The player type who will enjoy Krater may notice that it has similar characteristics found in Fallout 2. The camera is in the top-down fashion with limited perspective and line-of-sight obstruction highlighting. The overland world map and transition between locations has the same feel, albeit with better graphics. However, that is where the resemblance stops. Unlike the single hero found in the Fallout series, Krater utilizes a full, three-member party approach from the beginning. So how well does this work for the player?[jwplayer mediaid="1421"]
The player is inducted into the game via a hard night of drinking. Don’t blink during this introduction; you might miss it if you do. The tutorial lacks any good direction, but does give a description on the roles of the classes in the span of one minute. The transition to Krater’s main story is not immediately apparent, but is introduced to the player through missions, random encounters, random cut-scenes, and subplots via little cubes found in mission areas. However, those subplot cubes do sometimes lack in finishing out what they started, leaving the player wanting more of the story. Other than the aforementioned resemblances to Fallout 2, the world itself is quite original. The NPC’s and creatures are rather unique, such as radioactive bears that explode into a pool of acid when they die. The locations (almost all of them being underground) can be somewhat repetitive, and you will be visiting the same locations quite often.
When it comes to graphics, the game’s overall eye candy, from the characters to the landscape, are not anything that is going to wow players. The special effects could speak differently for Krater if they weren’t constrained by the limited amount of character abilities available.
Similarly, the game’s audio has about the same limitation as the visual. The music is well-suited for the environment and the sound effects for the games spells are superb. However, the effects are something that come right out of a teaser trailer leaving that “give me more” taste in the mouth.
The lack of effective tutorials can greatly increase the overall learning curve for some players. Nevertheless, the game mechanics are not overly difficult to grasp. The difficulties that are found in these game mechanics help to complicate the enjoyment of the game, though. For example, a player may attempt to quickly heal a party member just for nothing to happen and have to repeat the process. This is more than likely due to a global cool down function which is invisible to the player. This leads to unnecessary clicking, deselecting, and reselecting in the game. Another issue can occur while attempting to self-learn the crafting system. Players may find that dropping items onto what appears to be a drop box for components will instead drop them onto the ground until the crafting system is figured out. Yet another annoyance is the inability to click on an object and path to it automatically to gather the contents. If these flaws existed apart from each other, they would not cause much concern. But put them together, and players will find themselves distracted and aggravated.
The player begins the game with a default party, but thankfully, they are allowed to make whatever changes they wish as the game progresses. It becomes possible to change their name, to implant them a specific way, and to hire other class types later on to make a party that will suit the player’s play style. Upgrading characters comes from an implants system. Implants are unlocked at specific levels and boost certain attributes like strength, among others. Unfortunately, the lack of diverse abilities hampers the character customization system.
Krater has the potential to be highly entertaining. The main party has some witty comments, item names and descriptions are comical (e.g. “Your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.”), and characters are laughable in appearance. These elements cleverly combine to juxtaposition against a cruel, desolate world that has just survived a catastrophic event. Players can appreciate the imaginative quality used to create Krater. Sadly, the fun-factor is inhibited by weaknesses in the game mechanics.
Post-apocalyptic worlds capture a unique audience when it comes to RPG’s. The developers of Krater have laid a great foundation for the game. However, the game has quite a bit of room for improvement. Starting with a tutorial to introduce players to their world would be a welcome change. Laying a foundation to fix some of the quirks in the game mechanics would then create more stability. Producing more than a couple of abilities for each character would allow for more customization, as well as allow for more of the games great graphic and sound effects to accompany the abilities. Finally, giving players more lore would ease the grindfest of the game and increase players’ enjoyment of the game. Krater reels in players with a unique storyline, but it should undergo some of the aforementioned changes to reach a level of awesomeness. Overall, it scores in as a decent game, a 6.5 with lvl30.
Krater’s game content is intended for more mature audiences. The game is an action-based RPG with the expected violence typical of its genre. Conflict is mainly in the form of man vs. nature, with some man vs. man battles. The victor (ideally the player) is portrayed as standing in what remains of the enemy, usually a pool of blood or acid. When certain abilities are used to deliver the final blow, enemies will explode into several parts and leave larger pools of blood. The game includes a moderate amount of vulgar language and suggests at alcohol/drug use.