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TERA: Rising General Article: A Screenshot is Worth a Thousand Words

By Garrett Fuller on November 20, 2010

In recent weeks we have seen a rush of screens for TERA. The game continues to show very well and screenshots definitely capture the look and feel of how the game plays. This may not always be the case, but if you have played TERA, you know that it is. Screenshots can tell you a lot about a game, so let's take a look at what TERA has been telling us lately.

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One of the first things I look at when a new game is announced is their screenshots. These tell the tale of what I will be doing in the game. With video becoming more and more accessible on the web I think that screenshots may go away some day and videos will take their place, but this won't be for a while. So the reason I look at screens is I want to get the feel of the game first. TERA has launched a recent batch of screens that try to create that feel.

Each of the action screen shots show combat in some form. These give you the look at a monster and try to create the scope of the game from a certain angle. Then the player is shown in some kind of action attack or special move. I liked the last batch of screens because they give you a sense of combat. The thing they do not do is show you how fast the game moves. These screens are only a brief moment in time. TERA is a very fast paced game and while the combat screens are great, they do not give you the full picture of just how fast the game plays.

One thing the screens do give us is a look at the monsters that inhabit TERA. They have some pretty unique designs. I have always said that TERA is a great game to see the bridge from Eastern and Western styles in design. The monsters look great as seen in the second series of screens, again with action combat. I do really like that we are seeing new fantasy monsters in TERA that break the classic traditions and create something new. Now if only I can learn all of their names.

What I'd like to see from TERA is some screenshots that capture spells and casting. Everything seems to be of combat so far. The casting classes need love too and hopefully we will see some of the amazing spell graphics in the game. The other area I think some screens are needed is in landscape. TERA is a beautiful world and holds a lot of visions for the player. Their landscape screens can capture this and I think more are needed.

A lot can be learned from a game with screenshots. I say this because it is our look at actually game play. Some companies have gotten into the habit of releasing cinematic trailers, which can be great, but don't capture actually game play. This can be a huge let down for playesr who want to see the game for what it is. I do think screenshots still capture a game in the best light while it is in development.

TERA has done a good job of showing us monsters and combat. There is still some room for spells and landscape though. This game is very unique and what better way to capture that than to show the players the world in a picture. It will start to get people's hope up. There is always the case that game play has to match the screenshots shown. If the demos we have played of TERA are any clue, then players will be in for a great ride at launch.

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