Krater - Review @ Gamebanshee
GameBanshee's Eric Schwarz has written a three-page in-depth review of this game.
A quote about life in the Krater:
Krater's world is interesting, if underdeveloped. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic Sweden, bombs and radiation haven't damaged the world nearly as much as what's seen in games like Fallout or Borderlands. This leads to an aesthetically interesting game world that's rich with vegetation and wildlife, running water, and vibrant settlements - punctuated by a massive crater in the earth that civilization has grown around. As the game opts for a slightly absurdist style of humor, this original visual direction works out great and really helps Krater stand out from other games. However, the actual story (and backstory, for that matter) of Krater is sparse to say the least - there's a bit of a story concerning a bandit leader called Bloodclot, but it's not exactly heady stuff, and most of the game content is completely irrelevant to the main plot. Moreover, for every interesting quest (like raiding a den of giant moose to steal their eggs), there's another dozen boring Fed-Ex quests (in one case midway through the game I had to go between the same three NPCs several times over, back and forth, presumably just to waste 15 minutes of my time). The lack of compelling story isn't a huge problem for action-RPGs, of course, where the focus is usually on killing and looting, but Krater has a lack of variety in its objectives that even the silliest quest premises can't make up for.
A quote abput the leveling:
Then there's the character system, which sounds good on paper, but leaves a lot to be desired. The game has four attributes - Strength, Stamina, Intelligence and Focus - and these feed into the four classes, namely, Bruiser, Slayer, Regulator, and Medikus. Despite the names, these are basically tank, DPS, support and healer archetypes, the former two melee and the latter two ranged. The classes aren't anything special and, despite there being tons of randomly-generated mercs available for hire, they're all basically identical in everything but appearance. This is largely because leveling in Krater is completely uninteresting, due to a lack of diversity or progression in skills - of any sort. While party members can be customized a little by installing attribute-boosting implants (you unlock more slots as the game goes on), the core abilities you have available will never, ever change over the course of the game. Some of the heroes available for hire do have different abilities (some healers have an area-of-effect heal, for instance, while others have a continuous heal beam), but these differences are cosmetic at best. Character progression is the bread and butter of any RPG, and yet leveling in Krater is unfulfilling in the extreme. While putting the emphasis on implants is in theory a good way to allow for respecs and more flexibility, it'd only really matter if the implants provided anything more than linear attribute boosts.
A quote from the conclusion:
For now, I simply cannot recommend Krater. Even at low price points, there are much better games out there. It's got good ideas, certainly, and as I've stressed it looks and sounds the part, but good ideas and sharp presentation don't make a good game.