Genre: Action, Adventure, Strategy, RPG, Indie
Platforms: [Reviewed: PC]
Release Date: Jun 12, 2012
Since the release of Diablo III, it seems the top-down view action game has been coming back into mainstream. No longer are these games tossed aside for the gamers that seek them out, they are at the forefront of our go-to lists and recommendations.
Krater is such a game. Currently on sale, at the time of this review posting, for $7.49 on steam, the humorous, indie RPG, mixes hints of the Fallout series with the popular, and colorful, games like Bastion.
Once home to IKEA and the soil that sprouted Minecraft, primitive inhabitants of a post apocalyptic Sweden unearth technological and historical artifacts from beneath the site of the asteroid that ended modern civilization. In this area, known as the Krater, three factions fight for control over the goods being dug up, and unknowingly the poisons and danger it carries.
With an endless series of caves and dungeons filled with old world treasures and dangers, the “Underside” holds the key to unearthing the fallen Swedish civilization. The player arrives at Krater with a team of freelance heroes to take part the excitement surrounding the underside, only to find that instead of gold they may just find their deaths.
Graphically, Krater caters to gamers who enjoy a grungy, post-apocalyptic side to their shoot and loot games. Each character in Krater has its own personality, though their dress seems to resemble one another, that brings the game to life and makes it enjoyable.
The characters are distinct enough without falling outside of what one would expect neighbors to behave like in the setting. A few characters, quite a few in fact, remind me very much of the Pyro from Team Fortress 2, but I think it’s because this game chooses to go the text route when it comes to dialogue and avoids voice overs. It’s interesting because it definitely makes this game feel more homegrown, and the character noises are funny, but it can be annoying to keep scrolling through text after a while. It definitely doesn’t have the same dark spin as the Diablo series, but gameplay is very similar in that you run through dungeons looking for loot and quest items.
Unlike Diablo III, however, this game is single player only for now as a co-op update isn’t due until August. No stress though, you will have some AI buddies to help you out, each with their own group ability that you control. Making sure you time abilities and daisy-chain like effects is important to wining this game. Giving AOE spells a hint of healing makes sure that while you’re handing out damage in that area, your friends get heals as well. Each character has its own skills. There is the blunt weapon master, the range shooter and the healer. Each with their own special weapons and ability to upgrade skills and strengths. There is an interesting screen where you can permanently increase the stats of a player by socketing items into them much like one would Augment a character in the Deus Ex series.
For those that want to play this game during those internet outages too, you won’t have to be connected to the internet to play single player! Hooray! Take that Diablo!
Much like other games of this genre, repeatability is a little lacking, but you can easily explore, create and loot endless times, making sure you character is always ready to fight and win.
There’s not much else to be said about this game because while it is fun and it definitely sticks to the roots of top-down games like it, it isn’t memorable or unique enough for it to stand out. You run through dungeons, you level up characters, you create and resell weapons and items for better gear and most of all you try not to die. That’s it to this game. It has an interesting story and I love that it adds some color to the otherwise pale landscape that is the post-apocalyptic game type, but other than that it doesn’t do much to set itself apart. The characters are lovable, but forgettable and the game-play is good to kill a few hours while you’re waiting for something else to download.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5