For those who are familiar with RPGs such as Fallout 1 & 2, you will be able to pick and play Encased almost instantly. The story has many different elements that cheekily wink and flirt in the direction of the Bethesda classic.
The experience starts with a story of a mysterious dome that is discovered in the middle of a desert, with the world coming together in order to try figure out the reason behind the dome. The Encased title makes sense as you realise that when you enter the dome, there is no leaving – Like the Crystal Maze, really.
With its gameplay mechanics bearing similarities to most RPGs, controls will become second nature including the turned based combat mechanics, which run very smooth. In comparison though, the character leveling mechanics are quite confusing at the beginning as to how it worked and how new skills were acquired – and then how they work too.
Even though the controls and game mechanics may be second nature to most, some sort of tutorial/introduction level that eased you into it, would have been a good idea, and this is coming from someone that hates tutorials.
The character customization really is something to be admired, with a large variety of choices that give any avenue to take. You have the choice to which wing you belong to, which can help or hinder situations, and social standings, and these factions/wings also determine your play style and skills. Silver wings are smooth talkers and leaders, Black wings are security experts and soldiers, White Wing are made up of scientists, Blue wing; the construction and mechanical experts and then finally there is the Orange Wing, people given second chances to mainly get out of jail and do all the heavy work that is needed. All Wings play an integral part in the game and all need to be considered when attempting to make big choices within the game.
Encased is explored through cut-scenes that are presented in a comic format that helps with the vision of the world and life like under the dome, along with the detailed areas that you come across in the game. These cutscenes do have their place in the game, and do fit in extremely well, what doesn’t fit in is that all NPC’s can all look the same and only when interacted with, they update.
The game’s approach is the story in which you come across choices made via a dialogue choice cut-scenes that can affect a multiple of outcomes. These outcomes may be something small like how some NPCs see you, to the other side of the scale, where lives of your companions could be at risk.
Other aspects of the story and gameplay is the clear tracking of quest and side quest, that give clear direction on how to achieve your goals is very intuitive, as you can easily go back to a quest later on and try to pick up from where you left off.
Encased is stated as a tribute to “Roadside Picnic” and the original Fallout games, and these 2 blends work extremely well with very little flaws. It is rare to have an indie game that uses the inspirations for good, and not get lazy and use other games/shows ideas. It’s not a million miles away from thinking that this title could be one in the top games in the RPG world.
Encased really can be seen as one of the top RPGs, as it takes its inspiration and makes it its own. Story rich, fantastic world building and gripping all the way through.
- Nice Fallout throw-back
- In-depth RPG elements
- Fantastic world building
- Early Access roughness
- Skills and levelling needs work
- Needs a tutorial
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