Enclosed PC review – Under the dome, RPG style
Shut in is an isometric RPG that proudly carries and carries its role-playing roots. It does but presents an entirely new story. The time is in the 1970s, but a version of the 1970s where the Cold War ended not because of the emerging countries and the relaxations, but because of the Dome. Every country in the world has turned their attention to a hitherto unexplored desert, because there is an area there containing an anomaly of unknown origin.
A supercorporation called CRONUS is created to study the Dome, which then becomes the de facto global body of control as individual nations compete to unravel the secrets of the Dome. You play as a CRONUS employee engaged in research on the Dome, in the hope of determining its purpose and why the ancestors who created it are no longer there.
You can approach Encased in several ways depending on the type of character and attributes you choose. Many results are plausible depending on your playstyle, whether it’s brute force, stealth, or tech. Another mix of possibilities is a storyline that moves in time before, during, and after a crucial moment in the game’s timeline. Different choices will also occur depending on which guild, or in this case, which wing is for which you decide to become an employee.
The five wings you can choose from are based on color: Black – Military, Blue – Tech, White – Biology, Silver – Command and Orange – Criminal. Knowing which wing you decide to work for is useful for the character creation stage. Each wing has bonus attributes that you should be aware of when creating a character from scratch. You can also choose from a set of pattern characters. If character creation is your thing, you can spend hours crafting one that suits your taste.
A winning formula
Characters have eight basic attributes to build on. These attributes include such things as strength, perception, courage, charisma, and dexterity. You can further increase your character’s prowess through two methods: abilities or traits. Characters acquire abilities as they progress through the game, and experience allows you to accumulate skill points. These points are used to upgrade things like weapon and combat abilities or to unlock high tech weapons, psionics, or medical knowledge to help heal yourself and the members of your party. There is also a passive way to improve your character, and this is done through traits. You must choose traits at the start of the game. Along with deciding which wing you want to play, you’ll also need to understand how the RPG Encased system works. If you take the time to do this, refining your character through traits opens up new storyline and combat possibilities.
How you experience Encased will depend on how you designed your character. A well-rounded character will know one thing. Encased embraces different parts whether you decide to play the game as a thug, scientist, or even a serial killer. You can play the game without killing a single person or leaving with the goal of eliminating everyone. You can even take a completely stealthy approach and interact with no one. Each path presents its own choices and challenges.
Along with your character choices, Encased offers 4 different difficulty options. You can even play the game in story mode only through increasingly difficult options. These include a balanced classic or an intense tactical campaign that includes turn-based combat for RPG veterans.
Encased is presented in the classic isometric view and navigated via mouse and keyboard. When the game starts, you and a group of other new hires take an elevator up to the Dome to register. The graphics are clean and colorful and done in a retro-future style. You have access to all your information through a clean user interface that uses easy to understand icons. Many submenus use tabs to prevent a single screen from being cluttered with too much information. The compromise between screen size and menu navigation is well managed.
Encased uses toolbars on the main screen to minimize user interface clutter. Fans of the Wasteland and Fallout series will feel right at home with Encased. It is a classic RPG that offers the player a whole new story while following the pattern established for this type of game.
There are a number of ways you can get goods, such as buying or stealing, and your inventory is shared across your team. You also monitor things like health, radiation, hunger, thirst, and fatigue. There are also options to manipulate time, barter, companion selection, and balance. Of course, there are also maps to use, whether it’s the immediate area or the world stage.
The game makes generous use of audio, including sound effects, voice narration, and characters. While the inclusion of voice narration is appreciated, I turned it off after a while. There can be a lot of text and it has become tiresome to read ahead and wait for the narrator to catch up. It should be noted that the soundtrack is also excellent, really invoking the good post-apocalyptic SF vibe.
Dark Crystal Games ” the passion for this type of game shines through in all its facets. They have gone out of their way to make the game as accessible as possible to a wide range of players. The game feels tight in terms of performance and I haven’t encountered any bugs. The pleasure that we go to the game really depends on what we put into it.
*** Steam code provided by the publisher ***
Deep characters and a complex story
Solid graphics and user interface
Don’t do anything new
Complex – much to follow
Storytelling slows down the game