Crematoria Online: A new dark fantasy LitRPG series from Matthew J. Barbeler! For fans of Diablo, Bloodborne, and The Elder Scrolls.
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Crematoria Online is the world's first alternate reality game. Players transfer their consciousness into the game world, and 10,000 souls were chosen as the first wave of Crematorians. Once they log in, they find themselves trapped in this gothic horror fantasy world.
Uncover the Secrets of Crematoria
Lucas Hutchins chooses to play as an Investigator, which gives him the ability to find clues to solve cases. But Crematoria is a world where everyone has a skeleton in their closet, and secrets are buried deep. Armed with his sword and flintlock pistol, Lucas must defend himself against those who would kill to keep the truth hidden.
Two Souls. One Destiny.
Lucas teams up with Ellie, a heavy armor-wearing Enforcer for the Eldin Judiciary. She is judge, jury and executioner, all rolled into one. Together, they seek truth and justice, but at what cost?
The Crimson Order rises.
The Crimson Queen is building an army. Citizens from the length and breadth of Crematoria are disappearing, and a mysterious symbol is being left in their wake. The sigil of the Crimson Order.
Lucas and Ellie must fight or die to save a world that is holding them both hostage.
If Crematoria burns, so will they.
A note for readers: Even though the author of this novel is Australian, this work has been written using American spelling and conventions.
My Opinion: 375 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The story didn’t work for me. It tries to be too many things at once and only meshes a few well.
The story tries to combine LitRPG with detective mechanics. It’s set in a VRMMO, but then kind of switches to a transported to a game world vibe when talking to NPCs. It mashes in a ‘trapped in the game’, ‘die in the game die IRL’, aspect for no real reason, then it is all mixed with this cyberpunk end. The action is ok, but switches between ‘realism’ where landing skilled shots or blows to vital organs means an insta-kill, but the main character (MC) is still magically good with a flintlock gun and sword.
The game mechanics are fairly normal with the most unique being the ones added for the detective elements. While they’re well thought out and match elements from detective games, they kinda ruin the detective part of the story for me. It ends up feeling like all the clues and connections are provided by the game and the MC is lead by the nose to them. It feels like he doesn’t earn the progress on his cases because the game points out everything.
Overall, the story just didn’t work for me and I never really cared about the MC. Many elements didn’t mesh well and both the detective and action elements felt forced.
Score: 6 out of 10