Rising Star Games showcased Kraken Empire’s Kromaia, a 3D third-person arcade shoot-em-up, at its 10 year anniversary press event in San Francisco, so I got a chance to see what this new title is all about. I jumped right into one of the levels and immediately I liked the look of the art style. Right off the gate, I’m getting a cool Tron vibe from the art alone. There are a ton of neon lights in this game and the enemies can totally fit in with the ‘Recognizers’ from the Tron series. That’s not such a bad thing.
The gameplay is pretty straight forward. You can control a ship and fly through enemy infested areas collecting these checkpoints till your final destination or the end of the level. Unlike the classic top-down vertical shooters such as Raiden or 1942, this shooter plays in a 360 environment like a huge arena. You can fly to the outskirts of the level or follow the checkpoint pathway that each level sets for you. Because of the freedom, it plays like an arcade flight simulator rather than the classic vertical shooters of yore.
The crazy barrage of enemies is present in this game, but it’s hard to hone in on smaller enemies since you have to continually adjust your bearings. Thankfully each class of fighter has a secondary weapon that serves as a powerful area attack. For instance, the blue fighter has a giant shuriken that it charges and flings straight ahead. That is the best weapon for a fighter spaceship ever! Not only that, but the blue fighter’s main weapon is a swinging energy sword. It’s already my favorite. The other three fighters are also quite strong. The yellow ship has a shotgun spread-like secondary weapon, the red ship has a huge laser that it channels for a few seconds, and the green ship locks onto at least five nearby enemies shooting a barrage of homing missiles at them. Each ship also has a grapple attachment that allows for expert maneuvers if you can handle it. All in all, the ships are pretty awesome in their own little way.
The music and sound matches the tone of the game pretty well. All the sci-fi sounds that you can expect to hear are there. There’s also an emphasis on speed that works well for this type of game that has leaderboards for players to compete. Kromaia definitely sounds like you are part of a heated space battle, but in reality you are trying to fly through it since the checkpoints are the main concern in each level it seems. I’m still unsure of the main plot of Kromaia. It appears that the main character has just woken up from some sort of sleep, and then all of a sudden you’re in the ship. There are also some mention of ‘gods’ but I’m still confused on their purpose. When playing Kromaia, you have armor that serves as your health bar. If all your armor runs out, one more hit will be the end of your little star fighter. As you can see from the above images, there are a lot of debris in the stages so trying to avoid these at high boosting speeds can be difficult. Hitting the debris hard can also take away part of your armor. Thankfully there are items littered around each level such as extra armor and booster packs. That’s all I was able to find, but there may be more pick-ups.
At the end of certain levels, you encounter bosses. These battles remind me of the bosses from the Star Fox games, where you shoot a section of the boss till it falls apart then move on to the next one. In Kromaia, you can strafe to one side for the entirety of the boss battle and be okay for the most part. It worked for one boss, but I can’t say the same for the others that I haven’t encountered. So far I have not found myself in need of dodging enemy fire sporadically. I’m mostly just flying straight and shooting, hoping for enemies to cross my deadly path. There are some enemies that follow you, lingering just outside the center of you aim, so there are little dog fights to be had. For now though, I don’t have the need to try and destroy everything on my screen.
For the most part, Kromaia brings the action to a sci-fi shooter that I haven’t experienced before. The melee spaceship is a nice touch and probably my favorite of the bunch. With the regular arcade mode and score attack, it seems a little short. It would be great to have a multiplayer arena battle in this game. Kromaia seems to be heading that way with the different fighter types and 360 environment. Although this shooter is totally different from the vertical shooters of the past, Kromaia is still a good time for arcade shooting. It’s currently greenlight on Steam so check them out now for more details. Kromaia is set to release on October 23rd on PC through Steam.
[Source: Rising Star Games]