Enshrouded Review 17

Enshrouded Review

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In my experience with survival crafting games, I have often found that there is always something missing. Take Subnautica, for example, it is an incredible game with its immersive underwater world, but I can't help but wish it had a multiplayer feature to share the adventure with friends. Then there's Sons of the Forest, which offers a thrilling and intense experience, but the building mechanics could be improved to enhance the gameplay. Lastly, Ark Survival Ascended is undeniably exciting, but the in-game timer can be too unforgiving, adding an unnecessary level of pressure. It seems that no matter the game, there is always room for improvement to create the perfect survival crafting experience.

Enshrouded may not be perfect, but it stands out as the top survival crafting game I have experienced in quite some time. What truly captivates me about Enshrouded is its clever ability to create an addictive gameplay loop that seamlessly alternates between building and completing quests.

Moreover, the game flawlessly combines traditional survival crafting elements with RPG mechanics, resulting in a unique and satisfying blend. The open world of Enshrouded is a vast and immersive playground, filled with a multitude of Shrouds, hidden secrets, and breathtaking scenic views. In all its clichéd glory, Enshrouded truly is a survival RPG that caters to a wide range of players, making it a game with something for everyone.

Discovering Enshrouded

Enshrouded is a captivating and immersive Early Access third-person action RPG survival crafting game that transports players into a beautifully crafted world plagued by darkness. As a Flameborn, your purpose is to ignite the dwindling flames and restore hope to a world overrun by the malevolent Shroud. What truly sets Enshrouded apart is its ability to be enjoyed both solo or with a group of up to 16 friends on a single server, allowing for thrilling cooperative gameplay experiences.

The sheer size of the world is astonishing, and the fact that it is not procedurally generated only adds to its allure. The inclusion of RPG mechanics, such as a skill tree and linear quests, adds depth and progression to the gameplay. In essence, Enshrouded can be best described as a fusion between the popular games Valheim and Elden Ring. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, as I have plenty of answers and opinions to share.

Enshrouded is a truly unique game that caters to the diverse interests of players. Personally, I have never been a fan of building in video games, as it does not align with my preferences. However, I have noticed that many of my friends are avid builders, and they find immense joy in games like Minecraft. Enshrouded, however, offers the perfect balance for our friend group. While I can indulge in my love for action RPGs in a captivating and immersive open world, my friends can fully engage with the dynamic building system to create their wildest dreams.

What makes Enshrouded even more exceptional is that the gameplay loops of both aspects of the game seamlessly intertwine, creating a collaborative and supportive environment. It is truly wonderful to see everyone enjoying the game in their own unique ways while also helping each other along the way. Enshrouded has truly found a way to cater to the diverse interests of players, making it an extraordinary and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Building Mechanics

Although I may not consider myself a skilled builder in video games, I am able to recognize a well-designed building mechanic when I come across one. Enshrouded is a prime example of this, as it features an exceptional voxel building system. This unique mechanic allows players to manipulate every aspect of the game world. Whether it's carving into a mountainside to create a cozy dwarven home, flattening the terrain to construct a sprawling city, or removing the top of a mountain to make room for a breathtaking lookout tower, the possibilities are endless. While it may take some time to grasp the intricacies of this building system, the learning curve is surprisingly short.

Enshrouded Review

As someone who is not an expert builder, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the building mechanics in Enshrouded surpassed those of popular games like Valheim and Ark Survival Ascended. The building user interface in Enshrouded is well-designed and easy to navigate, allowing for a seamless building experience. With practice, it becomes achievable to create structures exactly as you envision them, which adds to the enjoyment of the game. While it is disappointing that there is currently no Creative Mode available, there is hope for its inclusion in the future as Enshrouded is still in early access.

One aspect of building in Enshrouded that I particularly appreciate is the gamification of constructing structures above your reach. By requiring the use of scaffolding, the game adds an extra level of challenge and strategy to building tall structures. From huts and towns to caves and skykeeps, the possibilities for creation are endless. However, it is important to venture out into the open world to gather resources and unlock more building and crafting recipes, adding a sense of progression to the game.

Exploring the Open World

The open world of Enshrouded is a marvel to behold, reminiscent of the inspiration drawn from Elden Ring's open world design. Not only does it captivate with its stunning visuals, which seem to have been plucked straight out of the fantastical realm of Caelid, but it also excels in its utility. The map is teeming with both marked and unmarked locations, enticing players to embark on their own exploration quests.

As I traverse the landscape, I am frequently rewarded for my curiosity. Whether it's stumbling upon a hidden cave nestled behind a hill or spotting a tantalizing rooftop in the distance, I find myself compelled to investigate. These excursions not only yield valuable loot and gear that aids in my building efforts, but they also serve as a delightful divergence from my main quest. Enshrouded truly captures the essence of an immersive and rewarding open world experience.

Exploring the unknown in Enshrouded is a journey filled with self-motivation, thanks to the multitude of diverse environmental features and the promise of finding better resources, spells, armor, or weapons. While it may not match the thoughtful nature of Elden Ring, where unique weapons can be discovered in every dilapidated hovel, Enshrouded's open world does offer a taste of what Elden Ring has to offer. Although not as challenging, the game still manages to captivate players with its captivating landscapes and immersive gameplay, making it a stunning accomplishment in its own right.

Enshrouded’s open world is truly a colossal expanse. Comparable in size to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s map, it surpasses it in density, teeming with captivating sights and enticing opportunities for plunder. Reminiscent of Zelda, the initial region you traverse in Enshrouded serves as an outstanding tutorial area. In fact, if the entirety of the game were confined to this densely populated region, I would still find immense satisfaction.

However, Enshrouded goes above and beyond, offering countless hours of exploration and quests that, while they may lose some allure when played alone, become an exhilarating and ceaseless adventure when experienced with friends.

