Calamity Mod - My Review

tl;dr A thoroughly enjoyable experience for most of the mod, but it has the same problems as vanilla Terraria in hardmode and completely falls apart post-ML.

The past few weeks, I completed a playthrough of Terraria’s Calamity mod, version 1.5. Whilst I’m a semi-veteran of Terraria (having played it since 1.0), this was my first foray into the modded Terraria world (and hopefully not my last).

Overall, my experience was… mixed. I’ll do this review in three sections: The Good, The Let-downs, and The Bad.

The Good

  • The music is fantastic. This is stated a lot, but it’s true; the boss music energises you and the biome music soothes you. sanctuary (the Sunken Sea theme) and Unholy Insurgence are my favourite picks for biome and boss music, respectively. Honorable mention to Treasures Within The Abomination, too.

  • The biomes are all pretty cool in design, but have some issues.

    • The Abyss is a really cool concept - a gigantic sea underneath the ocean biome! Scoria ore is abundant and useful mid-to-late game, so it’s worth exploring it and it’s definitely not as obnoxious as most water biomes are in most games.

    • The Sulphuric Sea, aside from the cool music, is a let down though - there’s not really any challenge to it other than the damage you take to get to the abyss. The Acid Rain is a completely forgettable event; I did it once for lead cores and never again.

    • The Sunken Sea is my favourite. It’s another water biome, but by the time you access it you have access to everything you need to survive and move around underwater. The enemies being peaceful is a cool unique touch (aside from the late-game worm enemy; more on that later) and the sea prisms look beautiful.

    • The Brimstone Crag… well, it sure exists? I only visited it to fight the Brimstone Elemental (multiple times; more on that later). It’s not interesting otherwise.

    • The Astral Infection is the only hardmode biome here, and it shows - there’s a steep difficulty increase here. It lands randomly in the world, converting a massive amount of area to the Astral biome. The enemies and blocks are space-themed, with the enemies especially looking like converted evil biomes. Thankfully, it doesn’t spread.

      Annoyingly, in our world, it spawned right in the middle of the snow biome.

  • The item choice is massive. For every class, you have five to ten different weapons to choose from at any given point in the game, each one with its own advantages and disadvantages. I started off as Mage, but ended up as Summoner and I used probably close to a hundred different weapons over the course of the entire game.

    Honorable mentions go to Eldritch Tome and Tears of Heaven for carrying me throughout various portions of the game, and Elemental Axe for eviscerating mobs when I was AFKing underground.

  • There’s a decent amount of QoL features included.

    • Le 9999 mana potions has arrived. Although, it is kind of annoying that most vanilla buff potions don’t stack to 9999 too.

    • Being able to buy most of the potions needed is a god-send. There’s still some that can only be crafted (read: grinded) even into the endgame, but still.

    • Vanilla crafting recipes! No more will you have to search chests for your mirrors, or grind mobs to make a MobileCell Phone.

    • A guaranteed evil island spawn means that you can have all three biomes in your world and obtain all items.

    • Summoning items being permanent is a fantastic change - even if it does let you trivially farm money by adding a right click macro and AFK killing the Moon Lord with summon items.

  • The permanent power ups add a bit of extra survival. Whilst we had Stars Above (and thus had way more survival power), a hundred extra health is nothing to laugh at.

  • Some original bosses are really well-designed and/or fun to fight:

    • Crabulon is Golem, but early-game. Unlike Golem, who is a pushover (more on that later), he’s actually challenging with early game equipment. The bullet hell phase is one of the better bullet hells in the mod, too. His drops are a good power upgrade too.

    • The Slime God is like Slime King, but decently difficult. There’s two slimes to keep track off, as well as an invincible dashing floating slime that will kill you if you let your guard down.

    • Calamitas (clone) is easily the best fight in the entire game. The bullet hell phase is manageable with a large arena, her regular attacks are dodgeable, and her brothers are easily dispatched.

      My only real complaint is that she’s a bit harder than Plantera (although that’s not a high bar), and should be treated as a post-Plantera or even post-Golem boss.

    • Leviathan (with the right set of wings) is an okay boss - definitely one of the better ones. He’s easily cheesable with high vertical mobility, but he will fuck you up if you go underwaterr without flippers, so hits the sweetspot of difficulty.

    • The Ceaseless Void is one of my favourite concepts for a boss and is executed well. My only complaint is that it breaks the health bar.

  • The early hardmode progression is much better. You don’t have to seek out altars to break to get an acceptable amount of ore, and you don’t get to skip directly to Titanium armor to cheese the bosses.

  • Planetoids are cool. I just think they’re neat.

The Let Downs

  • Some vanilla bosses suck even worse due to the newer power-creep.

