ELEX Review – A SciFi Fantasy from Piranha Bytes

This entry was posted in Adventure Games, Fantasy Games, Third Person Shooter by Cleave on


Fun Factor:★★★★☆ 

In a world where everything was changed by a comet and factions are warring against each other, you are dropped into the middle of it with nothing but the clothes on your back. Your own people, the Albs of Xacor, shot you down and left you for dead. To add insult to injury, someone has robbed you of your armor and weapons and left you with nothing but some clothing. You have to find the thief and survive in a part of the world that you don’t even know. You are Jax, an outcast and somehow you must survive.

The game states with that cinematic and you start playing after you wake up several days later. Jax has been out long enough to make it through withdraw from Elix, a substance brought to Magalan in which you live, by a comet. It is now years later and 3 main factions are warring against each other. You have the Albs, Elix addicts that know how to control it and use it for their weapons, their armor and even their own form of magic. They will do just about anything to get it, no matter what the cost. The side effect is that they are now emotionless from years of taking Elex. You even see it in the character you play, Jax. He is very monotone and shows very little emotion as you play him.

The other 2 factions are the Berserkers and the Clerics. The Berserkers have rejected technology, believing that it is what caused most of the damage to the planet, even before the comet came. Instead they use a process to convert elex into mana to let them use magic and to make the planet green again. The clerics, on the other hand, seek to convert everyone to their own belief that Elex is a gift, a blessing from their god Calaan. They believe that the comet and the elex were sent for their use. It seems that the Berserkers at caught between the other factions as they try to turn the world green again.

Now for some information about playing the game. This game can be addicting, even if you die a lot, and I do mean a lot. As you progress through the game you do start picking up some tricks to keep you alive longer. One thing that will make your life a lot easier is to get a companion as soon as you can and do every easy side quest that you can find. The more levels and equipment that you have the easier it is to survive. That is one of the bad things about the game in that levels do not come easy. Just walking out of a city or town gate can get you shot, eaten by mutant animals or even by those that are around you. Some Places even tell you to put away your weapon, if you don’t that will take you down without prejudice. Mind your surroundings at all times.

The slowness of levels and struggle to gear is a constant concern as is ammo, potions and anything else to keep you alive. You also need to be able to level in order to get character points and skill points. Character points are used to up your character abilities as in strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence and cunning. All weapons and armor that you will want to get have stat requirements, some can be quite high. One bow that I found needed a 70 in one stat to be able to use it. Any gear that you want to be able to use can have other restrictions as well, in particular having to be a member of a certain faction to be able to use said item. Not only is this a game to find a thief as well as the person who tried to kill you, but also a game of survival and trying to find a way to put the world back together. Elex is the one thing that every one wants and it is also the thing that needs to be totally gotten rid of to save the planet.

Graphics on Elex are stunning! Even on the near minimum of computer requirements. I have an AMD Phenom II X4 3.4ghz with 16 gigs of ram and an NVidia 750ti and I do not get much lag at all and 95% of the settings are on High. The only change I mad was to make sure vsinc was on. Physics and collision is rather well done. I did not expect this with my lower end gear, well at least lower end for this game. You wind up spending time just looking at everything, the shadows, the people, the plants, they are all a sight to see. Got killed several times just wondering looking at everything around me. One thing to keep in mind, If you want to see the world, make sure there are no hostiles around you that will kill you as you enjoy what you see.

The game does have some problems, but once you adjust for them it is not so bad. Combat is what I am talking about. Actions are just not as quick as what you would find in other games. Pressing a button does not mean that the action will go off just as you want. Also, knock downs from mutants, animals and people can get you killed fast with nothing that you can do about it. They just are able to react quicker that you are able to move or push a button. Keep this always in mind while you are playing. Range and lots of ammo will be your friend. Do as much damage as you can before they close for melee range.

As to how to get quests in Elex, you have to ask around a lot and talk to everyone that you can. Many times you will have no indication of where a quest might be unless you already have it and have set it as a map marker. If you do a quest in the wrong order and can auto fail at times so don’t get too distracted when you are doing certain quest. I had one to talk to murder suspects and then lost the quest when I started helping an outpost that will become a camp for you. I don’t know if the quest will come back and found the outpost while running from danger. Try to keep you quest log as small as possible so you wont have something like this happen to your game.

To get around in the game, you walk or run most of the time. You will also have the use of a person jetpack that replenishes itself. It does so fairly quick but not always fast enough to avoid a fall to your death. Make sure you keep track of it and then as you descend, tap the propulsion button or key every now and then to keep you from taking damage when you hit ground.

Each faction has its own ways but the one that will get you yelled at the most is that of the berserkers. The hate any type of machine or device that uses elex for fuel. If they see you using tech that will tell you to take it to the pit and get rid of it. Even checking your inventory will get this reaction and even using your adjutor will get you cautioned. Your adjutor is used to keep track of your stats, your skills, your inventory and your quests. It is also an implant in your body. When you want to use it just find a quiet corner so others do not have a direct view of what you are doing.

Another interesting feature of the game is that if a NPC says that they are going to take the information you give them to someone else they will actually go see that person and have a conversation about the information that you game in the first place. It is these nice little touches that keep you coming back to the game. If exploration is your thing, then this will be a game for you. If you are into castaway survival this will give you plenty of what you are looking for. This is a well laid out game, except for the harshness and ability to stay alive. Sneak where ever you can, get help often and don’t get too upset when you die.

If you are a person that gets upset having to redo things over and over you can change how often the game will do an auto save. You can set it to what ever your comfort zone is as well as save, as long as auto save is not saving at the same time.

This is a game that will take hold of you and not let go unless you force yourself to let go of it.