TallTech Studio’s Krai Mira: Extended Cut is an update to the original game, adding five new locations, U.I and inventory improvements, new random encounters, and more. This additional content is a free upgrade for owners of the standard version.
In the Not Too Distant Future
Inspired by old school RPGs like Fallout 1 & 2, Krai Mira: Extended Cut is a post-apocalyptic isometric Role Playing Game set in the year 2032 on the radioactive wasteland island of Krai Mira. Taking on the role of a survivor, the player must cross the contaminated land in search of answers and their dog, finding themselves caught between hostile factions whilst battling mutated monsters and searching through underground laboratories. What caused the Big Bang? Who will pay for it? Where the heck is our dog?
While checking fishing traps, you discover the first hints that there is danger brewing on the horizon. You are tasked with taking several members of your fishing village across the irradiated wastes to seek reinforcements. So begins your quest on the island of Krai Mira, where you discover a deep seated hatred between two cities. The storyline takes you back and forth across the map, seeking information here, meeting a person there, and finding and returning a thing-a-ma-bob to the guy who asked for it. In other words, standard RPG fare.
Movement is controlled through a point and click method. You can either click where you want to go, or hold down Mouse1 to walk, whilst holding down Mouse2 to change direction. Clicking on NPCs can bring up a menu of options for conversation. Objects in the environment that you are able to interact with change the mouse cursor into a gear shape and occasionally display a hovering yellow arrow to show you their location.
Each location in Krai Mira is composed almost entirely of a single square of land. When you pop up the local map, the square shown is the area available for you to explore. Unless there is a transition to another attached map, there is a shadowy border visible that shows where the area stops. Similarly, there is no real exploration between cities. Fast travel is accomplished by approaching the shadow border of your location and calling up the world map. Click where you want to go, and a white dot moves across the map showing your travel. During this time, you might come across random encounters such as mutated dogs, slightly mutated ramblers, and my favourite – two morons burying swag. There seems to be a set number of these random encounters, as you will run in to the same ones repeatedly, each one having the same groups of hostiles. You are also sometimes given the option to escape an encounter before it even starts, but this seems always possible to do by simply calling up the world map and continuing on your way.
Combat is turn based through a system of Action Points (AP). A light blue circle on the ground shows how far you can walk with the amount of AP you have. Each weapon uses it’s own amount of AP, with separate numbers for firing and reloading. Your total amount of AP seems to be based on your Agility number, which you have the chance to raise each time you level up. There are also drugs you can barter for or find that will increase your AP temporarily. Be aware that friendly fire is a thing in Krai Mira, and you can shoot friendlies if they get between you and your target. However, this can also be helpful, as the assorted baddies you encounter occasionally kill their friends as well.
Bartering is possible with nearly every NPC. The currency of choice is nuts, as in nuts-and-bolts, which is just as feasible as bottle caps I suppose. The bartering interface shows the NPCs’ and your inventory on opposite sides, with values for each item. You select what you want to barter with and also select what you want the NPC to give you in return. This is not your typical RPG store, where you offer an item and you get currency automatically in return. The NPC will happily accept the donations you give them if you don’t specify what you want in return. Not that I did this. Several times…
The story is quite linear in nature. If you visit a location before you are told to, often there is nothing there to do. Other than one dream sequence type encounter, I never felt very invested in the story. This city hates that city for some reason that you need to straighten out. I quickly lost track of which faction did what thing to the other group, and this hostility was only exacerbated by the introduction of a third party.
The graphics and sound are the highlights of this game. The settings feel appropriately desolate and strewn with rubble. The character models look good and seem to move in a natural way. As you select different armour pieces and weapons, they are shown on your character as well as on your enemies. If you look at the combat screenshot above, you’ll see that my character was wearing armour fashioned out of pieces of rubber tire. I also applaud the music, for it perfectly suited the settings and the atmosphere.
I’ve had several frustrations with Krai Mira: Extended Cut. First, the control system could be very dodgy. There were several instances where you needed to sneak around corners or past guards and this proved difficult with a point and click interface. To walk slowly it is necessary to click very close to your character’s feet. It was very easy to misclick and walk into the view of those you were trying to avoid. The game’s launcher makes it seem as though you are able to use WASD or the arrow keys to move, but I could never figure it out. (Maybe it’s just me?) Also, it showed hot keys for “jump”, an action that your character can’t do.
The quest log is often lacking in detail, even going so far as to not list your current quest in the log at times. You might be told to go see a guy, but not where the guy is. If you happened to forget where you were told to go, you were out of luck. Also, when you got to the right place, none of the NPCs had names displayed, so you would have to talk to each one until you found the right person.
Twice I was sent to NPCs that were supposed to help me further along in my quest. It was quite apparent that you were supposed to offer payment for their services. If you don’t have the correct amount in your inventory, you need come back with more without knowing how much you actually need. Both times I stopped playing in frustration as nuts are reasonably hard to come by, and farming for more isn’t enjoyable. The game has several ways to gamble for more, but risky games of chance aren’t my thing.
One way to make nuts is to guard a trader as they go from one city to another. After having several encounters along the way, you can receive anywhere between 250 to 500 nuts. I was only successful once. Many times the trader would be killed on the second turn by the enemies on the first or second encounter. I honestly don’t know why any trader would hire me after I left a string of their dead comrades across the landscape.
Bartering can become tiresome. The cities don’t seem to have a central store of any kind, so it became necessary to wander around town trying to barter with each person to see if they had what I wanted. It was rare that anybody actually had nuts (the currency, remember?) and you might have to give them one of these things for four of those and two of the others. It was almost impossible, at least in early game, to find anybody that would give you a fair trade for high value items.
Overall, Krai Mira: Extended Cut is a game with OK graphics and sound for the genre; but with an unexciting story and several gameplay issues, my time with the title was frustrating and not very fun.
Krai Mira: Extended Cut is available on Steam for PC.
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