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KRITIKA ONLINE from EN MASSE is an action adventure game with MMO similarities.

KRITIKA is a mixture of side-scrolling fast Arcade type action with manga style characters, a sort of Power Rangers meets World of Warcraft.

Creation of a character is nowhere near as complex as most MMOs, the choice is more of Male or Female, Hair Style and colour of hair, clothes etc. It isn't until you reach Level 15 that you get to mould it more to how your personal vision of him/her and their classification as a hero is.

 

Different hair styles and colours help you identify your hero.

 

The game is about Missions or Quests, given in the same way as the majority of MMOs - find the NPC with a Yellow "?" floating above their head and "F" talk to them. They will rabbit on a bit and then ask you to do something for them, your Task if you accept it. Generally you will get more than one Quest at a time, usually from more than one NPC, and when you return to the Quest-Giver you will often, but not always, be given an award of some kind. Almost all Quests require you fighting your way through a horde of monsters until you find the Treasure, rescue the lost Girl or whatever. To reach these Quests you often have to go through a swirling Portal, stepping through often closes the Portal behind you until you have succeeded, the step-through is also quite fast. On the other side you are usually only a few yards (metres) away from your first encounter though it only takes a few steps before combat ensues. At the end of the fighting, after you have met and killed the Big Boss you get the opportunity to press F3 and return to the town or F4 and replay the same encounter. If you die - it takes a lot for this to happen but happen it does - you resurrect at the last auto-saved spot.

 

After exiting a Quest area successfully you may be rewarded with the "key" to another area (you do not actually get a physical key but another Portal becomes available to you); then you will soon be getting Quests for that area from the NPCs. The game plays a little like the original Guild Wars MMO where you enter a Town, meet and chat with people, get Quests and then go into an "Instance" only in KRITIKA you are likely to run into other players; these have their Name and Level above their heads, small text and discreet. Those I have met so far have not taken the time to stop and chat, nor have I been inundated (not even by one) with requests to join a Guild, but I think that's probably because it's fairly new and players are finding their feet.

There is no searching the bodies, this is happens automatically as throughout the game you will pick up Gold and collect weapons, armour and other equipment - generally thrown out of the fight and left floating to be collected. Some of the loot you find will be useful to you, other pieces are only useful for selling or stripping down to bare components that can be used for Crafting - there are Stations in most Villages that allow you to strip equipment. Quite often the loot found is named but not identified. If this is the case you just need to Right-Click on it and pay 100 Gold to discover what you have. With the equipment highlighted in your backpack you also see alongside it what you are carrying or wearing - the plusses and minuses shown in Green and Red text, allowing you to decide whether to activate it or not - if activated you lose its retail value but you can still strip it down.

Many weapons and pieces of equipment have slots where you can input Gems to give additional powers. There are machines in Villages where Gems can be introduced to these slots and others where Gems can be infused together. 

Despite this being an online game it doesn't have the feel of a regular MMO. It is too fast, too much action in too short a space. In fact it is more like an Arcade game due to it being non-stop fighting. There are, as far as I have experienced to date, no Quests that don't require combat after combat, and the end of Level BOSS is more in line with a side-scroller than an MMO, though in the major Instances in most MMOs there is an end of Instance Boss of sorts.

 

 

 

As you can see from these screen-photographs (once again my [Print Screen] button didn't work and so I had to take photos of the screen - this is hard to do when you are playing with one hand and taking photos with the camera held in the other hand) there is a lot of fast moving fighting against the backdrop of some beautifully crafted villages, mountains and other types of terrain. Like many MMOs you cannot go where you want to, even if there appears to be a pathway, because the parametres of the game stop you. Thus there are passages and pathways, ups and downs, hills and mountains you cannot journey through, climb, or jump off of, which stops this from being a Sandbox game and also prevents it from being as good as it could be by stopping you exploring - that's what KRITIKA is missing, the exploration factor.

  

It looks good, it plays well and it's fun. Whether it will blossom into a full blown MMO in due course only time will tell but for now it is a super hybrid amalgamation of different game styles searching for its own identity. If it helps you make up your mind I like it and will be playing it for some time yet.

  

 

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015