While En Masse wasn't at PAX West, they did invite us over to take a look at their titles. One of these was Kritika Online. I've had no experience with this game before, despite it being out for a while. The main focus of this session was to explore a new class, Psion, and show off some of the hardest battles in the game for the new zone, Shattered Table.
The first area has a giant training dummy ready to go. Having not a clue what I'm doing, I poke and slash at the dummy for a little bit. The tour guide asks if I'm ready to try the dungeon. Seeing how I literally have no idea what to expect, I say I'm as ready as I'll ever be. My bad.
The new class was a sword-wielding class… sort of. There was plenty of hacking and slashing, adding swords that simply floated around you. With certain skills, you could use these swords as a kind of buzzsaw around your body. Honestly, I don't know what half my skills did, but it really didn't matter for this demo. I'm sure someone isn't going to like that, but let me explain.
Unlike most online games I've played so far, Kritika Online is a blitzkrieg run through as many bosses as one can kill. It's perfectly fine to be able to kill only one or two of the five bosses and have a successful run. The difference between each tier is astonishing. With my trusty chaperone, playing the same class with matching gear and level, the first two bosses were done in seconds. The third one was quick to follow, though even then it was getting noticeably harder.
The fourth boss started to add mechanics. Remember, we've literally been in this dungeon for three minutes. Various tombstones started to appear around the area, and we had to take out the red ones to hurt the boss.. If we took out the blue ones, we would heal it instead. Then we would find a sword in the middle of the room and beat on it. This would annoy the big bad, who would appear to try and stop us. Not sure why he'd go away after a while, but after two rounds of this, he fell to our mighty blades and we moved on.
Lastly, the final boss of the run. We would actually have to pause to explain boss mechanics before entering, because there's no time once you enter the zone. This boss was confusing in that he didn't have any really tricky mechanics, but once he mounted a horse, it was hard to get behind him to do the extra damage from back attacks, since the horse leaves a flaming trail behind it. We managed to take the final boss in just under three and a half minutes; which is great because after four minutes he would start to rage and we wouldn't have lived long after that.
So, ten minutes later my fingers are cramping from hitting all the skills as fast as I could. I felt like it was an eSports event except that they have a clue what they are doing and I'm trying to make sure all my skills are used as soon as possible; coupled with rapid-fire mouse clicking and trying to move around so we didn't die more than a few times. I was told that this intensity was only needed for the highest level content your gear could handle, which makes me wonder how often that is. The whole experience is a blur and I don't know how often I could do that, but it does make me want to try again. After all, this took less than ten minutes, including the explanation of the boss mechanics. I've been in parties that took longer than this to start a dungeon run.