Krater Opens Up To Reveal Pre-Order Beta

By John Walker on May 24th, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

That looks a very blowupable bar.

Fatshark’s Krater goes into beta testing today. The tactics-focused action RPG is due out on the 12th June, but buying it now lets you get in and start playing right away, and now there’s much more of the game available to those who do.

And there’s an interesting way to buy the indie-made game. You can pick up a copy of the so-called “Collector’s Edition” for €15, which will give you a Steam key and access to the unfinished game. Or you can choose to pay €40 for the Fan Edition, and your name in the credits. Or perhaps get the Patron Edition for €100, which nets you the ability to name one of the game’s rare items. It doesn’t actually say you get that item. Clearly these higher prices are not designed to reward the buyer with extra content, but rather a way to let people support the project beyond the basic cost.

Boasting permanent death, that certainly suggests a more hardcore approach to the genre, and I’m intrigued to find out more about the top-down Syndicate-like tactics they’ve promised. Have some footage:

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36 Comments »

  1. Winged Nazgul says:

    Alternatively, Alienwarearena is handing out beta keys:

    http://www.alienwarearena.com/giveaway/krater-closed-beta-key-giveaway/

    • Hilden2000 says:

      Thank you good sir.

    • Malk_Content says:

      Ta for that! For once there is a beta key give-away which is more than ten keys!

      • Alphabet says:

        Thank you, Winged Nazgul! I was dithering about this – I love the setting, and Diablo 3 whetted but did not satisfy my need for ARPG goodness. Now I can try it for free.

    • Tuggy Tug says:

      Thank you very much indeed.

  2. HisMastersVoice says:

    I’m surprised it’s slated for release on the 12th of June, as the game is currently in a very beta state. Maybe they’re keeping all the updates and fixes for the release version.

    • Unaco says:

      That’s only 20 day! They had BETA get a move on then.

    • trjp says:

      I’ve not tried the latest version they updated this week – but I’d agree that before that, the game needed a LOT of optimisation (which they made clear was the case).

      At that point it would crash every other time I zoned and mid-dungeon in every other dungeon – I don’t think I ever played it longer than about 20 mins without a crash!!

      Then there were the sound/music issues (hugely glitchy) – all of which I ignored in pre-Alpha, then in Alpha but cannot really ignore in Beta or Release so I’m ‘trusting’ they’re onto that.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        For what it’s worth, their last title Lead & Gold was bug-free and stable in my experience. /shrug

        • trjp says:

          Hamilton’s Big Adventure was pretty solid, technically, and used the same engine.

          This really is flaky atm tho – just tried the current build and it’s crashed 3 times before I even started PLAYING it (it’s never been this bad before!!)

          Perhaps it’s all those people playing a single-player game – my PC is coming out in sympathy? ;)

    • GSGregory says:

      Considering I have crashed about 10 times in 10 different ways in 5 minutes… It hardly seems playable..

      • Thermal Ions says:

        Interesting, I played the alpha (I think it was) a month or so ago and had very few, if any, crashes that I recall. Hopefully they can sort out what’s gone wrong quickly and patch it back to where it was.

  3. killias2 says:

    Personally, I’m not completely sold on this yet. It’s a basically a Diablo-clone with multiple characters. That may sound interesting, but it’s pretty hard to control all three effectively. As a result, the whole system feels sort of sloppy, especially in comparison to other Diablo-clones (like.. say.. that one that was released recently). On the other hand, the multiple character elements is almost RTS-esque at times. Perhaps, during the beta, they’ll take advantage of the core differences and make something worth playing.

    • trjp says:

      I’d have agreed with you completely upto the release they did in mid-May – at which point the UI started to work better, the difficulty was levelled a bit and it became easier to make use of your 3 characters as individuals…

      In fact that update pretty much sold the game to me – wheras before that I’d begun to lose interest as it seemed you were controlling 3 characters ‘for the sake of it’.

      and that’s before we’ve seen the other characters you can recruit, much in the way of upgrades or new weapons etc. (as the game was reset with every release, I never got that far into it!!)

    • LutherBlissett says:

      I disagree that this is a Diablo clone. Sure there is perspective and loot but the multi-character party plays more like Guild Wars with henchies. Click and spam abilities, not click click loot. It definately has promise, there is some great world-building here and the actual game is pretty fun but dont expect a smooth ride as others have mentioned. It’s very crashy. Also does not run on XP.

      • abandonhope says:

        Yeah, this is not Diablo. As RPS said, it’s more Syndicate (Wars)–in a Borderlands setting with Borderlands tone and Borderlands questing. I’m not sure what to make of it yet, as it seems a little messy. Of course, Syn Wars was somewhat messy and still loads of fun.

        • fatshark_mwd says:

          You can decide if you want to play with fewer characters than 3 but it gets harder with just one… :)

          Something that is important to stress is that you dont need to select an individual character in Krater to use abilities. The abilities is used like in Diablo or Dota with hot keys. You dont need to care about who got each ability. If you wanna heal you push the heal button an select the character you wanna heal.

  4. Hug_dealer says:

    wow. this game fell off my radar so long ago, and i dont know why.

    Color me interested.

  5. lowprices says:

    Every time I see a new indie game on RPS I automatically assume it’s a kickstarter thing. I had to read the post twice before I realised it wasn’t.

    This looks good though. I almost pre-ordered it on the strength of the dance-rock in the trailer alone. But I have Diablo 3 downloading (curse you, slow internet connection!) Torchlight 2 on pre order and Grim Dawn Kickstarter’d, so that’s enough ARPG for at least the next year or so.

  6. MythArcana says:

    Steam-exclusive again, I’m out. Limiting your audience isn’t a great start, folks.

    And after six wonderful days in the Torchlight II beta, I have found my GOTY so far.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      I think getting your game on steam is a pipedream for most developers rather than a limitation…

    • trjp says:

      What he said – getting onto Steam is MASSIVELY important for a PC game developer (one who doesn’t have their own competing service anyway!!)

      In fact, it’s arguably the difference between making good money and not making good money – hell, even Cliffski is on Steam and look at all the raging about ‘indie’ he does!! :)

      BUT….

      The reason they talk about Steam in their pre-order is because that’s there the pre-alpha/alpha/beta has been going-on (for months now) – I’d not rule-out a DRM-free version from them in due course (but you’ll need Steam to access the Beta/pre-release at least so…)

      • fatshark_mwd says:

        This. Steam is very crucial for indie developers. It is basically the one way out to the market if you dont have a massive marketing budget. Steam is great.

  7. fatshark_mwd says:

    Hi,

    Martin from Fatshark here. You will be able to play the game without beeing online.

    In the startup information we recommend that you play offline as we are doing a lot of tests with the online part right now and are taking down the back end now and then.

    If you have any questions feel free to send them my way!

    ALos we will continue to work with the game and gamers after release so feedback is always welcome!

    Cheers

  8. Bra10 says:

    I ve purchased a Steam pre-order key from the krater homepage but I dont find where to download the beta from steam. i have created an account on steam so i am a total steam noob…

    • nickclarkson says:

      In the Steam client, click on Games in the menu, then “Activate a product on Steam”. Then just follow the wizard and paste your beta key in and it will download.

  9. kukouri says:

    This is one of those games I really really want to be good, but have a fear it won’t be. I hope my fears are wrong.