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    The classic Fallout games remain highly influential even more than twenty years since release. In the past few years, there have been quite a few CRPGs that try to recapture the magic. Wasteland 2 was one of them. Strangely enough, Fallout was originally developed as a sequel to the original Wasteland, and later became a spiritual successor when Interplay didn’t manage to get the rights from Electronic Arts. Another less known example is ATOM RPG, which is basically Fallout in Soviet Russia. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in Sept. last year, Encased is now available on Steam and GOG in Early Access.

    According to the developers, Encased is also influenced by Divinity: Original Sin, Baldur’s Gate, and Pillars of Eternity. This could be a great formula, depending on execution. The Early Access gameplay trailer below shows a lot of familiar Fallout tropes, such as a vault door opening, blasted landscapes, mutated cockroaches, and so on. It runs the risk of being too faithful an imitation of the Fallout aesthetic, but it might be worth it. It all depends if you’re nostalgic for those classic games, or looking for something new.

    Encased in influences

    The developers mention other classic CRPGs such as Planescape: TormentIcewind Dale, and Shadowrun as influences. A couple other not so classic influences are Age of Decadence and Life is Feudal. Of course, it’s one thing to claim an influence, and another to live up to it. It just seems like there’s enough of a burden of influence to live up to with Fallout alone. All these games have their own peculiarities, even if they’re all CRPGs. Dark Crystal Games just might take a little bit from each of them, but the core experience should be more evocative of Fallout.

    In any case, you can expect plenty of exploration in this post-apocalyptic world. There should be plenty of abandoned facilities with maze-like structures to delve into. Crafting weapons and armor is also possible, and you can also collect certain relics that contain unique properties when applied to your gear. Of course, it wouldn’t play like a Fallout game without factions, and Encased‘s factions have some interesting names, like Republic of Carmine Heights and Phalanx or the Kshatriya.

    Encased will stay in Early Access for approximately nine months. If you’d rather wait for the final release, that’s expected to arrive July 2020.

    Richard Costa
    Hack for hire, indentured egghead, maverick thoughtcriminal. Mainly interested in Western RPGs, first-person immersion, turn-based tactics, point-and-clickers, and card jousting. I backed the System Shock remake and Underworld Ascendant on Kickstarter, and I really regret the latter but hope the former will turn out okay.

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