Last month, media around the world premiered Encased; an isometric dystopian sci-fi RPG out on Tuesday 7 September 2021 developed by Dark Crystal Games and published by Prime Matter. But beyond the praise for the gameplay, the plot and the setting, one aspect made us think a lot: almost all players have played Encased “normally”, out of over 100 champions, not one person went off track.
Encased: Do players play too normally?
It might seem like a strange statement. After all, how else could one play in order not to be electrocuted in the first 20 seconds. This is where things get interesting: the developers have added unusual play styles (some are reported in the opening level) to offer a completely different title.
Some of these are:
- Set your intelligence as low as possible
- Don’t talk to anyone and always stay in the shadows
- Become a pacifist and use only non-lethal weapons
- Act like a serial killer
For the occasion, a new video on the official YouTube channel showing Encased’s alternative gameplay styles. How come everyone basically acted like themselves, rather than role playing? Dr. Rachel Kowert, a psychologist who specializes in our interaction with video games, says that almost all of us project our personalities when we play a video game; at least when it comes to role-playing games.
Role play or extension of ourselves?
Research at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab found that players who were useful to NPCs in a video game were more useful to others in real life as well. Is called Proteus effect and, yes, playing video games can make you a better person, as other studies have produced similar results.
The reverse is not true. If we play as evil characters or just kill with a gun in a first person shooter, it doesn’t mean we get worse in real life too. Fortunately, despite what some tabloids would have you believe, the proteus effect only works in a positive way. So why did the developers put these alternative play styles into the game if people don’t instinctively play them?
“We created Encased not only to be a fun game, but also to spark some thoughts in the players. From moral choices to problem solving, we wanted the player to use their imagination to play their avatar the way they want – he said Viacheslav Kozikhin, Creative Director of Dark Crystal Games – These are some of the reasons why we have created all these extra possibilities. We are aware that not everyone will see them, but it is part of the magic of RPGs. It’s about discovering and allowing players to explore a world the way they like, rather than having a predefined storyline. ”
Encased, will be available in digital version for PC on Steam, Epic and GOG, and is currently in early access, users can in fact experience all of the first act and part of the second.