ELEX is such a compelling, rewarding and challenging wrpg. I loves it! (long read)

Avatar image for henrythefifth
#1 Posted by henrythefifth (2139 posts) -

So i've been playing Elex on and off for about six months or so. And while it can be painfully tough and frustrating, there is something in it that makes me come back to it time and time again.

What makes the game so tough and interesting then? Well, many things:

first of all, the huge map. In Elex, safe and tough areas form a chaotic mosaic. There are safe areas all over the map, but the only way to find all those safe havens is to find safe ways thru extremely hostile zones. There are such safe roads, but finding them is genuine challenge as there is no hand holding there.

And you really need to locate those safe havens, because from npcs in them, you get quests, and quests are really the only feasible way to level up.

Of course, its not that simple. In Elex, quest givers do not pop up on map, so you really need to talk to everyone to find something to do! Also, quests have no difficulty rating, so the only way to find if you can actually do a quest at your current level, is to try it.

Levelling up gives you attribute and skill points, and there is another challenge. You have to focus those points from day one, if you want to survive. Putting points into every stat will just leave you weak. You really have to go with focused build from day one. I've gone with tank build, but you can also go ranged or spellcaster if that's your thing.

As for skill sets, there's yet another challenge! You must find skill trainers first, and they do not automatically pop up on the map either, so you need to find them the hard way!

For me the best thing about Elex is that it feels old skool wrpg from the good old days, yet at the same time, is totally current gen. Challenge level is old skool, graphics also have that sweet, naive old skool feel, but gameplay, thankfully, passes for current gen. Once you learn the ropes, that is.

Here's few non spoiler screenshots from various safe havens and roads I've found this far.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
#2 Posted by RSM-HQ (8111 posts) -

From my understanding it is Gothic with HD textures and some space stuff.

So not my kind of game. Dubbed Gothic a conversation simulator in my review, as it has little else going for it. Mechanically Gothic was very bad, simplistic, and controlled poorly. Gives the illusion of choice but really it is actually restrictive in what is offered, because the control is limited and amateur. Making even Bethesda Studios look great by comparison. Also had uninspiring level design, that I couldn't help think was designed for simpletons to understand. The developer seems more interested in the player filling an artificial build than really playing the game the players own way_

From what I'm aware Elex suffers the exact same flaws.

Prefer gameplay over storytelling personally. Though from my understanding plenty of people buy games solely on plot, chatter, and game lore, so it's more for them. The same kind of people who found enjoyment in Fallout 3 I suppose.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#3 Edited by mrbojangles25 (43555 posts) -

It's a diamond in the rough, but the "rough" is there in abundance.

I really enjoy those games from Piranha Bytes (first Gothic, then Risen, and now ELEX) but my god they really, really don't know how to quality test, balance, and otherwise make a game with even half-decent production values.

Getting killed unfairly by birds in the first five minutes...really, really simple combat...obscure skill training where you have to buy your skills but money is hard to come by...glitchy quests requiring you to start over again and again and again.

@RSM-HQ said:

From my understanding it is Gothic with HD textures and some space stuff.

So not my kind of game. Dubbed Gothic a conversation simulator in my review, as it has little else going for it. Mechanically Gothic was very bad, simplistic, and controlled poorly. Gives the illusion of choice but really it is actually restrictive in what is offered, because the control is limited and amateur. Making even Bethesda Studios look great by comparison. Also had uninspiring level design, that I couldn't help think was designed for simpletons to understand. The developer seems more interested in the player filling an artificial build than really playing the game the players own way_

From what I'm aware Elex suffers the exact same flaws.

Prefer gameplay over storytelling personally. Though from my understanding plenty of people buy games solely on plot, chatter, and game lore, so it's more for them. The same kind of people who found enjoyment in Fallout 3 I suppose.

That's a pretty fair assessment. I can honestly only recommend the game to people that enjoyed Gothic and/or Risen, which is exactly the same gameplay.

All your observations are accurate--it feels like amateur hour, to sum up--but honestly I love it despite that.

