Enclave – Steam Backlog Bonanza [Blaugust 26]

618 words.

Yesterday an odd game called Enclave appeared on the Steam Backlog Bonanza. I had never heard of it before. It’s an action-ish RPG which I bought in 2016 for $1.24.

This screenshot looks much better than the game does.

According to Steam, it was released in 2013. I quickly discovered, through simple observations, that the game did not look particularly advanced for a 2013 game. I’ve since learned that it was actually released in 2002, and re-released on Steam in 2013. That explains the unexpectedly primitive graphics.

The gameplay is simple. You run around and chop monsters with a sword in typical action RPG style. Actually it plays more like a shooter which happens to use melee weapons. There’s no target-locking system or anything. You just walk up next to monsters and press the left mouse button to attack them, and run backwards to dodge their attacks. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you don’t. The collision detection and hitboxes are all over the place. The monsters will dodge and weave and sometimes jump up and down with a hilariously simple AI.

There’s one point where you meet an NPC who tags along to help you. The AI on this NPC is about as primitive as you can get. She did not know how to follow me, so I had to keep going back and finding ways to get her to navigate obstacles. It was like an MMO escort quest.

I don't know what's going on here but you meet them after the second level.

Enclave reminded me of a shooter in another way: When you complete each “level,” you get a summary page telling you how much gold and which items you found. That is straight out of Doom.

There’s a story in Enclave, but I didn’t find it very interesting. Whenever a game (or book or movie) begins with a long prologue that tries to explain everything about the entire world in a few minutes, I typically tune out and ignore it. Never start with a worldbuilding infodump.

Here are the instructions for the first level.

The real story of the game starts out in a very fresh and inventive way: In a prison cell. (That was sarcasm.) You escape, and then you save the day, or something like that.

Will I play more? Nope. I got my $1.24 out of it and don’t feel any compelling desire to see more. Maybe I would have enjoyed it in 2002, but it’s just too dated now, and there are a hundred better RPGs to play.

Live Stream - Enclave

Stream Production Notes: I switched all the audio devices on my gaming PC from 44.1KHz to 48KHz starting with this stream. (I had been having trouble using the Steam In-Home Streaming thing and one Google result said that it worked better at 48KHz.) I also tried to record a local copy of the video while streaming. So I braced myself for everything to fail, but I think it all worked.

I also learned a new thing about downloading live streams from YouTube. I’ve been downloading all my streams to keep an archival copy of them, but I just noticed that all of my downloads are 1280×720, when I’ve been streaming at 1920×1080. Apparently when you select “Download” from the YouTube menu, it doesn’t actually download the highest quality version. I had to get a tool called the 4K Video Downloader to download videos from my own channel, and now I have to re-download all of my live streams. Ugh.

I also noticed that YouTube takes my 5500Kbps streams and transcodes them to 2500-3000Kbps after I download them. Neato. YouTube is apparently running out of storage space just like I am.

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