Terratech – Xbox One Review
TerraTech is an open world sandbox adventure focussed primarily on vehicles which can then fight each other and cannibalise the parts left behind from your destroyed enemies to build bigger and better vehicles.
Terratech has been around on the PC since 2014 where it has been in early access until now with an Xbox version launching alongside the PC final release. I was intrigued by the concept of the game as it appealed to my childhood love of building Lego cars and after 4 years of development time I was hoping for a good experience.
Starting out with the campaign I took my first steps into the world driving my rather ‘small shopping trolley’ armed with a pea shooter and a drill. The game held my hand through a tutorial teaching me the controls, the basics of building a vehicle and what some of the part do while leading you around the planet surface scavenging parts and killing small enemies…….all good so far…..
Now I’ve dabbled with Minecraft and enjoyed it to an extent as everything felt fairly intuitive, the comparison ends there I’m afraid. This doesn’t feel intuitive at all and no matter what the game teaches you it can’t make up for the awkward camera angles and control system. I can’t help but feel that this game would be a hell of a lot easier and better to control using a mouse and keyboard.
The driving of your vehicle is also clumsy at best as you drive by pushing the left stick in the direction you want to travel, not too much of an issue until you throw in the camera, which as it rotates makes your drive controls rotate to so you forget your camera has moved and drive off in the wrong direction (not great in the middle of a battle)
My frustration levels were growing by this point as every time I made changes to my vehicle the wheels weren’t going in the places I wanted them to go and don’t get me started on what happens if you build a larger vehicle and decide to try and move the cab, which I did…. and my entire masterpiece (matter of opinion) COMPLETELY COLLAPSED!!! A warning would have been nice!
I decided to persevere and kept building and following the prompts around the sparsely populated and very bland world until I was told to visit a trader, this is the point where an enemy much more powerful and better armed than me dropped out of nowhere and promptly destroyed me immediately.
No problem I thought I can continue which used 70% of my available credit to rebuild my vehicle and he destroyed me in 3 seconds again. Now this is where the problem started for me, I now didn’t have enough credits to restore my vehicle so could restart with just the basic vehicle again forcing you to go off around the planet and build yourself back up again bigger and stronger to face the bandit.
My enjoyment levels have now plunged as the fight didn’t seem remotely fair or winnable without grinding away building my shopping trolley up and facing even more frustration at the counter intuitive controls and camera.
The other modes in the game offer a free building mode allowing you to create vehicles without the threat of being randomly destroyed similar to the creative mode in Minecraft and an online PVP mode which didn’t seem to have any available active players at the point I conducted my review.
Overall there is some enjoyment to be had from the game if you enjoy creating vehicles but the controls and camera angles along with questionable balancing ultimately put me off the game, the graphics and sound are average, I just hoped for more from a game with such a long time in early access.
Developer: Payload Studios
Publisher: Payload Studios
Review code supplied by Premier Communications