The game is like "The Room" of video games; ridiculously low quality, yet you find yourself enjoying it none the less. I think it's because, despite the low quality, you can tell some people put their heart and soul into the game. You can feel the love radiating off this thing.

Avatar image for henrythefifth
#4 Posted by henrythefifth (2139 posts) -

I did not mind getting killed all the time in the beginning, as it was great learning experience and really taught how NOT to play the game!

And anyways, if Dark Souls games can do that to you, why not Elex?

The combat system is not as fluid as in W3 or souls, so you really need to learn how to escape from fights in order to survive. Even now that I'm bit higher level, and have the special weapons/skills of the berserkers to use, fighting remains huge challenge. But on the whole, I'm totally ok with the combat.

The only genuine complain I do have is how story is run. Just like in Gothic and Risen games, you have only vague idea about what is going on and what is going to happen next. The game really does not tell you anything, so you just have to go blindly forward, doing favours to all the faction for level ups, and hope that when you decide to take sides in conflicts, it pans out to a good ending.

At the moment, I do not even care about the main story. I just do as many quests as I can for ALL the factions, for those level ups. After I've run outta these side missions, then I'll start looking at the big picture and try figure what to do with the main story.

But then, most games that use factions, tend to struggle with main story. Fallout NV for example, and F4, had pretty weak main stories imo, due to all the warring factions. Compared to F3, with its strong main story.

Avatar image for watercrack445
#5 Posted by watercrack445 (1343 posts) -

I thought Elex went the same route as Techomancer did. Failed commercially but with a decent hype.

Avatar image for henrythefifth
#6 Posted by henrythefifth (2139 posts) -

@watercrack445 said:

I thought Elex went the same route as Techomancer did. Failed commercially but with a decent hype.

Technomancer was decent enough game. I quite enjoyed it!

Anyways, finally reached level 15 in Elex, and gained access to warrior armour. Which cost me 15 000 shards! Whaaat!!!

Now thats another challenge in the game: getting better armour takes massive amount of work. Massive. I'm totally beat.

Also running out of side missions, so I guess I have to start following main storylines.

Avatar image for vagrantsnow
#7 Posted by VagrantSnow (226 posts) -

Game looked interesting but no character creation really put me off it. I find it hard to play a RPG with a character I didn't create myself.

Avatar image for henrythefifth
#8 Posted by henrythefifth (2139 posts) -

@vagrantsnow said:

Game looked interesting but no character creation really put me off it. I find it hard to play a RPG with a character I didn't create myself.

this is good point. And the main hero in Elex is pretty boring as well! But at least the game allows you to choose whether you want to be nice or super rude in dialogues.

Mind you, being rude often leads to npcs killing you on the spot, so its not really a choice!

Avatar image for with_teeth26
#9 Posted by with_teeth26 (9426 posts) -

Elex is awesome! its rough as hell but its a lot of fun. I also love the absurd challenge, trying to jet-pack away from enemies that will kill you in on or two hits. all the faction stuff is so elaborate.

Phirana Bytes games are very underrated but also I fully understand why, the games are pretty rough in many obvious ways and what is great takes some effort to uncover.

Avatar image for henrythefifth
#10 Posted by henrythefifth (2139 posts) -

@with_teeth26 said:

Elex is awesome! its rough as hell but its a lot of fun. I also love the absurd challenge, trying to jet-pack away from enemies that will kill you in on or two hits. all the faction stuff is so elaborate.

Phirana Bytes games are very underrated but also I fully understand why, the games are pretty rough in many obvious ways and what is great takes some effort to uncover.

So true!

Elex is one of those games were you need to save every two minutes, and keep several save files, because you never know what happens next!

In other games, you only need to play for two hours, and you will know exactty how the story will pan out, and what will happen next. They are so predictable. Even games like Witcher 3 and DAI, I could easily predict how the story would run after only playing for two hours or so. No surprises in them whatsoever.

Elex just keep surprising me at every turn. You really never know what's gonna happen next.