Krater: Shadows over Solside – Review
Follow Genre: RPG - Dungeon crawler
Developer: Fatshark
Publisher: Lace-Mamba Global ltd.
Platform: PC

Krater: Shadows over Solside – Review

Site Score
6.9
Good: Team management, Gasmasks for everyone!
Bad: Lack of detail, Too 'basic'
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Krater: Shadows over Solside shows us how a possible nuclear apocalypse might look like… if you live in Sweden and you decide to settle in a massive impact crater this game might show you how to survive. Krater is a game that falls under the category of ‘dungeon crawler’ games and promises us enough options to keep us entertained for days to come. Will Krater live up to the expectations?

7

Story:

The world has pretty much been devastated by a nuclear war and it seems there is no more hope for mankind. Or is there? Luckily Sweden has one of the last places in which you can survive in a ‘safe’ way, namely a impact crater. Well danger lurking at every corner might not be that safe, but it’s still better than simply dying outside of the crater itself. Then again it seems this last haven of humanity has it’s own share of problems, and this is where your team of diggers comes in.

Overall the story is offered to us through drawn cinematics which really suit a post-apocalypse style and go with some decent voice-acting. The ingame story however feels a bit lacking. The game consists out of chapters and every chapter will revolve around one main mission with a decent amount of sidequests. The quests themselves are brought to you by pretty simple text windows and a zoom in of the NPC that gives you the quest.

As mentioned earlier the story isn’t really such a solid one but certainly not that bad either. The sad part however a Dungeon Crawler with a great story will keep you motivated to grind for more hours to come instead of getting tired of slashing the same enemies over and over again.

2

Graphics:

Krater offers us nice looking environments (that happen to look the same from time to time) and gives us a borderlands kind of view but then in a top down kind of way. The world looks as it really has gone through the worst and the settlements look as if a retro post-war architect came by to give the place that extra touch. The characters look quite decent, (However when recruiting you tend to see the same model over and over again.) and your enemies aren’t too shabby looking either.

One thing really bothered me, the game went with a travel mode on which you simply see a marker move over the map. Which is still ok. Then the developers also implemented a day and night cycle – pretty nifty too. The annoying part however was – even when you encounter a group of enemies or creatures in the middle of the night,the chance you’ll get a daytime map is pretty much a given fact. This might be something that isn’t a big deal but either have it one way or an other.

1

Sound:

We get treated to a decent musical score going from simple ‘suspense’ music to full blown retroish rockish music that simply gets you going. In towns when running by bars you will certainly hear some tunes that will surely get you going for that extra mile of mass murder.

As mentioned earlier the voice acting in the cinematics is a job well done but the ingame NPC’s were given less impressive traits. You will hear the occasional word flowing through your speakers but most of the time you will have to settle with a simple mumble or a sound that can be compared with a mild indigestion.

4

Gameplay:

Krater: Shadows over Solside is a dungeon crawler in many ways but it seems they tried to combine many elements to make it something special. Which can be good if an eye for detail is kept, which sadly isn’t always the case in this game.

You will control a 3 man cell with which you roam around the pretty vast world of Krater. If you get tired of a team member you simply replace it with another one and start leveling that character. Sadly again the game offers you 4 different classes each only having such limited skills that your whole team still feels like you’re only playing half a character in other games of the genre. It’s fun to try some different set-ups for your team (switching members and classes) but there isn’t really that much to test out. Sometimes at a recruiting station you tend to be able to recruit special characters, which are still part of the 4 classes, but tend to have slightly different skills and a different appearance. It’s fun to come across these ‘hidden’ characters and being able to buy them.

The developers tried their best to enhance the lack of skills by being able to equip boosters that enhance your skills by adding effects or implants that enhance your characters overall abilities. A nice thought but again this feels so limited and the fact you can’t take out the boosters/implants you inserted to switch them for betters ines you find on your way doesn’t really motivate you to actually use them. I had a ”I’ll wait for better ones” mentality all the way through the game.

Overall you will pretty much do the same thing over and over again – as if typical in games of this genre. In this aspect Krater has no real flaws however the limited skill set tends to make the experience a tad more boring for you to play through the entire story this way. Meaning most of the time you will have to grind your way through spamming the same skills over and over again which isn’t all too bad but I have to admit I was happy you still had to manage your team a little in combat situations to make you pay attention to your screen. Paying attention a thing you should certainly keep in mind because the game works with a permanent death system (can be turned of in casual mode!) and a permanent injury system. Which are the result of being knocked down 3 times before visiting a doctor or your local clinic. Injuries pretty much mean your favorite character can end up with a loss of stats (example: broken jaw) because of the injury.

3

Money is a fairly important aspect in the game because your characters always have a specific leveling cap. This means you will have to pay your hard earned blood money will be used for you to further upgrade your characters. Also weaponry and crafting items don’t come that cheap in Krater. Crafting is another aspect the game allows you to do, but again feels like it’s missing that extra little touch.

The map travelling system has been explained earlier but surely deserves an extra mention. I personally love this old school look but details like the day and night cycle tend to be annoying if they don’t really work. Another annoying aspect is that you will see the map in 3d plus a small mini map in the corner. You will actually have to use the small minimap to actuall identify the marked places outside the view of your screen because the map view does not allow you to scroll over it. This lack of scrolling is something you will probably still hate at the end of your playthrough. (I still have the tendency to scroll…)

If you’re a fan of multiplayer modes in games that actually are decent, Krater provides us with a decent amount of fun. You can pretty much do all the regular gameplay together with other teams but then on specifically designed areas/maps. Certainly an appreciated effort in creating 2 seperate gaming experiences.

Note: the what the fuck experience of this week goes out to random map rotations when re-entering a visited level/floor of a dungeon. Which will cause loads of getting lost!

Conclusion:

If you’re a fan of dungeon crawlers, Krater: Shadows over Solside will surely not dissapoint you but won’t be one of those games you will play for years to come. The game has a lot of great ideas and some work, some don’t and some seem to be rough designs rather than actual features. Krater is a game that had a lot of potential and a sequel can make use of these ideas to make a superb game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Krater: Shadows over Solside - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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