Over the weekend, we got stuck into the open beta for Tera, an upcoming action MMO role-playing game from Bluehole. Although our experience was on and off due to the stress test nature of the beta, we did manage to get a decent feel for the title. Long story short, we think it's shaping up quite well on PlayStation 4.
As with any MMO that's making the jump from PC, Tera's undergone a lot of tweaking in order to make it fully playable on console. Fortunately, the tweaking appears to have been effective. Two action bars line the bottom of the screen, and you simply flick between them by holding down a shoulder button. The control scheme clicked with us right away, which is always a good sign.
There's still a lot of screen clutter to wade through, though. There's text everywhere and at first it feels like you're being buried alive by information, but it's obviously something that regular players will get used to. Our only real complaint as far as presentation goes is that all of the menus look rather basic and bland.
So how does Tera play? The MMO bills itself as a true action game, and for the most part, it appears to live up to that promise. There's no waiting around for turns or cooldowns here -- you're free to attack, dodge, and pull off special moves whenever you want. The system's reasonably fluid, and with a bunch of different player classes to choose from, there's a good amount of variation on offer.
Just to be clear, this isn't Devil May Cry, but as far as MMOs go, it's quite an impressive hack and slasher. Think The Elder Scrolls Online, only a lot more over-the-top, and you're on the right track. The bottom line is that it's pretty fun, and we enjoyed letting loose with various powerful attacks once we'd unlocked them through levelling up.
However, everything outside of combat seems somewhat standard -- the kind of quality that you'd perhaps expect from a free-to-play MMO. Early quests are throwaway affairs, and the dialogue is instantly forgettable. While we get that many people simply dive into games like Tera because they enjoy the grind, it'd still be nice if things felt more involved.
On that note, at least character creation is cool. The system isn't hugely in-depth, but with a range of fantastically designed races to choose from, it's easy to make a hero who looks the part. Couple them with sweet looking weapons and armour, and you've got an MMO that has a solid sense of in-game style.
All in all, we're eager to give Tera another shot once the finished release hits the PlayStation Store. The action-based approach certainly gives it an identity, and there's potentially a lot of room for customisation. The PS4's already home to quite a few free-to-play MMOs, but there's a certain edge to Tera that may place it near the top of the pile.
Did you try to open beta for Tera? What did you think? Let us know if you're planning to give this one a fair shot in the comments section below.