While we were in Los Angeles, California for the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, we had an opportunity to sit down with the crew from En Masse to get a first-hand look at their upcoming game, TERA.
This new MMO promises to focus on teamwork and strategy above races and classes. It also brings in a political element to your game as you vie for the leadership position in your regions by completing quests to gain favor, or by fighting your way to the top in Player vs. Player (PvP) matches. But does the world of TERA have what it takes to hold its own in a genre dominated by World of Warcraft and other MMOs?
Our hands-on session took us straight into a scenario where a guild leader, Xavier, acquired his lofty position by fighting his way in PvP to earn favor and take his position. He raises his region’s taxes and rules his kingdom with an iron fist. However, he’s not likely to keep his position for long by relying on the votes of the people that he’s crushing. Instead, he must earn policy points by completing leader quests.
Enter Landon, elite healer and leader of a neighboring guild. Landon is known for helping other guilds and Xavier approaches him to assist with completing this challenging quest. Langdon, for reasons unknown, agrees to assist Xavier.
Our mission started off in a marshy forest. The gorgeous graphics and lush colors make for a beautiful landscape, even in this dark setting. Our goal is to find and kill what TERA’s people call a BAM: A big ass monster. Our monster is a dragon with fierce attacks, an ability to fly, and burrows under the ground to make our heroes work hard to take it down.
After a couple of minutes of getting used to the control scheme, our party rides our mounts through the forest, taking on some smaller game before meeting our quarry. After about 20 minutes of battle, we defeat our enemy, the prize is won, and Xavier continues to rule with his iron gauntlets firmly pressing down on his people. The battle has a bittersweet ending however; as En Masse kindly informs us that even though we managed to break a sweat during this spectacular battle, they turned the difficulty down to make sure we could make it through the mission without getting wiped out.
TERA promises to have hundreds of skills at your fingertips across seven races and eight classes to choose from. Beautiful graphics and fairly intuitive and customizable controls make TERA solid in the game play aspect. In the small taste that we got of the game, TERA appears to have a lot of potential. Provided that En Masse can keep a good balance in the single player aspect and provide for a solid storyline, TERA will be one game to keep an eye out for.