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PAX East 2012 – A Look at Tera by En Masse Entertainment

It’s been awhile since I have played an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game). I think the last one I dabbled with was City of Heroes tapping into my love of comic books. I never got into the craze of World of Warcraft, but I like to keep an eye MMO games development just to keep abreast of the industry. So when I first heard of Tera by En Masse, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to know how this game would stand apart from the MMO pack!

Tera is set in a breathtaking world conjured by two dreaming primal gods, your explorations will take you over rugged mountains, across searing deserts, and through hazardous jungles. It’s your duty to take your place as a soldier for the Valkyon Federation and fight alongside other races to forge a new future while healing the mistakes of the past.  Yup, good luck with that.

Having the chance to get some playtime at the show, I can tell you first hand that this isn’t your daddy’s point & click RPG game.  Focusing on the action, the pacing for this game is fast (and furious) keeping your party moving along their adventure and “thank the maker” because I am not a fan of turn-based combat. Timing, aim and precision are all skills you’ll definitely need to hone as part of the combat experience.

Similar to any 3rd person shooter, the combat is fun…really, really fun.  Playing as a sorcerer I had a slew of abilities and spells at my disposal and I’m pretty sure I used all of them at least once.  Extra kudos for programming the game so that you can choose between the traditional keyboard/mouse setup or input a game controller. For this playtest, I stuck to my console roots and the mapping and controls felt as fluid as any traditional console game so I quickly forgot that I was on a PC. Once you figure out the button combinations for your spells, execution is pretty simple, intuitive and satisfying.

I would have enjoyed another play session where I could have been one of the other seven characters available.  We were a small party, but had a Warrior, Lancer, Slayer, and Priest on hand to help turn the tide of battle in our favor. Working as a team is crucial in a game like Tera and it played off being able to work off each other’s abilities.

Visually the game is stunning. (Don’t believe me? Look at the screenshots below!)  Whether it be the characters themselves or the lush environments of the world, everything is crisp, clean and beautiful. If Tera weren’t a world at war, I would look for available apartments.

En Masse has taken the time to develop a deep, robust game that will appeal to a wide audience of hardcore/casual/PC/console/RPG/Action/Shooter fans. Look for this game to release on May 1st and get ready to defend the Valkyon Federation.

Related Posts:
Day Three of PAX East 2012
Day Two of PAX East 2012
Day One of PAX East 2012
PAX East 2012 – A Look at Assassin’s Creed III

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