Narrative RPGs have been making an amazing comeback in gaming. Now, the game Encased will be joining the ranks and bringing with it an in-depth story and combat which heralds to some of our favorite problem-solving games of the past. Bringing these types of games back allowed the developers at Dark Crystal Games to innovate on great ideas as well as bring in their own take on the future and the early demos of Encased show off some of these dynamics. We met with the team and went through a demo to get a feel for how the game plays.
The C.R.O.N.U.S. Foundation has been built up to save humanity after a global apocalyptic event. Exploring the giant facility called the Dome, players will have to navigate the complex world of factions within the facility to try and figure out what is really going on? Is the CRONUS Foundation for real? Going through the story will bring answers. The game has about twenty-five to thirty hours of play with full replay options based on your faction choices.
One of the core features of the game is different factions have access to different ways or skills to discover secrets in the game. We chose a faction in the demo that was similar to being a released prisoner. The color was orange. You were shunned by many of the other inhabitants, but also had sneaky ways of getting information. For the demo, we only stayed in the facility to go through several quest lines. This also links to a crime system which players can use, they are always looking over their shoulders though as you follow through quests.
The game does break into the underground world outside the Dome. We did not get to experience this as part of the demo, but players will be able to explore and discover lots of loot, new areas, and ruins. Another factor in the game is the ever changes Maelstrom system which can interact with the character you play. It may even obey your commands. However, the growing force is unstable and could adjust your abilities or skills. You have to be careful when dealing with it.
The demo took us through several quest lines and showed that there were multiple ways to solve each problem. This aspect of Encased is ingrained throughout the game. It makes for a very deep role play experience that players will enjoy.
Overall, Encased has a ton of potential as a deep narrative role-playing game. The plot lines kept us interested and the faction system within the Dome allowed for a lot of changes to gameplay. We are excited to see how far Dark Crystal Games builds out this universe. The game definitely lends itself to future DLC or updates for fans. For now, we will be keeping an eye on Encased which brings back a lot of fun memories with new twists for gamers to enjoy.