Encased is an isometric turn-based CPRG that takes influences from the older Fallout games before they shifted to 3D. It’s been in early access for about 2 years now but they are finally gearing up for full release. Is it worth it? let’s find out.
Encased takes place in an alternate timeline in the year 1970 where civilization discovers the Dome, a structure unknown in every aspect, overseen by the megacorp CRONUS. You start the game off as an employee of one of CRONUS’s wings.
Each wing houses specialized members, for example, the Black Wing has people with combat expertise while the Silver Wing functions as a managerial branch.
The character creator screen in Encased is a bit lackluster when it comes to the visual customization, with limited options for making your character look the way you want them to. But it’s in the skill and attributes distribution phase where Encased manages to be on equal footing with any of the great games of this genre, with complete freedom on how you want to play the game.
There is no strict enforcement of typical RPG class archetypes, instead, the system allows you to create hybrid characters that can be a mix of different skills.
The combat mode of the game is carried out in turns that will remind you of the first two Fallout games. You can ambush enemies or become engaged in combat once spotted. Combat plays out like any other typical CRPG with action points governing how many actions you can do in one turn. If you choose to preserve your AP you get a defense boost next turn.
The damage you deal with your skills and weapons is directly influenced by how you build your character. You can be glass cannon or beefy tank wearing Servoshells, which look like the power armors from Fallout.
You can also employ stealth to take out enemies without engaging in direct combat, as long as you don’t come in the vision cones of the NPCs.
Of course, combat is just one part of Encased, and over your travels, you will meet with a wide variety of NPCs with whom you can engage in dialogue. You can choose to diplomatically settle a lot of missions in the game and there quite a few skill checks during the dialogue that open up entirely new possibilities.
You can also recruit party members who roam around the world of encased. Once recruited your control over them is fairly limited, which might be a bit disappointing for people like me who like complete control over their party.
There’s a ton of loot in Encased, and the world is littered with things to see. I really dig the art style and world design that the developers have used.
My 14-hour playthrough with Encased was filled with surprisingly few bugs and complaints for an early access game. The developers have nailed the atmosphere and world, and with a bit of tweaking in the combat, UI, and some more content, I think Encased is going to be one of the best CRPGs to scratch that Roadside Picnic itch.