Krater is out. And pretty great.

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#1 Edited by project343 (2812 posts) -

Just saying. They've beefed things up a bunch from the pseudo-public beta, and the game officially released today. Quick pitch: a three-party member Diablo game when you frantically manage the traditional RPG combat roles all at once in a silly post-apocalyptic world with humour and colour (crafting, permadeath, leveling up, exploration, tons of loot, etc. included).

Here's the launch trailer, because I'm sure you want to look at something shiny:

In case you have the sneaking suspicion that you've seen the game before, Patrick first wrote a bit about it quite a while ago as part of a larger piece on independent games.

#2 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

I played the beta and thought it was kinda bad.

#3 Posted by wewantsthering (1550 posts) -

@TentPole said:

I played the beta and thought it was kinda bad.

That was beta though. I'll probably pick it up after the July 10th Coop update + Steam 3-pack. Why didn't they just wait one month and have the coop built-in...

#4 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

Been seeing this game for a whiles now, but still not sure how the gameplay will feel...I love everything else about it though, which may influence me to just getting it anyways.

#5 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@wewantsthering: The issues I have are with the fundamental aspects of the gameplay. Just my opinion but I think people should check up on it first as they should with any game really.

#6 Posted by wewantsthering (1550 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@wewantsthering: The issues I have are with the fundamental aspects of the gameplay. Just my opinion but I think people should check up on it first as they should with any game really.

I was just saying that you shouldn't judge a game based on a beta.

#7 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@wewantsthering said:

@TentPole said:

@wewantsthering: The issues I have are with the fundamental aspects of the gameplay. Just my opinion but I think people should check up on it first as they should with any game really.

I was just saying that you shouldn't judge a game based on a beta.

I am just saying I thought the combat is bad in ways that could not be fixed without changing the fundamental nature of the game. I am not trying to convince anyone else it is bad I am just giving a heads up on my experience. If you don't like that then fuck off.

#8 Posted by wewantsthering (1550 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@wewantsthering said:

@TentPole said:

@wewantsthering: The issues I have are with the fundamental aspects of the gameplay. Just my opinion but I think people should check up on it first as they should with any game really.

I was just saying that you shouldn't judge a game based on a beta.

I am just saying I thought the combat is bad in ways that could not be fixed without changing the fundamental nature of the game. I am not trying to convince anyone else it is bad I am just giving a heads up on my experience. If you don't like that then fuck off.

Someone has a stick up their bum. Haha.

#9 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@TentPole said:

I played the beta and thought it was kinda bad.

I'll admit, the beta was pretty buggy. Crashes, UI needed work, stuff was missing, not enough tutorials... and all of that is mostly fixed. For a $15 indie PC title, I think this game is pretty damn good. It's quirky, it's original, and it certainly has enough value there to justify the relatively low price.

@TentPole said:

I am just saying I thought the combat is bad in ways that could not be fixed without changing the fundamental nature of the game. I am not trying to convince anyone else it is bad I am just giving a heads up on my experience. If you don't like that then fuck off.

You're going to have to give us a little more than "bad" if you want to drive home a point. It's all about micromanaging three characters who fill out completely different roles at a single time. It's not easy. Maybe it just isn't for you?

#10 Posted by SteamPunkJin (1286 posts) -

I picked it up, it's simple but very enjoyable, the humor and style are very Borderlands. I have one complaint which is the order of your team and ability bar seem to be determined by the computer. I've tried dragging and dropping those abilities around and they don't do what they're told, they wind up in other slots that I didn't ask them to be in.

#11 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@project343: It seemed a little shallow to me. And honestly it is probably just me coming at it with the wrong expectations. It seems a little more Diablo where I was hoping for more of an Icewind Dale/ Baldurs Gate experience of second-by-second pausing for highly involved micro-tactics.

