We’ve all heard about breaking the fourth wall; a fictional character targets the player directly, making a digital entity effectively speak with the player itself. They could reference some real-life matter or just confirm that they know they’re fake. Many games exist, like the highly terrifying Doki Doki Literature Club or the paradoxical Stanley Parable.
Both of these games start subtly; a college student finds cute girls in a book club, and an employee comes to his office to discover that no one is there. Pretty simple, right? The student is faced with several insane digital entities that want the player to stay online for the sake of their existence; the employee has a personal narrator driving him insane at all times.
These games have a great sense of leaving the player genuinely thinking about the existence of these digital beings. However, have we seen anything go beyond the fourth wall? Something that latches on to the player physically? Inscryption takes this to a new extreme, making the player think twice before giving access to anything.
Inscryption’s plot is simple yet captivating; four scribes carve cards from physical beings. These cards have wills of their own and battle each other, divided into 3 acts. The first one is the battle with Leshy, a scribe of beasts and a massive character throughout the story, although his dialogues would be argued to be both the best and most intriguing in the game. The second is in a pixelated roleplaying style, depicting the actual state of Inscryption. The third is against po3, a robot with some pretty ulterior motives.
Mainly during the acts, the game delves into insanity. It shows us life-like emotions, conversations with the player, and the cards he uses against his opponents. But aside from everything, the most terrifying thing about all of this is that your computer works against you, and this is the highlight of the game, this factor of fear and risk never before experienced.
The Turning Point Of Inscryption:
However, it doesn’t end here. The game especially takes a turn in the third act, where the game takes a naughty turn. During the battles of the third act, po3 will casually add new concepts to bosses. They may seem harmless, but at the end of the game, they take a turn for the worse.
During the third act, po3 sends out four bosses, all with new mechanics. Players will be asked to give them access to their hard drives (yes, you read that correctly). Now, you can’t progress without answering; that answer is “YES”. What follows will quite literally scare any player. The game now has control over every file on your PC.
The boss then kindly asks you to choose a file that is dear to you. Then, it turns the file into a card. The game will delete that specific card if it is slain in battle. However, the game doesn’t go this far, but you won’t know unless it dies.
After the card’s death, you get a particular text file. “[FILE NAME] DELETED” is the name of the file. It reads, “At least… I tried to delete it. But it seems my powers of FILE ACCESS do not extend that far. Play by the rules you agreed to. Delete it yourself. Have an ounce of respect for the rules. Come on.”
Inscryption may not delete the actual file, but it creates a file, showing that the developers could have quickly deleted it as intended. It may seem shocking that the game easily accessed the computer, but it doesn’t end here just yet.
“Oh Golly” The Internet Is Fascinating
Inscryption is an offline game, but a particular boss, “Golly,” accesses the internet, your Steam or PS account, and other files. From here, it displays cards made by other players with their profile pictures from Steam or PS names. This boss also brings actual pictures from the internet and puts them into these cards.
This is just breaking the surface of what the game offers. From an intense combat system to the player experiencing true terror knowing what it just unleashed on his PC, until he found out it wasn’t all that bad. If you want to experience an unruly amount of horror and an impeccable story, look no further than Inscryption.