TERA from En Masse Entertainment and Blue Hole Studios was one of GC 2011’s most interesting and anticipated MMOs. The game was playable on the show floor but we managed to get a private game session with members from the development team showing us a dungeon and a boss fight.
The level started off in the dungeon "Necromancy Cell", a dark catacomb-styled area with tight passages and large open rooms. We played as a team of five and had a chance to try out the slayer class, one of the eight classes available in the game. We did also play as a sorcerer and made some really nasty fireballs to toast the monsters we encountered.
The real-time combat was fast-paced and intense and we managed to execute some nice combo attacks by combining different skills. One of the strongest things TERA has going for it is the sort of “shooter” controls in combat. For those used to highlight targeting, don’t panic. It’s not about pinpoint accuracy, but rather about keeping the monsters in the general scope of your attacks. It works very well, and is not unlike recent Nexon release Dragon Nest in terms of control. The feeling when you hit your target with a large blast from your sword, sending them in the air, was very satisfying. The fighting animations looked smooth and fluid and the graphics seemed detailed and crisp with a steady frame rate even though the game’s not due out until 2012.
The demo ended with a large boss fight in which we fought a metallic monster called Kaidun, from the Argon race. During the session we were also told about TERA’s political system that lets you become a ruler of one of 18 provinces in the game, either by securing votes or by fighting your way to the top in each region. Apparently you can gain popularity with the people, or simply kill enough folks and enemies in the region that you wind up ruler by sheer power.
The demos at these shows always make TERA seem very ready for action, both literally and figuratively. We’re anxious however to see how the game plays in a “real world” environment. How does the political system play out? How does all this action and combat fit into the regular trappings of an MMO, when we’re not looking at the game through the “demo” goggles? Overall TERA looks and feels very promising and we are looking forward to get our hands on the beta version.