#12 Edited by project343 (2812 posts) -

@TentPole: I really don't think it's supposed to be a horrifically deep strategy RPG. It's about managing a clusterfuck in real-time trying to keep everyone alive. I'm sure they toyed with the idea of pausing and whatnot. But really, this design decision gives the game an entirely unique gameplay personality. I can't think of any game that plays like this (except for, maybe, triple-boxing World of Warcraft dungeon runs... *shudders*).

#13 Posted by CrazyBagMan (836 posts) -

@TentPole said:

@project343: It seemed a little shallow to me. And honestly it is probably just me coming at it with the wrong expectations. It seems a little more Diablo where I was hoping for more of an Icewind Dale/ Baldurs Gate experience of second-by-second pausing for highly involved micro-tactics.

Not sure how anyone could ever have those kind of expectations... but alright.

#14 Edited by Tennmuerti (7997 posts) -

Ooooh Krater is out?

Would be cool to see GB do a QL of it maybe Vinny with someone. Or TotalBiscuit.

I'm interested but, not entirely sure, it's just not clicking into a "gonna buy it" mode quite yetfor me. From the gamepaly i've seen it seems a bit plain in both environments and combat. Tho at 14 euros on Steam i'm thinking about just sayign fuck it and trying it out anyway.

#15 Posted by UnrealDP (1221 posts) -

It's pretty fun, but there's some weird stuff going on with the mini-map and a bunch of other basically minor bugs. Other than that, it's great!

#16 Posted by Fearbeard (823 posts) -

I'm having fun with it so far alhough I've only played about an hour so far. Controlling the three party members definitely takes some getting used to. Fortunately the combat is a little slower then in something like Diablo so while you still have to act quickly you do have more time to get someone out of danger.

It could definitely use some more tutorials. I had to look at the key bindings in the settings to figure out how to select a specific character with the keyboard. So far the Roster system/Level system/Crafting systems/Implant and Booster systems didn't seem to have any sort of tutorial.

I'm definitely eager to see more of the game and learn more about it. If you like Diablo style games and are looking for one that tries some new things then definitely give it a shot.

#17 Edited by hussatron (189 posts) -

As someone who loves the idea behind the game and found it kind of neat and unique in the beta, I was disappointed to find I was having to force myself through the beta content. The world just felt kind of bland and there really wasn't much driving me to continue playing. Maybe the release version is more fully fleshed out and better in this regard though.

#18 Posted by Deusoma (3001 posts) -

You lost me at "permadeath", I'm afraid, but it does look rather creative, I hope this sells well so I can see what these guys come up with next.

#19 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

@CrazyBagMan: Well it is suppose to be a strategically demanding game in which you control three characters at a time. I expected something different than a sloppy Diablo. Also this:

@hussatron said:

As someone who loves the idea behind the game and found it kind of neat and unique in the beta, I was disappointed to find I was having to force myself through the beta content. The world just felt kind of bland and there really wasn't much driving me to continue playing. Maybe the release version is more fully fleshed out and better in this regard though.

#20 Edited by lazlolazlo (1 posts) -

I wasn't too impressed with the beta. When i first heard of Krater in 2011, it was described as a Tactical RT ARPG, which it's not in a way. Sure you get to pick a total of 3 characters, of a maximum of 5 or 6 different classes. Warrior Tank, Warrior DPS, Healer, Ranged DPS and Melee DPS classes. Each class gives you 2 fixed nonchangeable active skills, which plays out much like a mmo. You doesn't seem to be able to either change these nor become more specialized. Besides adding two active skills, each class can equip a number of unique gears, such as weapons. Even though each class can level up, there are no stat or skill points to allow you to upgrade or change your characters, you simply get a better rank which let you equip better gear and unlocks new item slots. The only thing to add flavour or upgrade the classes is to buy, find or craft new weapon and armor to put on your character. The RPG elements are just an illusion. It's an action game with characters that can equip better gear to resist and deal more damage simply put. The game itself seem to lack the dark and depressing atmosphere of a Wasteland setting, but that however is a subjective opinion. The quests are simple fedex quests with no variety. I guess i had to high expactations from this game.

