Krater Review

It’s just that Krater has so many mounting frustrations, like being forced to grind up new characters in the middle of your progression through the game or coming up against a foe that trounces you with no warning, and not enough to mitigate those concerns. It’d be easier to deal with difficulty spikes and excessive grinding if the combat was exciting and dynamic, and it just isn’t. Add to that minor issues, a whole lot of repeated tile sets, and a lack of diversity in quest goals, and Krater eventually convinces you to give up. There’s not enough fun to make up for the moments when the game decides to flatten you or force you off the path forward to spend an hour doing something boring.

Pros:

  • Cool setting
  • Good writing
  • Lush post-apocalyptic world with an interesting story
  • Fun art style
  • Customization and crafting can be engaging systems
  • Some cool concepts, like permadeath for characters…

Cons:

  • …that are usually better on paper than in practice
  • Some bugs and stability issues
  • Combat gets really repetitive
  • Every quest is pretty much the same
  • Random difficulty spikes
  • Lots of time spent grinding, but not in a fun way

Final Score: 62/100

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1 Comment on Krater Review

Daan

On August 8, 2012 at 9:53 am

Hi Phil,

After the disappointment that was Diablo3, both Path of Exile and Krater kept me busy for quiet a while in the topdown hack&slash genre. In general I think I agree with with your take on this game in this review, but you made quiet a mistake concerning one or two of the major cons you described, namely the repetitive leveling in the game, and perhaps also the difficulty spikes.

Leveling goes pretty quick, and the main time-investment lies in finding/crafting boosters and implants. That time is lost when you would be forced to create a new character to reach new level caps, and that would be very annoying. The thing is that that is not neccesary. The level cap can be raised, for a price of course, in certain villages (I only found one so far, the second village you go to); first from 5 to 10, than to 15. My initial party has been prancing around at level 15 for some time now. I would say the game is therefor not as repetitive (in an annoying way) as you presently describe it.

I don’t know if I agree on the difficulty spikes being a problem. They can give cause to a partywipe, but at normal difficulty this is no problem because you can heal your injuries before permadeath occurs. I also think these difficulty spikes, ones identified, can be waylaid by using a different party setup. My main party is ballanced in the sense that I have the classic tank, healer, DPS setup, but some encounters just ask for a different approach or you’r in for a lot of hurt. There is enough customization possible (probably with a new character with a different skillset) to allow for different approaches. In my experience these difficultyspikes are not random, but have to do with the encounter itself, and one that knows the game could thus identify these spikes beforehand and prepare enough characters to provide for these encounters. At the highest difficultylevel this means you must indeed know the game to avoid permadeaths, and this can be considered and probably is a big flaw. One might argue that the simple fact a player does not know encounters ahead should never in itself be a cause for permadeath. On the other hand one might argue this actually adds a layer of depth to partydevelopment and makes a secondplaythrough interesting because you go differently about leveling up your party, resulting in quiet a different experience than the first playthrough, and that people new to the game should simply not play on hardmode, which goes for a lot of games (although I admit a permadeath you could not see comming is just annoying, not a matter of playing at a higher difficulty and taking a world of hurt for granted). Of course this doesn’t mean anything for the repetitiveness of the action and questing in the game itself, which might be cause to not want to do a second playthrough anyway.

I quiet like the game. Nothing great or fancy, but refreshing in a way good worth for money.

With kind regards, Daan