Wild Terra is a hardcore survival game based off of Medieval Europe. Featuring an in-depth crafting system and unlimited world exploration, there’s more than enough to keep players occupied for hours on end. Juvty Worlds made it to be a spiritual successor to early online sandboxes that were full of freedom and possibilities.
This Early Access title is currently available on Steam, with the full release of the game set to happen later in 2017. I was graced with an early copy of Wild Terra to get a peek of what players can expect. Can I just say that it exceeded my expectations?
Exploring a New World
Survival games are one of my favorite genres, especially ones with an open world based system that encourages purely player driven content. Juvty Worlds set out on a rather ambitious project with Wild Terra because there are no pre-constructed buildings or NPCs in the world. This had me worried that I would be in for a boring experience with little to no content, but thankfully this wasn’t the case.
Wild Terra seems basic on the surface, but it’s well-thought out and balanced. During the first few minutes I went through a simple but helpful tutorial on how to navigate the menu so I could craft items that I would need to survive. There are several skill sets players can choose to specialize in or have a mixture of several for well-rounded character. I chose to develop several at once, such as survival, lumbering, and even bit of stone working. Eventually, I was able to make a home base and ventured out farther into the world.
The crafting system is in-depth with everything from basic survival tools to smelted ones that improve gathering of certain materials. My favorite part about the crafting system is everything is listed under a drop down menu and organized neatly into sub-categories to make it easy to navigate. Tools were listed in the main crafting menu while buildings were listed in Construction for easy navigation. I appreciate this foresight because it helped to make my first couple hours in Wild Terra easier and finding what I needed more efficient. There’s even a helpful search bar located at the top to make it easier to find certain recipes.
Certain animals can also be tamed or captured to provide an easy source of food or travel. While I don’t possess one myself, I came across a few other players who had acquired their own horse. One requirement of Wild Terra I haven’t seen before is making sure the player’s character has a well-balanced diet. Consuming one foodstuff like wild carrots in the game didn’t keep my character full for long, and every few minutes she would get hungry. It wasn’t until I hunted down a few rabbits and collected some mushrooms to eat along with my vegetables that my character finally seemed balanced. She got hungry less often and I could explore for longer periods of time without having to head back to base.
Setting Up a Base of Operations
Players can set down a ‘dominium,’ which is basically a large boulder set in a small square that claims that area of land as their own. Medium and large dominiums can be set down too but require a larger amount of supplies to make and maintain. On the other hand, this means more room for growing cops and storing captured or tame animals to make a dominium more self-sufficient.
My experience was peaceful for the most part, with the exception of aggressive animals lurking around in Wild Terra. While cutting down some trees, I accidentally walked into the path of a large bear who took offense to my presence, charged, and within a few swipes my character had died. I respawned and ran to get my stuff, which I eventually did, but from then on I realized proceeding with caution was necessary in order to survive.
Highly Polished for an Early Access Title
Going into any Early Access release, I make a note of keeping an open mind. Certain aspects are still being developed and polished, so going in with the expectation that everything is going to be working smoothly is a little ridiculous. Wild Terra surprised me because despite still being in development, it’s pretty polished.
The building mechanics are basic, but intuitive. Building pieces tend to snap automatically in a dominium, which takes the guesswork out of setting up a fence. Even when I was making plots of soil to start growing an apple tree, each one snapped to my dominium. I appreciated this small attention to detail as it made building a clean affair so I didn’t end up with a wonky fence line.
Buildings and crafted items within Wild Terra have their own kind of charm too. Each one is well-designed and styled to fit the level of expertise it took to build them. The basic fence and building I constructed had the appearance of being made out of wooden sticks and stakes thrown together haphazardly. There’s even the addition of different trees that require a certain level of skill to cut down. There doesn’t seem to be much of a use for having several species of trees beyond the level of lumbering skill necessary to cut them down, but the variety is nice.
I felt the only downside to Wild Terra is probably the textures of the ground, animals, and the water. Besides the trees, the world felt empty and kind of dead during my explorations. Dirt and grass didn’t have much detail beyond the color changing when walking from one part to another. The worst probably had to be the water, which looked as if it had been scribbled in with blue chalk. There appeared to be an area with snow, and I imagine it might be a more in-depth biome in the future, but at the moment it felt like a sheet of paper.
Even the animals drew a ‘meh’ reaction from me because they seemed to be made of plastic rather than looking like living creatures. Their appearance isn’t necessarily terrible, but they need a bit of variety. Every bear, deer, hare, and even the grouse were the exact same copies of each other. Their AI wasn’t much better, but it wasn’t unrealistic despite its simplistic nature. The animals behaved like they should, but when not engaged with a player they tend to just stay in one spot.
Definitely Worth It
Despite the drawbacks of Wild Terra, it’s well made for an Early Access title. I’m sure once it’s further along in development that the world will become vibrant with players expanding their bases and building up their own communities. I would love to come across small villages where players have started to build, see huge plots of land dedicated to farming, and just whole communities sprouting up from this sandbox title. Even with just the basics set down right now, I had hours of fun simply gathering, building, and developing my skill set.
The simple nature of Wild Terra is well-defined and set up for endless possibilities. There’s great potential for world building and even in-depth role-playing for players who enjoy that aspect of gameplay. Honestly, with just a few minor improvements Wild Terra could be an excellent sandbox title.
Related: Juvty Worlds, MMORPG, Preview, Sandbox, Steam, Survival, Wild Terra