However, if any of you guys with the full game installed now more than me, please feel free to reply.

#21 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@hussatron said:

As someone who loves the idea behind the game and found it kind of neat and unique in the beta, I was disappointed to find I was having to force myself through the beta content. The world just felt kind of bland and there really wasn't much driving me to continue playing. Maybe the release version is more fully fleshed out and better in this regard though.

Aside from fairly monumental steps forward in polish, the release version of the game has painterly/animated cutscenes (similar to the Guild Wars 2 ones) that seem to meld the game's different chapters together. Obviously there's a lot more accessible content as well.

@Deusoma said:

You lost me at "permadeath", I'm afraid, but it does look rather creative, I hope this sells well so I can see what these guys come up with next.

Permadeath is more an advertising point than a grim reality. The idea is that there are recruitment officers in all the towns who've got a long list of cooky party members to join you. You can buy all of them if you want, swap them into your party and out on the fly. Every time a character dies, a little bar fills up by their name representing their bodily injuries. If the bar fills up all the way before you make it to a doctor, then they die. It's actually a lot less punishing than I was imagining.

@lazlolazlo: Well I'm going to have to disagree. Each skill in the game can be modified with around 6-8 different boosters individually (sort of like gemslots for skills). And each character can be modified with around 15 different body implants. I'd say that's pretty deep and complex for a small $15 downloadable game. The only other game in this genre that competes in value and complexity is Torchlight.

#22 Posted by TheTemplar (89 posts) -

Haven't played much more than I did in the beta but it seems ok to me so far. But I'm curious, how does people outside Sweden feel about the swedish-english narrator and all the stupid references to swedish places, signage and other stuff? Oh and I don't think the music was in when I played it during beta but the soundtrack is pretty amazing.

#23 Edited by Fearbeard (823 posts) -

@Deusoma said:

You lost me at "permadeath", I'm afraid, but it does look rather creative, I hope this sells well so I can see what these guys come up with next.

It's nothing like Hardcore more in Diablo if that is what you are concerned about. You'll have to be knocked out a number of times, and forget to visit a doctor in town before you are likely to lose a character. Plus the characters are designed to be switched in and out, so losing one isn't doing to reset your progress in the game.

Also when starting a new game permadeath can be turned off by changing to casual mode (though I'm not sure if there are any other effects, all the NPC said was that permadeath was turned off in casual mode)

#24 Posted by Lagaroth (169 posts) -

Is the soundtrack acoustic stuff like the launch trailer, or electronic stuff like the other trailers?

#25 Posted by Skytylz (4029 posts) -

Awesome, almost missed this. I might wait and hope I can get a little off during the summer sale on it and pick it up then.

#26 Posted by TheTemplar (89 posts) -

@Lagaroth said:

Is the soundtrack acoustic stuff like the launch trailer, or electronic stuff like the other trailers?

The soundtrack is mostly electronic, there is some swedish garage punk in there aswell (not really my taste). The song from the release trailer is not (what I've heard).

#27 Posted by KillyDarko (1888 posts) -

I've been interested in this game for a while, but I'd like to see more of it... I hope there'll be a QL at some point.

#28 Edited by project343 (2812 posts) -

@TheTemplar said:

Haven't played much more than I did in the beta but it seems ok to me so far. But I'm curious, how does people outside Sweden feel about the swedish-english narrator and all the stupid references to swedish places, signage and other stuff? Oh and I don't think the music was in when I played it during beta but the soundtrack is pretty amazing.

I think most of it is hilariously perfect. It really fits well with the tone of the game. Feels a lot like if Magicka had a sweet baby child with Borderlands. There's even an explicit joke about the nonsensical naming of a particular mob (I ended up spitting my drink everywhere in laughter at). I just really think it's charming that the bears in the game are called Bjorns.

@Lagaroth said:

Is the soundtrack acoustic stuff like the launch trailer, or electronic stuff like the other trailers?

