This past week at E3 we got to see a lot of MMOs. One of the more surprising titles we got to look at was TERA. I say this because when TERA first came onto our website I was wondering who they were and how they were being made. The more we learned the closer we grew to the game and the team over at En Masse. Now at E3 they gave us one of the best hands on demos we had seen at the show. I'll try my best to describe why TERA kept the classic MMO spirit and game play even though it was a ten minute demo.
We entered the En Masse booth for our demo and were quickly moved toward a computer. Each player was given a class, I played the Slayer, my colleague was given the Warrior class. There was also a Berserker, Priest, and Sorceress. While all of these seem rather normal for RPG classes, the look and feel of the game set them apart. Despite being somewhat Eastern in art design, there are still some major Western influences. It almost put the world into an undefined realm that crossed a lot of borders in terms of visual style. This was a good thing, because overall, the game looked cool.
So our party was formed for the demo and we were given the task to hunt down this boss on an island and finish him off. There were a bunch of baddies along the way as well as running through ruins to find groups of monsters as we got closer to the boss fight. While it seemed like a regular instance run on any other night of the week, the devs told us that there was a chance of failure in the demo. Other teams had failed and died in the fights. Well, needless to say that no one wants to look like a noob, so we got our game faces on and started off for the fight.
In terms of comabt and design, the game moves very, very fast. It has a centered target system which looked similar to the Chronicles of Spellborn's target system. This allowed players to move and dodge out of combat and target different monsters in the fight. The combat was very action packed, to be honest the hardest part was hitting the keys needed to do the attacks. I am a mouse player when it comes to selecting attacks on the screen so hitting different keys while running around was a little harder for me. I do not know if their interface allows for using the mouse to click icons on the screen. I hope it does. With all this switching from button to button, the mouse is used to control the camera angles and views. It makes for the player to have better control of the action combat, but the cost of switching buttons may be too high for some.
Regardless, I enjoyed the game play and was lucky to try the Slayer class. The Slayer carried a massive sword and struck in combat from outside close range. I also had some cool jump attacks and a stun which really helped when fighting bigger monsters. Our Berserker was really the tank of the group with the Warrior and Slayer as our melee DPS. The Sorceress was ranged, and the Priest healed us and also used resurrection in battle, which was great to have.
I was jealous of the Warrior because the Aman race was very cool, spawned from dragons and all. Regardless, the Slayer was fun to play and was almost a positinal fighter like the old classes in Dark Age of Camelot. The fights moved really fast and our group did well, it was definitely not an easy demo. But that made the demo more fun. We ran through some monsters to get our skills together and work on team tactics. Once ready we headed to the boss for the final showdown.
The boss fight in the game was against this giant monster, all of the monsters in TERA are unique, nothing like you see in normal fantasy. It seems like the team came up with some original styles and carried them through he game instead of going with more traditional fantasy monsters.
The fight started fast enough and we were quickly moving and dodging stomps and bites from the beast. The Berserker held aggro while the Warrior and I hacked away from the sides and back. The stuns came into play and we were able to knock the boss down a few times which led to some serious strikes while our foe was disrupted. Teamwork was definitely a factor and we had a good group. The Sorceress reigned down spells while the Priest kept us all alive. In the end we downed the boss and had bragging rights to the other MMO press for the rest of the day.
Even though the demo for TERA was short, it was intense. The game delivered on all counts. It had a beautiful orginal world, gritty races, unique monsters, and a fast paced combat system. Honestly it was one of the more fun moments at E3 for our team. As the game continues development look for more coverage, this is definitely an MMO to watch.