Krater is a post apocalyptic rpg squad based game set far in the future in the wonderful country Sweden. The game is developed and published by Fatshark, the developers of Hamilton's Great Adventure! Their take on the normally dark and dead landscaping that follows most post apocalyptic games is a nice and bright change.
The game has been going through a constant barrage of updates the past few weeks since it's release, in hopes to tweak single player. When I first started playing the game I ran into quite a few bugs or issues, most of which were promptly fixed in one of those many updates. Beacause of all this Fatshark has pushed back the date for the multiplayer patch to some time in August. That way they can fix up, polish, and really make the the single player shine, as well as test the multiplayer patch more thoroughly in hopes that it will be released in a much better state than the single player was. I have attempted to keep this review on top of most of these changes, and have put off writing it for a while. I will update if I feel like there's a need to. I also plan to make a video review, however it may only encompass the multiplayer after it is released. That being said, I will get onto the review!
About the Game
You start the game off in a small tutorial area, in order to show you the ropes, and get you acquainted with the skills your characters have. There are four main classes in Krater, as well as variations of the classes (green or blue status, mutants, etc). Each class has a different role, stats, and set if skills. You have the bruiser class, who is the typical tank class: high stamina, defense and a taunt move. Next you have the Medikus, the healer: high intelligence and/or focus, along with healing moves. Then there's the Slayer, the melee dps: high damage and low health. Finally, you have the Regulator, the ranged dps who is great at crowd control with stunning and slowing moves. Who you choose to have on your team is up to you, and you can switch anyone out at any time. You could play through the whole game with no one but a slayer, or a whole squad of medikus.
The idea of the game is that you are a mercenary group and for that reason the game initially had it so that you were "forced" to recruit more characters in order to get to levels higher than 5. The first four characters you get from the game all have a low level cap of 5, and once you got there, they just stopped earning xp. The game never made note of it either, so you never really know about the level cap until you go look at your character screen. They have updated the game and added a boot camp, where you can upgrade your character type to green (level 10 cap) and blue (level 15 cap). This way you don't have to start over in order to get a level 10 cap, or 15 cap character.
However, the whole idea of recruiting new people constantly shouldn't deter you from this game in any way. The characters themselves level up relatively fast, so you really don't have to grind to get your new characters on par with your former ones. Not to mention that some of the recruits may have better base stats than your starting characters, or may have a different skill set. So it shouldn't be looked at in such negative light, as it may come off.
You can also upgrade your characters with implants. You can upgrade the stats of the character, increasing the health, damage, defense, etc., as well as upgrade and tweak your skills. This is where it can get interesting. You can either increase the damage of the skill, or the effect of healing, or even add buffs to the skills. It all looks rather simple for an rpg game, but in reality it offers the chance to create some interesting characters! Add a healing buff to the Regulator's AoE and it'll start healing the whole team (provided your whole team is in the area of effect.).
When you travel from city to city, you travel the rather gorgeous world map. You don't just choose to go to a certain area, and "fast travel" to it; you actually move on the map and choose where to go and discover new places. When you travel from place to play, or just when "walking" around and exploring the map, you have chances to run into random encounters. This, to me, keeps things from being dull, and also gives you a chance to level up any new characters you have or make money! Some of the encounters are really short, while others are a bit longer. The "threat level," or difficulty, depends on where you are. If you are around the starting area, the threat level will only be 1, but as you get further and further out, it progressively increases. This prevents you from explore too far (without any danger at least) and kind of prevents you from going out and getting some of the higher recruits right away. Encounters don't always have to be full of dangers and mobs to fight! A few that you will run into will only be a mysterious merchant trying to sell you some rare goods...
Along with character customization, you have the ability to craft rare weapons and other items with the crafting table. You'll run into a lot of schematics in the game, as well as parts you'll need. You can also purchase both parts and schematics from npcs, and receive them as rewards from quests. When crafting some schematics, like weapons, some of the stats are random, so you don't always know what you'll get for sure. The crafting list can get really long, and be hard to go through, and there's not much creativity available in this part of the game sadly. You also can't sell any schematics you already have learnt, and found.. Be careful when purchasing any schematics too! You may have already learnt it, and there's no refunds
Person Thoughts and Verdict
I believe Krater is a game that has its ups and downs, but is, in the end, a fun game to play. There have been points in the game where I was stuck with only the main quest left in the area, having finished all available side quests, where I was determined to get past the point that I was stuck at, but feeling like I'd stop playing once I got past it. However, once I managed to beat the part, there were a bunch of new side quest, new areas to explore, and the main quest to continue. Which added all of the life back to the game and made me want to stay and play more.
I really enjoyed the music in the game, and how it would change depending on what buildings are around you (a bar with loud music versus a more quiet area of the town). The sound effects were nice too, one sound effect for a slayer skill is rather memorable for me. Just because of the way it sounded dramatic and it is a skill I use often..
I thought the graphics were really great. I felt like it was indeed a fresh breath of air, breaking out of the "dull toned" post apocalyptic world we normally get placed in. I also really enjoyed the way the overworld map looked like, however I wish you could move the map around without moving your squad, so that way you could actually look around the map.
They don't really show you how exactly to fight in the game. They tell you how to use skills, and control characters, but aside from that they don't tell you how you should run your squad. Which is a good thing. This game allows you freedom to choose which classes you want to run with, and how you want to upgrade their skills and stats. How you fight, who you fight with, and how you upgrade is all up to you. There is no right or wrong per se, either. You don't have to run with a Bruiser, Medikus, and Regulator to beat the game.
For an rpg game, there's not much information in the stat department. When you upgrade your character, you don't know how much damage +10 strength is going to add... When you look at your stats you don't know what your base stats are and what you've upgraded... which isn't a big deal for everyone, but it is one thing I think would be nice to know. Heres the trailer for the gameVerdict
- Gameplay: 7/10
- Graphics: 8/5/10
- Sound: 8/10
- Overall Score: 7.5/10
I've had a lot of fun playing Krater. It has it's bugs, it has it's faults, but it is over all a quality game. There will be times you'll get frustrated, but once you get past them, you'll be enjoying the game again. For 15 dollars, it's worth picking up. You'll get plenty of hours in the game, and you may even find yourself playing through it again. Not to mention the multiplayer that will be released soon enough! You can purchase the game here
, and I'll come back to this review if any major updates come out. And look for a video review some time soon, especially on multiplayer