Most of the soundtrack has a lot of Blade Runner/Mass Effect to it--that is, sort of ominous synth-y sci-fi sounds. The world map sounds oddly similar to the map music of Mass Effect (except a tad more cheerful).

But there are certain instances where some (presumably) Swedish rock/acoustic stuff makes it into the game. There's a very 'trailer park' feel to the world with bars and whatnot scattered everywhere--naturally, a lot of that acoustic stuff finds itself in those locations.

Here's a track that gives a good sample of the tone of most of the game's music:

#29 Posted by Patman99 (1558 posts) -

The game seems pretty good so far, but it has been a total bug fest with me. It has crashed a few times, goes dark when I change the resolution, and there is a weird flickering on the fog of war type effect on some of the maps. Hopefully this figures itself out or gets patched soon because the technical burps really make me not want to play it even though I really like the genre and aesthetic.

#30 Posted by Brodehouse (9576 posts) -

I sit maybe two feet away from my 22" monitor (got a sweet lazyboy with the mouse on the armrest) and something about the game and the UI hurts my eyes. It's too small in places and then too big in others.

Online
#31 Posted by _Debaser_ (3 posts) -

Having also been less than enamored with the beta, I find myself on the fence as to whether or not I should buy it. I was expecting something a little more robust when it came to combat. Can anyone vouch for the depth of character customization or actual abilities? Are there tons of potential skills to play around with or are there only a few per character class?

#32 Posted by ajamafalous (11845 posts) -

I was in the closed alpha. I played it maybe 3-4 different times over a few weeks, and as a few other people here have said, I found that I had to force myself through things in order to continue on. 
 
 
Also, the combat felt clunky.

#33 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -
@Patman99 Might be a conflict with your hardware. Havent had any of the issues that you mentioned. Closest thing to a bug that I've had is the inaccuracy of the mouse in windowed mode.

@ajamafalous Feels pretty good right now IMO. On par with Torchlight, I'd say.

@_Debaser_ 2 skills per character. But you come across characters with different skills in those slots (like Darkspore, of you've ever played it). Each skill can be slotted with around 7ish modifying runes and each character has room for 15 implants, one weapon and one gadget.

It's certainly not the deepest of RPGs, but there's a fair bit of content there and at a pretty good price.
#34 Posted by Atwa (614 posts) -

I am 6 hours in and I am loving it. 
 
No real story to speak of but the gameplay is really fun for me. 

#35 Posted by warxsnake (2635 posts) -

Is there a way to swap left-right click? Cant un-diablo

#36 Posted by Syndrom (351 posts) -

the system requirements seem really high :s

#37 Posted by TheUnsavedHero (1255 posts) -

Saw the Quick Look for it. If I had a gaming PC, I'd buy it.

#38 Posted by fisk0 (3849 posts) -

Crazy how divisive the reception has been. Like Vinny I think it seems really fascinating. Seems to have some issues, but right now it's metascore is on par with Rogue Warrior and Iron Man 2, which seems odd.

#39 Posted by stenchlord (228 posts) -

I started playing it, it's been pretty fun. Quite buggy though, I can't even change my hotkeys without it crashing to desktop. I also had to change some settings in my GPU control panel so I wouldn't get random crashes.

Despite all that it's a really interesting game, needs a bit more tutorial though.

#40 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

I would never play a game where one of the weapons is a road sign to Flen. Fuck that city.

Still, it has a nice art style to it and the music is nice. But the overabundance of references to Swedish cities and/or expressions that make no sense within an otherwise English written game is a bit strange. Feels like they're not sure whether to go completely Swedish or English and landed somewhere in between.

#41 Posted by TheHT (10871 posts) -

What's the replay situation like? New game+? Harder difficulties? Dungeons randomized?

#42 Posted by gike987 (1747 posts) -

@TheHT said:

What's the replay situation like? New game+? Harder difficulties? Dungeons randomized?

I haven't finished it but it wouldn't surprise me if it is similar to Skyrim were you beat the main story and the game just continues. It really shouldn't be compared to Diablo 3, the game is pretty different even if it has random loot and dungeons. If you buy the game expecting a Diablo clone similar to Torchlight you will probably be disappointed.

