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Jan 7, 2013

Krater Review

Hailing from Swedish Developer, Fatshark, Krater is one of those games that is assumed to fall into the category of arpgs that merely take concepts from the Diablo series and repeats it without adding anything new. Fortunately, it does more than copy something that works. Rather, Krater mixes ARPG with the tactical prowess of RTS games by having the player control 3 squad members at once. This aspect of the game brings forth interesting scenarios by mixing up the squad between 4 classes and 2 races.

General Points: - For a $15 game, Krater deserves a good look, with content that reaches up to 40+ hours of game time with only a single playthrough, which says a lot about the game in terms of replay-ability. This does not yet include the heavy amounts of loot and squad permutations in the current build of the game. Gameplay: -While the game falls short on certain areas like characters only having 2 skills and a release that feels rather rushed, they are all justifiable negatives that weaves along the game to create a different experience from what most people are accustomed to when it comes to playing the more 'traditional' ARPGs. -Characters only having 2 skills is due to having 3 units at once, summing it up to 6 per squad. Each skill can also be customized through the use of skill boosters as characters unlock more ranks. These boosters can affect each skill differently, and the amount of variety of skill customization is plenty enough to encourage players to experiment.

A regulator (ranged character) may have an area of effect slow that can also heal allies inside of it, or perhaps one that damages enemies on top of slowing them. It can even buff allies with defense boosts or damage boosts, or a mixture of all three. - Admittedly, the game does feel unfinished with the lack of online multiplayer and a lack of settings options. The game's release day was mostly a success, with isolated bugs and problems that plagued an extreme minority of the player base, and even then, patches were released 2-3 days after with added sound settings and bug fixes, showing the developer's commitment to creating and improving an amazing game with great potential. -Considering the game comes from an indie developer, Krater's design structure feels looser when compared to other AAA titles. This means that Fatshark treats the game more like a Free-to-play than an end product by constantly improving it with the help and feedback from it the community with the promise of more free and paid content coming soon. - The traveling aspect of the game also feels reminiscent of other rpg games that involves moving around a world map with random encounters. While it may feel slow at times, it does give players a scope of how large the world is, and will be (when the next 2 parts are released). This allows for an impressive perspective that games like Diablo 3 lack. It shows the players what and how much can be explored whilst allowing for the freedom to go where ever the player wants to go, even at the beginning of the game(Including the risks of encountering high threat level monsters). Dungeons are not constrained by having to play through the story in a linear fashion, and the map randomization keeps dungeon crawling fresh. Presentation: - Graphics are beautiful and can be run even with half decent hardware.

The art style and the presentation of Krater is both humorous and attractive. The populous wearing gas masks, rusty and worn down cities built from scrap, and the monstrosities that litter the game world truly give that post-apocalyptic vibe the game was going for. Simultaneously, however, it also adds the colorful atmosphere that most, if not all, post-apocalyptic games lack. Thus, Krater is presented in a unique tone and style not seen in other games. - The occasional voice-overs and quirky characters in Krater makes for an interesting story that captures my attention. While it did have a rather generic and unimaginative start, the game quickly engages the player by showering the surroundings with lore that is familiar yet new. Final Note: -As with all indie games, Krater deserves some patience and support, since it lacks the same amount of funding that games like D3 had. Even then, it can still stand on its own against the top dogs of the industry. I find it rather difficult to go back to games like Diablo and Trochlight now that Krater it out.
Verdict: 80/100



Details:
Genre Role-Playing
Style Third-Person 3D RPG
Themes Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Release Date June 12, 2012
Developer Fatshark AB
Publisher Fatshark AB
Flags Downloadable Release

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