Krater first look

Fatshark’s Krater launched today and I couldn’t wait to take it for a spin. So what’s Krater? The official blurb:

Krater is a squad based roleplaying game set in a colorful post-apocalyptic world. It combines the combat mechanics of action-rpgs with the top-down view of the classic old-school RPG and RTS games. The game brings you far into the future of a post-apocalyptic Sweden.

It plays a little like the original Dungeon Siege, maybe a little like Dawn of War II (I base that on what I’ve heard…I’ve never played DoWII). You have a party of 3 characters to start: a tank, a dps and a healer, and you move them, RTS-style, by right-clicking on terrain. You can move them all, or just one of them. So mechanically it plays a bit like an RTS, but each of your guys has stats and gear and other RPG tropes. Each guy can use 2 skills (at a time) and you fire them off by clicking hotbars or using number keys, a la an MMO. The trinity is MMO-like too. The tank has skills that generate hate, the healer heals and the dps has some stuns to do a bit of crowd control.

I’ve played for just a very few minutes but wanted to knock out a video. Sadly it didn’t come out too well. I’m still learning the ins and outs of Pinnacle studio and I have no idea why it reduced my full res Fraps files to postage stamps. Ah well. Thanks to Chris from Levelcapped I have a better quality video now.

So far the game seems like it’ll be interesting and delightfully weird, but it’s a bit janky too. You’ll see a few times where I take a curiously long time to decide to gather loot. Actually that’s my clicking around the button trying to get it to ‘take.’ You’ll also see guys running back and forth oddly as they encounter obstacles. Finally, there’s no multiplayer in the game yet; that’s supposed to come on July 10th.

Krater is $15 and you can get it on Steam or on Fatshark’s site (where you can but a special $10,000 edition and have your game hand-delivered by the developer).

A Brief Sidetrip to the Hinterlands

No, I’m not talking WoW here… 🙂

I’m talking about the new strategy/rpg game from Tilted Mill Entertainment, Hinterland. It came out today, on Steam, for $20. I decided to check it out, partly because I enjoy both strategy and RPGs, but mostly because Tilted Mill’s offices are local, and I gotta support the local game devs, right? Plus, these guys are descended from Impressions, a company whose games I enjoyed for many a year. Anyway…

This is in no way a “review” of the game! I’ve played it for a couple of hours; not even remotely enough time to base a review on. This is just a brief description and some early thoughts.

Worst news first: the game freezes on me, and fairly often. If I’m patient enough, it’ll recover, but it can sit frozen for literally two minutes. Like, check the clock when it freezes, check it again when it starts moving again, and ~120 seconds have passed. Let’s hope for a patch for this soon.

The game is a hybrid, one part hack & slash RPG, one part “city building” sim. You start with a patch of land that is your “town” and a single house. Folks of various professions come to visit: farmers, merchants, craftsmen, etc. You can offer to build them a home, and if you do, they’ll stick around and start doing whatever they do (produce food, goods, money, or whatever). As is typical in this kind of game, you need to make sure everyone is fed, and you can spend gold to upgrade shops. Eventually you can set folks to doing research rather than manufacturing. Some folks won’t be willing to stay unless your town meets certain prerequisites.
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