#43 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2484 posts) -

Sounds like there's a sizable patch coming today/tonight based on their Twitter feed. I haven't picked it up yet, looks cool though. I probably will.

#44 Posted by Aronman789 (2676 posts) -

So I've been hearing both good and bad things about this game, is it genuinely broken/bad, or is it one of those "diamond in the rough" types that get a large cult following but the mainstream journalists hate it with all their willpower?

#45 Posted by casper_ (901 posts) -

ive only watched the quick look so i may be under-informed but i felt like the game wasn't living up to the promise created by its world/art style and i was expecting the combat to be more tactical. it just seemed like a hack-slash-loot game which is a tough position to be in nowadays

#46 Edited by project343 (2812 posts) -

@fisk0 said:

Crazy how divisive the reception has been. Like Vinny I think it seems really fascinating. Seems to have some issues, but right now it's metascore is on par with Rogue Warrior and Iron Man 2, which seems odd.

Some reviewers take jank and bugs incredibly seriously. I've seen a few. They don't bug me (ha... sigh) at all, personally. Another complaint seems to surround the permadeath/character recruitment system. It's super bizarre, but you learn to work with it. I never found it entirely unnerving like a lot of these uptight reviewers do.

This game is charmingly interesting. Personally, I'd still recommend it to friends.

@Aronman789 said:

So I've been hearing both good and bad things about this game, is it genuinely broken/bad, or is it one of those "diamond in the rough" types that get a large cult following but the mainstream journalists hate it with all their willpower?

Depends what your level of tolerance is, really.

@casperhertzog said:

ive only watched the quick look so i may be under-informed but i felt like the game wasn't living up to the promise created by its world/art style and i was expecting the combat to be more tactical. it just seemed like a hack-slash-loot game which is a tough position to be in nowadays

The game's difficulty certainly spikes at 'really stressful' at times. The Quicklook stuff was all super easy. But things will fuck you up, and managing 3 RPG roles at a time while worrying about positioning is not easy later on.

Calling it tactical is maybe a bit of a stress, but it requires some split-second squad management that almost makes you feel like a pianist. I mean, you're watching 3 health bars managing healer cooldowns, managing 3 character's aggro and tanking cooldowns, managing enemy status and control cooldowns all at the same time while doing the standard Diablo positioning and smacking things.

#47 Edited by gike987 (1747 posts) -

@project343: They added the Boot Camp feature yesterday, which let's you pay 3000 Kr to upgrade a character to green and 20000 Kr to upgrade to blue. It's still cheaper to buy a new character but you can now keep your characters if you really want. So all the reviews were the main compliant is that you have to level up new characters are not really valid any more.

#48 Edited by Aronman789 (2676 posts) -

Wait, this was a Kickstarter thing wasn't it? Shit, that's why everyone is overreacting to the bugs and problems, they take it as a personal thing.

I've seen and loved rough games before, but the amount this got shit on is astounding.

#49 Posted by Giantstalker (1522 posts) -

I'm enjoying everything about this game except the combat. Managing three separate characters with only two abilities, in real time, paradoxically feels both limiting and kinda overwhelming.

The constant improvements are something to look forward to, though, so I'm happy I have the game now.

#50 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@gike987 said:

@project343: They added the Boot Camp feature yesterday, which let's you pay 3000 Kr to upgrade a character to green and 20000 Kr to upgrade to blue. It's still cheaper to buy a new character but you can now keep your characters if you really want. So all the reviews were the main compliant is that you have to level up new characters are not really valid any more.

That's amazing. Good to see that they're responsive even to design decision changes.

@Aronman789 said:

Wait, this was a Kickstarter thing wasn't it? Shit, that's why everyone is overreacting to the bugs and problems, they take it as a personal thing.

I've seen and loved rough games before, but the amount this got shit on is astounding.

Not a Kickstarter game, but made by a relatively small team.

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