With Worlds, TerraTech Gets Bigger and Better

TerraTech Worlds Preview

For fans of building and crafting games, 2018’s TerraTech brought some new ideas to a popular and crowded genre. Payload Studios’ open-world survival builder famously combined Lego-like construction mechanics with both PvE and PvP play. With well over 100K items in the Steam Workshop, TerraTech continues to support a large and faithful player base.

At a recent event, the developers described TerraTech Worlds as a “re-imagining” of TerraTech. In other words, somewhere between a true sequel and a remaster or remake. The new game starts with a graphical overhaul, moving from Unity to Unreal Engine 5. Along with the graphical retooling, the team has — in its own words — reset design fundamentals. However, the game is still recognizable, retaining the stylized and appealing art of TerraTech, only with more texture and detail. It looks great. 

In TerraTech Worlds, the player starts by building a vehicular avatar, used for both resource gathering and optional combat. There’s an RPG-like emphasis on making the avatar both cosmetically and functionally unique, with a strong identity. From there, it’s off to the game’s familiar survival crafting loop of gathering resources, expanding the home base, and opening new territories of the map for exploitation. The world is populated not just with resources, but dangerous alien life and several competing AI factions (or humans in competitive multiplayer). Add dynamic weather and a day/night cycle and you have a pretty rich and entertaining foundation. 

The Building Blocks of Fun

Like Lego blocks, blocks in TerraTech world have specific characteristics and uses for both building vehicles and structures. There’s a strong Satisfactory vibe in creating elaborate bases with automated factory routines. The developer says that in addition to land vehicles, planes, and boats, players can look forward to an even wider range of blocks and the ability to build submarines (for example). For Worlds, the blocks will be carved out of the landscape more organically. Terraforming tools play a large role in Worlds. 

As befits the title, TerraTech Worlds gives players impressively large playgrounds, with over 300km² of spherical worlds. Players can exploit the environments with more sophisticated equipment, including mining transports. Just like the first game, TerraTech Worlds is PvP/PvE and solo player agnostic. It’s an equally viable experience both solo or with/against other players. Teaming up to defeat bosses or gathering and building is definitely a highlight of the game.

Building a Roadmap

Payload Studios has a strong connection to its player community. TerraTech evolved over time in large part thanks to player feedback, suggestions, and Steam Workshop content. As the game enters Early Access, players can expect well over a year of constant additions and new content before TerraTech Worlds reaches the 1.0 milestone. Since the first game has been in continuous development for nine years, it’s clear that the developer is in it for the long haul. This translates to an exciting, dynamic, and always-interesting experience for the player.

There is no shortage of survival building games, but TerraTech Worlds approaches the genre with some genuinely unique ideas and mechanics. The engaging world and basic gameplay loop are accessible and fun. The Lego-like building process feels familiar but the addition of specialized blocks, factories, combat, and a range of vehicles takes the player in several new directions. Building on what was already successful in TerraTech, TerraTech Worlds doesn’t fix what wasn’t broken. It just makes everything bigger, better, and even more addictive.

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