By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)
Have you ever wanted a game that had the flashy action of Dungeon Fighter Online, the combo craziness of Devil May Cry and the rocking beats of Guilty Gear? If so, your prayers have finally been answered as All-M and En Masse Entertainment are joining forces to bring Kritika Online to the masses.
Kritika Online is a 3D MORPG that focuses on fast-paced action and lots of it. While previously released in South Korea in 2013, it’s finally making its way stateside in 2017 with the same PvE and PvP combat that it’s been known for. I’ve known about this little title ever since it was announced at Hangame Ex 2011 and have been dying to give it a try ever since, so of course when En Masse approached the OnRPG/MMOHuts team about giving this game a try, I was practically the first one to say yes and jumped right in.
While the game does have a storyline to go with it, this preview will be covering my time spent playing the game in a handful of dungeons, with and without a party.
Starting things off: players can choose between one of four (genderlocked) classes: The Warrior, The Rouge, The Gunmage and The Reaper. The warrior uses brute force to get up close and personal with his enemies, the rouge uses agility and quick attacks to either launch or set up enemies for long combos, the gunmage uses pistols and other abilities to fight from a distance, and the reaper enjoys using her long scythe and chains to outrange foes while staying in melee distance. With my love of close range combat and big blades, my choice was obvious.
After picking my character, I was kind of expecting to just input my character name and jump right in, but surprisingly, there is a small amount of character customization available. Players have a choice between a few hairs and face types while having access to several different color options for eyes, hair and clothing. While it isn’t much, I was able to make a pretty fly looking guy that was to my liking. Not bad!
After that, I was then able to jump into the action, and after a short cutscene explaining that there’s a huge war going on in the Kritika world, I was dropped off into tutorial zone with several skills available right off the bat.
This game wastes absolutely NO time with getting your attention. Within the first 30 seconds of the tutorial, you’ll know exactly what Kritika is all about. You can perform attacks and skills that can launch enemies into the air, juggle airborne enemies and close gaps on enemies that you’ve already sent flying halfway across the screen. If you can do all this within the first few seconds of the game, just imagine what you can do later on…
(Well, you don’t have to imagine that since the game has already been out in other regions for a while and you can just watch a YouTube video or two on the game, but PLEASE don’t think about it and just keep reading…!)
After completing the tutorial zones, you’ll be dropped off into a war torn town that serves as a player hub for gathering quests, buying/selling equipment, gaining enhancements for your equipment and meeting up with other players. If you’ve ever played similar titles like Dragon Nest or Vindictus, you’ll know how things work around here. Of course, since I was playing by myself for the time being, I was merely grabbing every quest I could find and heading off to the next dungeon (known as Danger Zones). Each danger zone has four difficulty options to choose from including easy, normal, hard and insane. The cool thing about these difficulty settings is you’re free to select any difficult you want, rather than having difficulties unlocked after beating the danger zone on a lower difficulty first. The game will warn you ahead of time when you’re stepping into a zone that may be too well beyond your equipment rating, but if you believe your skill will take you far, you’re free to step right on in.
And so I did, for the next few danger zones. I played on a harder difficulty and for the most part, things were a breeze. It wasn’t until I went face to face with this jetpack touting boss that truly wrecked my ass due to my overconfidence and cockiness that I started to respect the difficulty recommendations.
Still, after getting knocked down once, I got right back up and took him down.
After a few hours of playing solo, it was time to meet up with Colton and the executive producer Brain Knox US for some dungeon crawling action, now equipped with LV20+ characters. Sticking with my warrior class, this character was also spec’d with a subclass called the Berserker, which can sacrifice his HP to increase his attack speed, gain super armor and high damage buffs for his attacks in the process. That sounds all well and good, but it’s pretty obvious that a berserker isn’t as cool as the almighty Doom Blade subclass, which I and 90% of the warrior population will be playing as. But it will have to do for now.
Let’s be real: Who doesn’t want to be a Vergil wannabe from Devil May Cry?
While playing in a team of three, this danger zone was filled with various trash mobs and enemies that were pretty easy to take down. While not much of a challenge for the combined might of our team, it was fun to see so many attacks and abilities being thrown on the screen all at once. Once we got up through all the trash, the boss was a crazy punk looking demon called “DeathWalker” who uses a handful of electrified attacks against us. Sadly for this demon, it was no match for our juggle skills. Danger zone complete, and Colton managed to get MVP on this mission. Surprising considering it was his first time playing as a Gunmage.
After that, the executive producer talked more about what kind of changes they’ll be making to the US/EU release of Kritika as well as talking about the cash shop. To my surprise, En Masse and All-M actually have plans to INCREASE the game’s difficulty, rather than making it easier for casuals. Usually, things would work the other way around for the western market, but they’re really concerned about it and do not want to make the game feel like a cakewalk. While it sounds good, I do have my concerns on what they mean by “difficulty.” Does it means that they’ll make enemies smarter and more aggressive, or that they’ll just tweak their damage numbers and give enemies more HP. I’m certainly hoping it’s the former rather than the latter.
Then they discussed their plans for the cash shop… in which case they’re looking for as much feedback on the functionally and pricing of the shop in general. Whether the shop has too little things to buy or if the pricing of stuff is too low or high, they’re planning to adjust everything based on user feedback, truly living up to their motto of putting the players first.
To end things off, we entered another dungeon, but this time on an insane difficulty. Here, enemies can take quite a beating and a single hit from enemies can drop your HP down by 25%, so there’s very little room for screw-ups. On the plus side, though: With enemies taking more damage, it gives players a lot more time to attempt their juggle combos and see which moves chain into each other.
Last boss in this room was a crazy looking wolf demon who could dash around the battlefield and shoot fireballs from its mouth. It took us a while to get the attack tells from the boss down. Luckily Colton was there to play as the guinea pig and show us all when to move in and when to back out. I, on the other hand, attempted to play it safe through the entire battle, dashing in and out of the monster’s range while getting a few cheeky hits in here and there…
Turns out that it paid off, as we took down the boss AND I got MVP. Nice.
So the preview event ended with me feeling energetic and excited to play more of this when it goes into closed beta soon. There’s so much speed and hype coming out of this game, and I can’t wait anymore to see Kritika go full steam once the betas are all said and done.
And if YOU are feeling the hype for Kritika right about now, check out Colton’s full on coverage of the game over at our official MMOHuts YouTube page and grab yourself a beta key (or two.)
Stay tuned for more info Kritika here our site.