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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: Krai Mira

Infinitron

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Tags: Krai Mira; Tall Tech Studio

Before the arrival of ATOM, there were a number of considerably less successful attempts to produce a Fallout-inspired post-apocalyptic isometric RPG by various European (particularly Eastern European) studios. One of the last of these was Krai Mira, an isometric RPG set in a post-apocalyptic Crimean peninsula from Slovakian indie developer TallTech Studio. Krai Mira was widely disregarded as "Eastern European shovelware" when it was released in 2016 and was quickly forgotten. Yet there are some among us who still remember. With the impending releases of Encased and ATOM RPG: Trudograd, the esteemed Lord_Potato, who is a connoisseur of all manner of obscure and forgotten RPGs, has decided to revisit Krai Mira and tell us whether our prejudices were justified. Here's an excerpt from his review:

The game begins with a short intro cutscene, but there is no character creation sequence as such. Our PC starts out simply standing on a beach. We can name him, distribute several points between five main stats, and invest two points into one of three available perks. The stats are strength, health, agility, perception, and "erudition", which is basically intellect and charisma combined. Throughout the game the PC will gain access to fifteen perks, which are mostly focused on stealth and melee combat. Each perk has three levels of advancement. There are no skills in the game and hence no skill checks. Stat checks in dialogue are very rare. Sometimes high erudition provides you with an additional dialogue choice or allows you to talk someone into helping you without material gratification. But that is all you will get out of making your guy a smooth talker. Upon gaining a new level you get one stat point and one perk point, which you may invest as you see fit.

Unfortunately, the system is very basic and unbalanced. There’s only one way to build your character well. On my first try, I created the character I usually play in Fallout games: an eloquent gunslinger (high perception, agility, erudition). Soon I learned that such a build is simply unfeasible in Krai Mira. Erudition provides too few opportunities to justify the stat investment. And as for perception, while the game offers a wide selection of guns, rifles, crossbows, and flamethrowers that use five different types of ammo, it provides far too few bullets. A gunslinger cannot allow himself the luxury of a weapon of choice. He has to hold on to any ammunition he can find and carry several guns in order not to be caught with an empty barrel. Unfortunately, in order to carry those guns or operate heavier weapons, he needs high strength. And in order to deal with the game’s hordes of melee enemies, he needs high agility to get more action points during his turns, so that he can shoot and then flee to safety. High health, required to wear better armor, becomes an unobtainable luxury as you'd have to spread your precious stat points too thinly. After several hours of this, I abandoned my eloquent gunslinger and restarted. Playing such a character was just too tedious and unfun.

The one and only feasible build is a melee tank, which is also reinforced by the majority of available perks. You put points into strength, health, and agility and keep on doing it until they all reach 13-15 points (which is about when the game will end). This will allow the PC to wear the best armor and carry the best melee and projectile weapons, with tons of health points and a decent damage reduction. Of course, due perception being a dump stat he can only shoot the automatic rifle at point-blank range, but at least he can do it. A point-starved gunslinger would never be able to reach the strength value of 13 needed for such a feat. The melee tank mostly fights on the front lines, which is good since the few party members you meet in the game are extremely stupid and die easily. So you need to position your PC in front of these idiots so that the enemies hit him instead.

That said, the combat actually feels pretty solid. With only one feasible build, it's a simple matter of smacking enemies with the biggest club or blade you can find. Guns sometimes offer several fire modes and bursts can hit multiple foes, but you need to conserve ammo so going in guns blazing is rarely a good tactical choice. In true Fallout tradition you can only control the PC while your party members fight on their own, governed by the AI. When human allies are present on the battlefield you ought to take care to strike the killing blow against your foes, otherwise you won't receive experience points. There is an exception to this rule, though. Enemies killed by your most loyal follower, the dog Rudi, do grant you experience.

The enemy AI is simplistic but aggressive, and may pose a challenge through sheer brutality. Hostile combatants try to swarm you with their usually superior numbers and melee fighters do their best to protect the shooters. They attack with truly suicidal determination and retreat only when left with a couple of health points and no medical supplies. Since there are no grenades, the only effective method of crowd control is through the generous use of traps. But since traps pose a serious threat to your allies as well, it's best to avoid them if you're not fighting on your own.

Apart from that, most tactics revolve around choosing when to inject stimpacks and drugs into your PC's system. And of course, selecting your targets is also important. You should always go for the shooters first, even if it exposes you to numerous melee attacks on the way. Despite the system's simplicity, dispatching enemies with a large hammer, a chainsaw, or a katana is very gratifying (and gory). Even better, all the enemies move at the same time during their turn, so you don't have to wait for long minutes as in Fallout. While there is plenty of combat, it does not waste your time, which is a good thing.

Combat difficulty changes significantly over the course of the campaign. At the beginning, it’s similar to Piranha Bytes' Gothic series. You often have to rely on allies and in their absence may be forced to flee from the battlefield, as any confrontation can prove lethal for an ill-equipped and inexperienced PC. After you’ve gained some levels and acquired better gear, your situation improves drastically and fighting even large groups of foes becomes feasible. However, during the endgame you start encountering squads of heavily armed elite soldiers, and their machine gun bursts can quickly eat through hundreds of health points. At this point in the game you have to pick your battles, mind your positioning, and use every natural barrier to protect yourself from enemy fire. This evolution, combined with an acceptable level of enemy variety, helps keep things fresh.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Krai Mira
 

Lord_Potato

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Happy to see this on the front page. I'd like to thank RPG Codex staff, especially Infinitron and Deuce Traveler for their help with editing my semi-coherent writing!
 

jebsmoker

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i've actually beaten krai mira twice, and all i can say is...

everyone has a fuck up their sleeve.

the spotty english translation detracts greatly, but the game itself is still a fun time waster. if the gameplay and story integration was more like fallout 1's, and if the english translation and story were revised, this would probably be a far better game
 

Lord_Potato

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Congratulations, Lord_Potato, here's to more reviews of obscure rpgs!

