Terraria: Otherworld didn’t make the 2015 launch window because “the game is not ready yet” and they will only release a game if they feel it meets their “standards”. The studio is apparently working on a few new titles, some of which are yet to be announced, but the plan is to get Terraria: Otherworld completed and released in 2016.
“The team continues and will continue to work hard in the months ahead to get T: OW to a place where we will be proud to release it to you and it will be worthy of your support and expectations. All we will say at this point is that our goal is to get this done and in your hands during 2016, but we will provide further information and spoilers as we move forward.”
Re-Logic has also released a video which shows a new addition to the game called swing grappling.
The main takeaway is that Otherworld’s a little less random than Terraria, although it’s not at all a fixed narrative. Your play style will affect your skill with certain weapons, and in turn ‘early’ weapons can become more powerful, rather than have your future success depend on whether you can lay hands on something beefier.
You’ll also be trying to ‘purify’ the world rather than simply wander around it. Fortunately it means purity in an battling horrible slimy evil sort of way, and not in a telling everyone who’s ever engaged in pre-marital sex to repent sort of way. Though there’s always room for metaphor, I suppose. However, the ‘corruption’ (metaphor?) will fight back, which means you need to erect Purifying Towers (yeah, definitely metaphor then) guarded by Wartowers to defend liberated land. And this means tower defence.
Always a risky gambit – tower defence can be wonderfully inventive, or it can be a by-word for routine repetition. Given Terraria to date has been a wild grab-bag of ideas it seems unlikely that Otherworld’s take on TD will be perfunctory tedium. TD has been included because “even the best players would not be able to cover and defend the entire map at once (nor does that sound all that much fun)”, so this way you get to potentially defend your holdings without having to sprint madly around the place all the damn time.
You can see some of the tower defence stuff in the above trailer, and there are a few more gobbets about new features at this here link. Perhaps most ambitiously, the devs want Otherworld’s NPCs to evolve into more than mere merchants, instead offering their own little stories and personalities. There is an overall main storyline too, although apparently you won’t be forced into doing anything.
It sounds as though they’re aiming for something a little more focused and structured compared to the somewhat manic Terraria, and I’m down with that in theory.