Preview | Kromaia
Recently I was able to get my hands on a preview build for Kraken Empire’s upcoming title, Kromaia. This is a space shooter that utilizes a unique control scheme that the developers tout as “six degrees of freedom”. What this means is that your ship is extremely maneuverable, allowing you to travel up, down, left, right, forward, and even backward with the press of a button.
In addition, you can roll your ship as you control the direction with your mouse. To be honest, when I first heard of this, I wasn’t sure what to think. I tend to play a lot of games with a laptop, utilizing the trackpad, however I quickly discovered that playing Kromaia in this manner wasn’t going to cut it; I needed either a controller or a USB mouse.
I opted for the latter and dove right into the campaign. After a brief tutorial, which explains the controls, you are thrust into space, given the choice of four different levels. Each of these levels is themed to one of the ships; orange, red, green, and blue. Every ship is a bit different as well.
The orange ship utilizes a scatter gun as the primary weapon with a shotgun blast taking up the secondary slot. Next up is the red ship, which utilizes a focused rapid fire for the primary and a laser beam for the secondary. Third is the green ship, which utilizes homing missiles (primary) and a salvo of missiles (secondary). The fourth ship in the build was the blue, which utilized close combat with a giant sword. If you’re scared of getting too close, however, this ship also utilizes shuriken as the secondary weapon.
There aren’t really any limits on your weapon usage, except, of course, for reload speed, so you should be able to use both weapons of each ship to your heart’s content. This fact also holds true for both your boost ability as well as the new grappling hook shown off in the build, both of which should be used fairly often.
Next we’ll discuss the levels themselves. Each of the four stages are wide open, yet still structured. Your ship has a navigation built in as well, so you can fly anywhere in the level that you desire without fear of getting lost, as the navigation will continue to point to one of the fifteen spheres that you will need to collect in order to clear the level. Of course even without the navigation, the spheres are (for the most part) easy enough to see… the challenge comes in getting to them.
The giant spawning blades, meteors, and waves of enemies makes this anything but an easy task, although perhaps more of a challenge is to stay focused on your goal. After all, with such a wide space to explore, riddled with buildings and other distractions, it is quite difficult to not attempt to explore everything possible. Of course if you’re like me and you fail to resist, you’ll be able to (if you figure out how to get in, of course) collect some helpful shield pieces.
Overall, I came away from the preview build rather impressed: Kraken certainly is building an interesting game, and the controls, which I was initially unsure of, were rather smooth and responsive (once I utilized a USB mouse, of course). I can’t wait to see more of Kromaia as they proceed with development.