After an impressive showing at E3 2010, developer Bluehole Studio came to this year's Gamescom with a fresh demo of TERA to show the public. The game is an action-oriented MMORPG, and the section we played saw us taking the role of a warrior, supporting two Bluehole reps as we went on a dungeon crawl. It was a good chance to find out more about the mechanics of the game, which is due to launch next year, as well as talk to its creators about their aims for the project.
One thing's for certain: TERA is an action-focussed massively multiplayer online game if ever we saw one. Our gameplay session was spent hammering the mouse buttons and furiously tapping the number keys to unleash a constant barrage of attacks and spells. The game relies on the player to direct the action--there's no autotargeting, meaning that aiming your attacks while dodging those of your opponents is key to survival. Our character was good at brute force, but he also had a spell at his disposal to stun enemies, allowing him to get in there with the sword.
The control system is simple enough--the WASD keys control movement, while the mouse moves your viewpoint. The left mouse button activates a simple attack--in the warrior's case, a quick sword swipe--while the right mouse button unleashes a series of swipes and results in a large amount of damage if landed. However, TERA piles in a bunch of encounters with smaller enemies who will surround you and hold you in one place, allowing the bigger enemies to pummel you in your static position.
The warrior is quick and powerful, meaning that he has to charge in and lead the attack, which holds the attention of the enemies while the rest of your team attacks from afar. We were supported on our mission by a couple of the developers, who were able to heal us as we fought. We were playing as a level-30 character, halfway along to the level-60 cap, so we were fairly powerful, but the sheer size of the enemies meant that we needed to erect campfires between battles to regenerate our health.
If you're coming to Gamescom this weekend, then you'll be able to see the character customisation on the show floor. If not, stay tuned to GameSpot, and we'll endeavour to bring you more on the game when we next see it.