Hey guys and girls and welcome to the first installment in a series of articles covering TERA Online (but we’ve had video coverage in the past). The aim of this quick and painless preview series is to introduce you to the game, make you familiar with some of its more exciting features, as well as cover the current issues and debates surrounding the recent release in Korea. Please keep in mind that as the game gets localized for the Western market, things will improve and change accordingly, and I’ll be reminding you of this fact in the future.
For those of you who have only recently found out about the title, here’s a quick break down of what it’s all about. TERA stands for The Exiled Realm of Arborea – an MMORPG created by the Korean developer ‘BlueHole Studio’ (BHS for short). The development team includes key members of the studio behind Lineage II, who after a dispute with their publisher, decided to break away and do their own thing. The approximate release is expected in 2011.
TERA promises us dynamic action, truly stunning graphics and an enhanced community experience. The game will feature non-targeted combat, where you have to actually aim your attacks and spells in order to hit the opponent, a collision detection system that will help immerse players in to the action, as well as a chance to delve into the politics of your server.
TERA has been in development for quite some time, with BHS being formed late in 2007. The game has already undergone several beta tests in Korea, the most recent one being open to the general public. On the 25th of January, TERA officially launched in Korea, with its 37 servers being home to more than 160,000 players. The previous betas were held to measure the quality of the game and test the basic gameplay features that were on offer. There have been several Focus Group Tests carried out by the Western publisher of the game, En Masse Entertainment, in order to concentrate on adapting TERA for their audience. More tests were promised for the Western audiences in the future, so you might get a chance to try out the game for yourself.
The art direction and visuals in TERA are superb and really help it stand out among the other upcoming titles out there. With stunning environments, imaginative creature designs and fluid animations, I’m not afraid to call TERA an artistic evolution of the MMOG genre. The music in the game is also on par, with some beautiful tracks that really fit the theme and tone of TERA’s world segments. Currently, there aren’t any plans for localizing the music for different audiences so hopefully, we will end up with the original score.
I could keep going on and on about the game, but this is an introductory article after all. Instead, I’ll leave you with a couple of videos below the cut. Look forward to the next article fairly soon, where I will cover the lore and races of TERA. Next on the list, is a preview of all the available classes with my commentary (I played all of them, in case you were wondering) and lastly, I’ll share some of my concerns on the game’s future and direction. Stay tuned for more!