So, it’s a mixed bag. Krater has a lot of promise but it ends up as a genuinely average game. That’s not a blemish on it, it’s the truth. It could have been a lot better, but at the same it had the risk of ending up a lot worse. Krater presents an intriguing world, a new take on character development and clever design but at the same time the design choices to support its interesting mechanics are the negatives.
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.
Despite the varied world and characters, Krater falls short of being a truly great game. Whilst it is excellent at keeping you hooked, the immersion is sometimes broken, be it through no real knowledge or involvement in the story until the later chapters, as it’s never truly explained why you’re there, or the constant stability issues that plagued my experience of the game later on. Krater is an admirable reinvention of the genre by an indie team, and possesses an excellent universe, but it needs more patches. Luckily, with 7 patches in 21 days at time of writing, there’s plenty of those coming. Krater just isn’t a refined enough experience at the moment to be anything more than a flawed gem, with stability issues and the lack of the online mode making the game feel slightly unfinished.