Krater is an aRPG, Diablo-Baldur's Gate crossover where you control a party of three characters, swappable between the fights with no limitations. Before you read the whole review and flip the table because I recommend you to try the demo: I recommend you to try the demo.
The class system
The class is immediate and simple, yet it offers a lot to play with: there are four basic classes and two races, humans and mutants; every class has two abilities, that are different from humans and mutants. We have 16 different abilities to play with, so.
The four classes are:
- The Bruiser: the tank of the team capable of sustaining a large amount of damages
- The Medic: pretty obvious
- The Regulator: a very useful support class, capable of stunning and slowing with the power of the electricity
- The Slayer: a strength based character.
Has to be mentioned how some abilities have very small differences, however, different abilities may lead to a complete different kind of build on the character.
Ability system and diversification
Every few levels we will unlock ability booster slots and implant slots, the former allow us to link a booster to our ability, the latter to link it to our character, improving our basic stats (we'll get to them in a moment).
The booster we can bind to our abilities vary from Power boosters, which improve the damage of our abilities, to Healing boosters, which gives life drain or heal aspects, to boosters that temporarily improve our stats.
The stats are:
- Strength: determines the amount of physical damage we do.
- Stamina: determines our maximum HP
- Focus: improves the healing effects of our abilities and the ranged physical damage
- Intelligence: decreases the cooldowns of the abilities we use
- Defence: reduces the damages taken
The game and its core mechanics
Game installed, new adventure begins, we're thrown in a very short and yet useful tutorial level; it tells us why we are where we are and lets us familiarise with the combat mechanics. Quite simply, right click on an enemy and wait until it dies, using the abilities of our characters when they're not under cooldown. A very simple and immediate mechanic, so, that is easy to learn and efficient to use to blend very RPG-like elements to the frenetic action of the combats; however, this wores out quickly, and in late game becomes kind of annoying, leaving the player no solution but to fall back on the booster/implants build to differentiate the gameplay.
The graphic engine isn't the lightest in the world, but it's still pretty accessible, granting very interesting visuals and effect, even though we may notice rare graphic artifacts here and there, such as blinking pool of blood. What is disappointing is how sometimes the game fails to read our inputs, truly annoying when there are enemies on the screen: think how fun it can be to use an ability that won't trigger (or won't do it every time with the same sequence of inputs), or having your characters turning back and running towards the enemies they were fleeing from. Fortunately, this is a minor issue that happens every once in a while, so even though it has some major influence when it happens, it can be overlooked if you like the rest of the game.
The sound department is what has stricken me the most: while the voice acting is kind of minimal, it's present and shows a successful effort to improve the immersion. The voices are in line with the game: humorous and funny, a good thing that reminds me of the Final Fantasy saga (Krater takes a good amount of inspiration
from it, indeed). The sound effects are great, and you might often take a break from the game, listening the birds chirping with a beautiful background music.
The durability is another good point: the Single Player campaign won't take us less than 12 hours, and to defeat the last boss we need a good party, which will probably require several hours of grinding to find all the things we need. This is a game that can entertain us for dozens of hours, if we can overlook how repetitive it tends to be once reached the end game, or if we simply love the good old grinding for items and gold, Diablo II style.
Krater is an indie game not free of flaws, but capable of gifting hours and hours of fun to those who can go beyond its deficiencies and limitations, easily worth its full price, a rip-off on sale.
Buy it if you like action RPG and dungeon crawlers with a good humor, but most likely try the demo, as this is a very particular and unique game.
If you need ratings
Final Score: 7/10