Not much appears to be known or talked about for that matter, about an upcoming MMORPG, TERA (The Exiled Realm of Arborea) from Bluehole Studios, a company supposedly formed by former members of NCSoft.
Described as an Action MMORPG, the game centres around a seemingly deep and involved storyline. There are no faction divides within the cast of characters, with everyone fighting a common AI controlled enemy. There is some diversity in character play with six classes and eight professions; it lends uniqueness to the group compositions and with multiple professions being able to perform certain roles, players aren’t as restricted.
One of the most striking differences was in the combat system. Unlike the traditional method of simply selecting your target and casting an attack, the player must actually aim at the target with a cross hair to land a hit.
The game will be one of the few (if not only) MMO that has the ability for players to use a controller, more specifically an Xbox 360 for PC controller.
Unlike most games in this genre, players are not overwhelmed with a ridiculous number of action buttons require to play. A limited number of skills are accessible at one time, and actions are relatively simple and straight forward.
The option to heavily map keys is still available for the true enthusiast, but this appears to be an MMO players can get into while feeling comfortable relaxing on their couch
Unfortunately, while the game is using a relatively modern graphics engine, and includes plenty of detail on the characters, the textures feel a bit drab. In our hands on demo we only experienced combat in a rock coliseum, and between the grey rock, grey sky, grey enemies and grey armour, everything began to blend together. It became difficult to distinguish between friend, foe and rock. The attacks didn’t have the usual flourish and flash one would come to expect from an MMO.
Hopefully with the full release of the game, more terrain options will be available and a little more distinction to the characters, armor and enemies will be included.
The gameplay itself was actually quite entertaining. Our test group of 4 merry men (and one Bob, neither man nor woman) had to utilize teamwork to defeat the skeletal foes. One element of combat we enjoyed with out character – a ranger - was the ability to charge shots by holding the attack button. It adds a unique level of control to combat, instead of simple click and cast.
Unfortunately TERA will be a subscription based game, sure to be a tough sell in a time when such well established and promising titles such as Guild Wars 2 are being announced.