The world of Massively Multiplayer Online Games(MMOs) is often one of excess. It seems like a new MMO pops up every few weeks, and most of them never garnish a player base large enough to keep it alive for very long. On top of that, every MMO is compared to World of Warcraft, which is majorly unfair for newer contenders. Along the same lines, most MMOs primarily come from eastern markets, many originating in Korea(and their bootleg spawns in China, but that’s a separate topic). The massive amount of structure an MMO needs to have at launch, and the continual extension of that content is a very large undertaking. Oftentimes, people will use Final Fantasy XIV’s disastrous launch and buggy release as an example when talking about this topic. While they’ve certainly cleaned up their act and made an entirely new game in the background, while also updating their buggy copy to retain their fan base, it’ll still take some time for their reputation to recover. Most other MMOs aren’t lucky enough to be backed by huge gaming companies that can cover their losses in such a way, and many are starting to switch to mobile games rather than full releases on PC.
That being said, for this week I decided to try out an MMO that was originally a mobile game (gasp!) before they made a full PC release called Kritika Online. It recently came out on steam late this September, however, I only got into it within the past week. As for the game itself, it handles far more like a Coop Dungeon Crawler/Hack ‘n’ Slash than an MMO. There are certainly MMO elements, however; some examples include a guild system, auction house(market place), and character progression elements. There aren’t many cosmetic changes to the characters themselves, but you can choose your characters’ colors and buy costumes/sets for cosmetic purposes with the premium currency. Each class has three weapons that handle roughly the same and only slightly differ in appearance, changing styles for advanced class.
Graphics wise, it’s not impressive. It looks like something out of the 2000s. For me this isn’t a problem, as a games ability to run well on my crappy system is infinitely more important than fancy, flashy visuals, but for others, this might be a major turn off. On the other hand, with it’s fast paced Hack ‘n’ Slash nature, the game being able to run effectively(especially during player vs player [PVP] encounters) is top priority. From what I’ve played, the combat can get pretty intense. All the classes are technically damage per second(DPS) classes, with crowd control(CC) being the most notable utility. In Kritika Online, there aren’t healers(at least with the current classes), creating a focus on DPS elements during gameplay. In this way, it’s very similar to many classic, hardcore MMOs like Devcat’s Vindictus or Eyedentity Games’ Dragon Nest(both being games I’ve played and enjoyed).
That being said, even with it’s difficulty, the game is significantly easier in a group if you’re looking for a more casual experience, or at lower difficulties. But if you’re looking for a challenge, I’d highly recommend playing a close range class on the Insane difficulties. Even some regular enemies will start one-shotting you if you make a mistake, creating a much more visceral experience like that of Dark Souls, but a bit faster paced.
Class wise, there are four base classes on the steam release: Gun Mage, Rogue, Warrior, and Reaper. Most of them have three advanced classes you can choose at level 15 that significantly alter their play style. The Gun Mage is focused on AoE attacks like mages in other MMORPGs, but also feature some single target potential depending on which advanced classes you go. The Rogue is focused primarily on dealing damage from afar with shurikens or other ranged attacks, building bleed stacks before going into close quarters to finish targets off. Warriors are very AoE centric, getting in the opponents faces-and staying there. Their abilities are great for the smaller mobs that occupy danger zones leading to the boss zone, but their single target DPS isn’t anything to scoff at during boss battles either. Reapers are similar to warriors, however, with less of a focus on AoE and more of a focus on chaining combos together to occupy targets, or even stun locking some opponents (including bosses in certain stages!) who don’t have super armor, which prevents CC effects.