developer: Dark Crystal Games
publisher: Black Tower Entertainment
Game mode: single player
game language: English
game release date for PC:
Encased is an old-school RPG inspired by classics like the original Fallout, Planescape Torment and Baldur's Gate. The game is a debut project of the Russian studio Dark Crystal Games and was released by Black Tower Entertainment.
Encased takes place in an alternative reality and focuses on a mysterious construction called the Dome. The indestructible object contains valuable items and unknown technologies, as well as artificial intelligence systems, anomalies and traps waiting for potential explorers. The C.R.O.N.U.S. Foundation, an international organisation that has gained a huge influence on world leaders through its findings, is responsible for the study of the Dome.
For a long time, the foundation has been sending numerous expeditions to further and further corners of the Dome without sharing its knowledge with anyone else. However, when an organization's machinations lead to a nuclear conflict, and the contact with the outside world stops, its members are forced to create their own civilization on the ruins of the old one. Worse still, the explorers awakened the mysterious power that was wrecking havoc throughout the Dome.
The gameplay of Encased draws inspirations from a handful of classic turn-based RPGs. At the beginning of the game, we create our own hero - we decide on their appearance, attributes and skills. Then, we find ourselves in an open world, viewed from an isometric perspective and composed of 170 sectors, which we can explore almost without any restrictions. During the game, we perform missions, both those related to the main plot and side quests, which allow us to gain experience points necessary for the development of our character. We also encounter random events that aren't just typical bandit attacks, but separate stories in the postapocalyptic world of Encased.
Even though, as the game progresses, we form a team of explorers, we only control our own character directly. During turn-based battles on maps divided into fields, we determine the tactics and general behavior of companions (this requires action points), but a system of artificial intelligence is responsible for specific actions of the allies. As a result, battles can take an unexpected or even funny turn. The combat is diversified by special capabilities and different types of ammunition, as well as the possibility of using environmental elements as a covers. The creators of Encased have also put at our disposal a large arsenal of weapons, which can be upgraded or disassembled into parts.
Our actions in the game translate into relations with the inhabitants of the Dome, including six factions with different interests. Each of our actions affect our image, expressed by titles ranging from "petty thief" to "enemy of the state" and even "threat to humanity". The more crimes we commit, the more severe the possible punishment will be: from fines, through imprisonment, to the death penalty. But there are ways to avoid a sentence, such as bribering a judge or the completion of the Death Labyrinth, which is a huge challenge.
An important role is played by Maelstrom, a telepathic force desolating the interior of the Dome and infecting the minds of its inhabitants. However, it is not devoid of intelligence and can help us during the game, depending on our relations with it, represented by a special statistics of Psyche. However, sooner or later, you will have to pay for every assistance of Maelstrom. In addition, the main character can become more resistant to the destructive influence of this being, which is necessary to venture into the farthest corners of the Dome.
Encased offers a single-player campaign.
The developers of Encased used the popular Unity engine. Three-dimensional visual setting refers to the style of the genre classics and they look decent. The atmosphere of the post-apocalypse is emphasized by music composed by Mushroomer (Pathologic 2).
Expectations: 8.4 / 10 calculated out of 7 players' votes.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 760 or better, 6 GB HDD, Windows 8/8.1/10 64-bit
Minimum: Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, graphic card 1 GB GeForce GT 650M or better, 6 GB HDD, Windows 7(SP1)/8/8.1/10 64-bit