    • Yes, I know Revengance/Death and Malice mode exist. I didn’t use them for a reason, which I’ll explain later.

    • The WoF is still the WoF. Run on a platform, shoot projectiles. Plantera is still Plantera, fly in a figure 8. Golem is still Golem, you don’t even need to try.

  • Blood orbs are nearly useless. You need ten per potion, and even with Cheat Sheet’s 30x spawn rate, mobs don’t drop nearly enough. It’s better to just buy the potions.

  • Hardmode is still just a boss rush. There’s no real incentive to slow down unlike pre-hard mode where you need to build your arenas, your hellevators, etc.

  • The schematic system SUCKS. I love the exploration aspect! Hell, I wish there was MORE random structured found underground - perhaps even gated off until certain parts of progression! It would be a great addition.

    But unlocking the schematics is literally just AFKing. You stare at a lore screen for two minutes whilst the power cells (which are ALSO made by AFKing) are consumed, then you can make things from the schematic (unless you’re in multiplayer, at which point it doesn’t work).

  • The charge mechanic is a pointless mechanic and the only purpose it serves is to annoy you. There’s no actual thought involved in getting charge; you fill the weapon up with power cells and if you don’t have enough you AFK until you do. If you run out, well, fuck you! There’s no reason other than “oops! you didn’t kill this boss quick enough!” to have charge weapons not use mana.

  • The Plague. I completely forgot this existed until I was looking up things on the wiki! It doesn’t really tie into anything else in the mod, as outside of the endless mining of Chlorophyll or Uelibloom you don’t really go back into the jungle after you beat Golem. Both the remaining Jungle bosses can be summoned on the surface (where you should if you’re not insane).

  • There’s a few bosses I like or enjoyed fighting, but I wouldn’t strictly consider them good.

    • The DoG is an okay boss, but the checkerboard pattern is way too fast to react to half of the time and relies way too much on air control. Otherwise, you just run on a skybridge and loop around planetoids.

    • The Dragonfolly is straight up in the wrong part of progression. The only reason to fight it is to get the items to summon Yharon, but you only do that post-Devourer, at which point it becomes an easy pushover.

The Bad

  • Everything good about the mod completely falls apart post-ML. The power creep becomes insane, the boss design becomes insane, and the difficulty becomes utterly ridiculous.

  • Most of the bosses are either boring, terrible, or both:

    • The Desert Scourge is Worm Boss #1. I don’t like worm enemies; they’re annoying to dodge and it’s way too easy to trap yourself if you’re not really careful. There’s nothing really strictly bad about the Desert Scourge, aside from being the first instance of Calamity’s worm fetish.

    • The Perforators is Worm Boss #2, except it splits (and breaks on multiplayer). The only thing unique is that the perforator hive annoys you whilst you’re fighting the worms, too.

    • Cryogen has some interesting phases, but eventually ends up as Queen Bee. This is another habit the mod bosses keep getting into - dash attacks. It’s not fun!

    • Aquatic Scourge is Worm Boss #3, except by the time you fight this you’re probably way overgeared and it is eviscerated in one hit. It’s basically an inconsequential boss.

    • Plaguebringer Goliath is ANOTHER Queen Bee. Do you enjoy being dash attacked constantly underground? Me either! Complete with bonus projectile spam to really make you regret playing.

    • The Ravager is trivially defeated by floating above him in the UFO mount and shooting down. He’s like Golem but even easier - especially if you have the Spectre hood, as you can simply shoot the rock pillars for free lifesteal. (No doubt this will be nerfed soon).

    • The Profaned Guardians are a filler boss. They drop nothing useful, they’re barely even difficult outside of the contact damage, and their only purpose is to show up in Providence’s fight.

    • Polterghast is Plantera #2. Dig down to hell from the dungeon and fight it in your Providence arena. I’m sure it’s hard enough in the dungeon but Plantera-type bosses aren’t fun or interesting, especially not with the recommended circular arena.

  • Note that I didn’t mention Providence there. I believe Providence is one of the best bosses in the entire mod.

    The bullet hell phases are hard to dodge, but not bullshit. If you have a good arena, it never feels like it wasn’t your fault when you died. She’s hard, but perfectly grindable.

    She doesn’t do contact damage, either, so you have plenty of room to actually dodge the projectiles; and even if you get hit, you only take a small chunk of health each time. The difficulty spike from the Moon Lord is

    Then at 20% health, the profaned guardians spawn, follow you around, and do massive contact damage. This comes whilst you are trying to dodge Prov’s main bullets. Why?!?!? Why would you ruin such a good fight by adding this???

  • Now, I mentioned dash attacks and worms for a good reason, and that’s because Calamity expects you play in exclusively one way: glass cannon.