of lag, especially in PVP.
Other than that, in typical Korean fashion, you’ll enter a grindfest that can feel repetitive to some. This is intensified by an abundance of recycled content and questionable design decisions where new characters feel overpowered and old content becomes obsolete fast.
TERA in a Nutshell
Despite some annoying decisions that stem from its Free-to-Play business model, TERA is an excellent MMO for those wanting to experience an exciting combat system. There are a lot of gorgeous zones to explore and powerful skills to master. Several MMOs have had a short lifespan, which is not the case here as TERA enters its sixth year of activity. If you’re not afraid to grind for a while, then this is the game for you.