Thanks! It's certainly not the last one from me (although I hope next time I do better and not cause so much work to the RPG Codex staff).

i've actually beaten krai mira twice, and all i can say is...

everyone has a fuck up their sleeve.

the spotty english translation detracts greatly, but the game itself is still a fun time waster. if the gameplay and story integration was more like fallout 1's, and if the english translation and story were revised, this would probably be a far better game

True, despite all the wasted potential I do not regret my time spent with Krai Mira. Unfortunately, the translations were spotty in every language I speak. For some time I tried to play in Polish, but it wasn't any better.
 

Deuce Traveler

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What I find impressive is that it's been more than 20 years and we are still seeing clones of the original Fallout being published. Would it be safe to say that it's one of the most influential CRPGs of all time?
 

Lord_Potato

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What I find impressive is that it's been more than 20 years and we are still seeing clones of the original Fallout being published. Would it be safe to say that it's one of the most influential CRPGs of all time?

Fallout clones might not be as numerous as the ones mimicking Diablo but still, it seems there are always people who try to copy its formula.

What's optimistic is that these games are getting better and better. In the first decade of the 21st century, we got the likes of Metalheart: Replicant's Rampage and Last Days of Gaia*. In the second decade we got Atom and Underrail (this one's more like a spiritual successor, it does many things in its own distinct way). Also the inspirations of Age of Decadence can be traced back to Fallout. So, those titles, while following certain design choices, managed to develop their own identity. I am expecting Encased to be another interesting experience.

* there might be hope for one "Fallout clone" from the first decade, but this one's been forgotten for many, many years and was only recently reclaimed by the archeologists of the Codex: Omega Syndrome. I'm going to give it a try this month and hopefully, bring you back good news!
 

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Tacgnol

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There is also Fallout Nevada for those looking for a decent Fallout/Fallout-esque game to play.

The translation is all complete these days.
 

Latro

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What I find impressive is that it's been more than 20 years and we are still seeing clones of the original Fallout being published. Would it be safe to say that it's one of the most influential CRPGs of all time?
handful of fallout clones vs an entire genre of wiz-likes? fallout (1-2) might actually be the least influential CRPG in the mainstream; fallout-likes are essentially a new indie genre. meanwhile you got the diablos, baldurs gates, TES, even ultima underworld and etc etc
 

Wunderbar

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What I find impressive is that it's been more than 20 years and we are still seeing clones of the original Fallout being published. Would it be safe to say that it's one of the most influential CRPGs of all time?
handful of fallout clones vs an entire genre of wiz-likes?
yeah, but there are like only three people who played them - you, aweigh and grauken.
 

Latro

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What I find impressive is that it's been more than 20 years and we are still seeing clones of the original Fallout being published. Would it be safe to say that it's one of the most influential CRPGs of all time?
handful of fallout clones vs an entire genre of wiz-likes?
yeah, but there are like only three people who played them - you, aweigh and grauken.
anyways, fallout has...arcanum...and...

underrail, mods, and some homages about 20-30 years later. as legendary fallout is, it's not influential in an industry shaping sense.
 

Wunderbar

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What I find impressive is that it's been more than 20 years and we are still seeing clones of the original Fallout being published. Would it be safe to say that it's one of the most influential CRPGs of all time?
handful of fallout clones vs an entire genre of wiz-likes?
yeah, but there are like only three people who played them - you, aweigh and grauken.
anyways, fallout has...arcanum...and...
Lionheart :shittydog:
 

Verylittlefishes

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What I find impressive is that it's been more than 20 years and we are still seeing clones of the original Fallout being published. Would it be safe to say that it's one of the most influential CRPGs of all time?

If you are talking about the clones and inspirations made by the former Soviet and almost Soviet Citizens (of good ones, see The Age Of Decadence, Underrail, ATOM RPG and to some extent Disco Elysium) it was nice explained in the opening segment of this stellar review.
 

Lord_Potato

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How does this compare to Dungeon Rats as a pure mindless combat challenge?

Close enough in quality? Or significantly worse.

Didn't play enough Dungeon Rats to provide competent comparisons but one big difference is DR has full party control. Besides from what I heard, encounter design is pretty good. Also, the AOD character development system is clearly superior, even if it was limited to combat abilities in DR.
 

Risewild

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If I knew the Codex didn't have a Krai Mira Review already, I would have shared the rants about it, that I posted over at NMA years ago.
Now it's too late, my images I had on tinypic for my rant are gone forever. :lol:

Moving on, nice review. I fully agree with what Lord_Potato wrote in it.
 

Lord_Potato

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If I knew the Codex didn't have a Krai Mira Review already, I would have shared the rants about it, that I posted over at NMA years ago.
Now it's too late, my images I had on tinypic for my rant are gone forever. :lol:

Moving on, nice review. I fully agree with what Lord_Potato wrote in it.

Come on, post your rants even without screenshots, either here or even better, here !

Otherwise they may be lost in time, like tears in rain.
 

Risewild

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Come on, post your rants even without screenshots, either here or even better, here !

Otherwise they may be lost in time, like tears in rain.
But it's a wall of text.
And since English is my second language and it was never edited...

Bah, I will see what I can do. I have to cut the parts that rely on the pictures, so it makes any sense.
 

Ol' Willy

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If you are talking about the clones and inspirations made by the former Soviet and almost Soviet Citizens (of good ones, see The Age Of Decadence, Underrail, ATOM RPG and to some extent Disco Elysium)
Wait. Vault Dweller is from this part of the world too?
 

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