An enormous beast covered in scales like armor plating, malformed and misshapen, roars as it prepares to charge. A lone hunter, wielding a greatsword with a blade as big as their body, winds up an attack. The two clash, weapons and claws striking against one another, until the beast is felled and the hero stands exhausted but victorious. Sounds like a scene out of Monster Hunter World, but it's actually what you can expect from the fantasy MMO Tera when it goes into open beta on Xbox One and PS4, March 9 - 11.
I can guess what you're thinking: "Another MMO? No thanks." But Tera is pretty unique among its peers, and has more in common with Dragon's Dogma or the aforementioned Monster Hunter than, say, Final Fantasy 14 or World of Warcraft. Here are just a few reasons why you should give it a shot this weekend:
Positioned as a more action-oriented MMORPG, Tera emphasizes aiming for long-range attacks, combos for melee attacks, evasive movement, and timing your offense with enemy wind-ups, as opposed to the slower tab-targeting and channeled spells of older MMOs. In other words, attacking monsters in this game feels more like a combat-heavy single-player game than the slower-paced combat you might think of when you hear 'MMO.'
Short for Big-Ass Monsters (yes, they're really called that), BAMs are Tera's version of elite foes. As you can guess from the name, they're usually quite large (think sizes anywhere from school bus to three-story house, or sometimes even bigger) and require extreme coordination and skill to take down. Should you successfully defeat one of these creatures, you'll be rewarded with some of the game's best loot.
A unique aesthetic
Tera was originally developed in South Korea by Bluehole Interactive (fun fact: parent company Bluehole also owns PUBG Corporation), so its visuals are quite unlike the European-inspired medieval fantasy of Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Online, or even the Japanese-developed Final Fantasy 14. There's a lot of fine detail to be seen on weapons and gear, and the asymmetrical designs of many pieces of clothing make the aesthetics stand out from the crowd. There are also seven races to choose from, including cute little animal people known as Popori, the demonic and wicked-looking Castanic, and dragon-humanoids known as Aman.
A plethora of classes
There are 13 classes to pick from in Tera, each one modeled after a different type of weapon. Ninjas wield enormous shuriken (as in, bigger than their whole body), Reapers toss out scythe-like chain blades, Sorcerers channel their intense magic through a spinning focus, and so on. Simply put, each class looks just plain cool, and their weapon is a large part of its visual identity. Check out the full list and tell me you don't want to play an elf blowing up enemies with a cannon that looks ripped off a fantasy gunship.
The Tera open beta begins March 9 and runs until March 11. The full game will come to PS4 and Xbox One sometime after. Having played the game on PC, I'm excited to see how well it translates to a gamepad control scheme.
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