The RPG Experience

Enshrouded developers Keen Games GmbH went above and beyond with their creation by incorporating RPG elements into the game. Rather than simply offering players a vast open world and immersive building gameplay, they decided to introduce a Skyrim-inspired skill tree system.

This unique feature allows players to choose their desired path, be it Rogue, Warrior, or Wizard. Each path is color-coded, with green representing the Rogue, red symbolizing the Warrior, and blue representing the Wizard. By incorporating this branching skill tree, Enshrouded offers players a diverse and customizable gameplay experience that sets it apart from other open-world games.

Enshrouded offers a familiar yet effective progression system, where players earn XP by gathering resources and defeating enemies. These XP points can then be used to unlock Skill Points, which in turn can be utilized to upgrade character stats and unlock unique moves and abilities. While this may not be a groundbreaking concept in the realm of RPGs, it is the simplicity of this system that sets Enshrouded apart and makes it special.

Although the game offers RPG mechanics, it is important to note that if you are solely seeking a full-fledged RPG experience, Enshrouded may not fully satisfy your cravings. However, the RPG mechanics serve as an added layer to enhance the overall gameplay experience and provide additional incentive for players to keep exploring and engaging in the world of Enshrouded. Ultimately, it is the allure of becoming Flameborn and the rich, immersive world that should be the main driving force behind your decision to embark on this captivating adventure.

Questing in Enshrouded

The questing system in Enshrouded is truly impressive. From the moment I started the game, I was immersed in a tutorial region that took me a good five hours to work through. The quests were given to me through my Flame Altar, and completing them became a captivating experience. Although there were numerous bandit camps and undead sanctums to explore that were not tied to quests, the main and side quests offered a gameplay loop that was both engaging and rewarding.

As I progressed, I was delighted to unlock other Flameborn vendors like the Blacksmith and Carpenter, who provided me with specific quests that allowed me to unlock more recipes. This created a snowball effect, as I found myself constantly exploring the vast open world to complete more quests and unlock more rewards with my vendors.

Embarking on quests often leads you into the treacherous Shroud areas. These vast, ominous regions serve as a defining aspect of Enshrouded's identity, as they are known for their eerie lack of visibility, menacing adversaries, and the ever-present ticking timer. Navigating through Shrouds can be a daunting undertaking, with the constant threat of danger lurking in the shadows.

Within these mysterious realms, players are granted a mere five minutes to accomplish their objectives, a time limit that can be extended through upgrades and enhancements. However, should the timer reach zero, death is inevitable, and players must return to their lifeless bodies to retrieve their hard-earned resources. This element of timed survival adds an exhilarating risk-reward factor to an already exceptional crafting RPG experience.

Combat and Foes

Enshrouded excels in combat, offering a sturdy and straightforward experience. The mechanics are not overly flashy or complex, focusing on block and parry techniques, as well as the ability to roll, attack, and use ranged weapons. The choice of weapons determines the style of attack, and the inclusion of a bow or staff adds a touch of RPG flair to combat.

Additionally, investing Skill Points into the skill tree allows players to unlock more combat moves, enhancing the depth of the combat system. While combat is not the main draw of Enshrouded, it is engaging enough to keep players interested, especially those seeking a complement or diversion from the building aspect of the game.

Enshrouded Review

The simplicity of the enemies is quite noticeable as they fail to provide a true technical challenge. However, one challenge that players may face is exploring higher-level regions faster than they can level up. This happened to me personally, as I found the leveling system to be a bit too slow for my liking. Additionally, every area in the game is level-locked, meaning that the enemies and items encountered in each area remain at the same level, regardless of the player's own level. Despite this, the bosses in Enshrouded do offer a more interesting combat challenge.

Some quests require players to defeat these bosses, which adds a fun element to the game. To succeed in these encounters, it becomes crucial to determine the most effective attacks against the boss and utilize potions and food to strengthen oneself. Overall, while Enshrouded may lack challenges in terms of regular enemies, it does offer an engaging experience when it comes to boss battles.

Unveiling Flaws

Enshrouded, despite its promising features such as mounts, a Creative Mode, and an extensive selection of crafting and building items, falls short in a few aspects. The most glaring flaws are its graphical fidelity and frame rate. Despite having a PC that surpasses the recommended system requirements, I frequently encountered significant drops in graphical quality and alarming dips in the frame rate during gameplay. It is disheartening to experience these visual disappointments, but the fact that Enshrouded is in Early Access gives hope that these issues will be addressed and improved upon in the future.

Verdict

Enshrouded, despite being in Early Access, is already a phenomenal game. It is a versatile and adaptable game that excels in various aspects. The RPG system and combat mechanics are impressively generic, which is actually a strength as it appeals to a wide range of players. By incorporating elements of survival crafting and action-adventure, Enshrouded manages to create an inclusive and welcoming experience for all.

What sets Enshrouded apart is not its revolutionary ideas, challenging gameplay, or captivating narratives, but rather its refined building system, seamless transition between building and RPG elements, and its intriguing open world. Whether playing solo or with friends, Enshrouded guarantees an enjoyable experience that caters to each player's preferences and desires.

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Enshrouded Review
Conclusion
Enshrouded, despite being in Early Access, is already a phenomenal game. It is a versatile and adaptable game that excels in various aspects. The RPG system and combat mechanics are impressively generic, which is actually a strength as it appeals to a wide range of players. By incorporating elements of survival crafting and action-adventure, Enshrouded manages to create an inclusive and welcoming experience for all.
Positive
Addictive gameplay loop
Unique blend of RPG and crafting
Vast and immersive open world
Negative
Slow leveling progression
Early Access graphical issues
Level-locked areas
4
GAMEHAUNT SCORE
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