Gaming

Critique – Encased: A Post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi RPG

Those who know me know that I love RPG-type video games and that I have a bit of a predilection for games that have a retro style. Here is the game Encapsulated: A Post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi RPG, from Dark Crystal Games, is now available for PC and I had a chance to test it for you.

If you like games like the first versions of Fall or even Baldur’s Gate, you know the taste of isometric RPGs and action RPGs Devil they have often been popular. Until recently, games like Disco Elysium or the saga Divinity (After all, some members of the studio are former Larian employees) they raise the same concept but with more tactical confrontations.

We have to admit that the Encased game is neither, but it has everything an RPG fan wants: a great story and great mechanics. After immersing yourself in the world of Encased, you will soon discover that the story is gripping and solid. Common to the genre are its lengthy dialogues, exploration, and whatever else you can find that will allow you to piece together the dystopian puzzle pieces of this alternate ’70s take.

A little more about what Encased is: A Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic RPG

As an employee of the CRONUS firm, your first role will be to tell us if you are an engineer, a security officer, a bureaucrat, a scientist or even a prisoner. Each role is assigned its own color code; Your role will largely determine your physical abilities and aptitudes.

The central core of your adventure, this class system will serve as an important pivot in both combat and exploration. It also has a strong impact on a story level. And believe me, just because you choose to be a scientist doesn’t mean you’re better than a mere prisoner. Some of your decisions will be crucial and will affect your reputation within the different factions present in the game, but they will also have short or long term consequences.

The missions, both main and secondary, will intrigue and surprise you. Sometimes in a position of authority, sometimes on the side of the oppressed and abused, you will be able to choose what is best for you at all times. As if that wasn’t enough, the carefully crafted narrative is reminiscent of games set in the ’90s. It will immerse you in those intense moments with ease.

Encased invites you to participate in a painstaking exploration in which you spend hours searching the smallest box or cabinet for materials or even objects such as relics. All this with the aim of creating new teams. The article creation system will motivate you in every way since your limits will be your skills according to your level of experience. Be it tech, lock picking, or even cooking, the skill tree will allow you to unlock new talents by reaching a certain score. You will have to think carefully about what you want to increase, because certain skills can have a considerable advantage in your progress if they are increased.

Encased also exhibits a well-balanced survival aspect. You will need to control hunger, thirst, fatigue, and even annoying condition changes, such as bleeding. This will push you to find workbenches or other places that allow you to rest properly.

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Where the shoe squeezes is in relation to the combat system. It is true that the system of movement in squares with the management of action points for its characters is perfectly adapted to this type of games, but the total absence of artificial intelligence for the enemy or the scenarios in combat make it an unattractive mechanic . Battles are as simple as answering the following questions: “Do I have the right equipment?” Is my level high enough? Do I have enough healing resources? “So it’s a simple exchange of blows.

Yes, the use of psionic abilities of certain characters in the Dome helps make battles more enjoyable. The same goes for the wide variety of one- and two-handed weapons. But it is not revolutionary in any way and it is too simplistic.

Another small drawback, the scenes where we have to be a bit stealthy are disappointing. Without feeling of wanting to go unnoticed. So much so that you can’t even duck and the detection system is radial rather than a cone of vision in front of the enemy.

Ultimately, while some characters will follow you on your journey, don’t expect to be attached to them in any way. After all, the Dome is not a place to bond with affection, so any emotional bonding, whatever it is, will be purely superficial. These characters cannot be modified, as their abilities and characteristics are specific to them.

The further you progress in the adventure, the more you will be intrigued by what makes you see the Dome. Some phenomena will even be strange and inexplicable, like the Mobius, mechanical objects in symbiosis with organic elements.

Don’t expect a great open world game – you are locked in a dome. However, it gets easy to manage, offers several important nooks and crannies, and the map is revealed as you go.

The artistic side

Artistically speaking, the game draws heavily on references like the classic Stanley Kubrick movie. 2001, the Space Odyssey. Attention to detail is very present and appreciated. Of course, it is not AAA with dazzling graphics, but the visual quality is fine. The audio side is also very good. Dark Crystal Games offers a good soundtrack and audio effects worthy of any good retro-futuristic game.

Verdict

The best

  • A great catchy story
  • An old-fashioned RPG the way we like it
  • Five different classes
  • A lot of NPCs coming to help you.

The least

  • The fights are a little tasteless
  • The modeling leaves a lot to be desired
  • The stealth mechanism

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