Elex’s narrative is a bit of a mixed bag; At the same time, certain characters and quest chains are incredibly well written; like in any game of this scope, some content is decidedly lacking and feels like it was created purely to make the massive world map feel less empty.
The overall narrative is nothing groundbreaking; playing as a former bad guy who has been given a chance to go straight has been done before and better (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic); however, there are worse ways to spend 25 hours than helping the galaxies least charismatic protagonist get revenge on those who betrayed him and maybe save the world while doing so.
Players can join one of three factions, Berserkers, Clerics and Outlaws, with each faction offering players unique abilities, weapons and skills.
Choosing to join a faction is final, and players will want to think long and hard before they make their decision.
While the antagonist Alb faction cannot be joined, players can eventually support the Alb separatist movement and gain access to Alb items, weapons and abilities.
Elex offers players the opportunity to recruit up to seven unique companions throughout the course of the game.
Like all great CRPG of the 1990s, not all of these companions will necessarily be recruitable in a single playthrough, with players being given ample opportunity to drive away companions by their actions and, in a few cases, cause their death, something I will not further elaborate on, as to avoid spoilers.
Combat in Elex starts off feeling terrible and only gets a little better before wallowing in mediocrity for the rest of the game.
While Jax slowly regains his power and becomes a more viable combatant as he levels up, even at his apex, combat feels sluggish and unrewarding, with stiff animations and a limited moveset.
Admittedly the ability to mix and match weapons, skills, magical powers, items, ammo types and unarmed combat into a cohesive offence or defence feels awesome, but by the time players have access to enough abilities to make combat rewarding, there will be precious few opportunities to enjoy it.
The world of Magalan feels massive in scope, ensuring that players who explore the world in its entirety cannot help but feel impressed by the amount of care and attention the developers have invested into making the world feel alive.
From the mystical Berserkers who shun technology to the cold and calculating Albs who view all life as a resource to exploit, each faction encountered by the player will provide ample opportunity for character development, discovery and adventure.
Players will be able to see the result of their actions (or inaction) reflected in the world of Magalan itself, with entire cities and points of interest changing hands and, in some cases, being destroyed entirely depending on choices made by the player throughout the game.
Elex is one of the few CRPGs to lock players out of the majority of quest content in any single playthrough; once a player has chosen a faction, the faction-specific quest chains belonging to other factions are made unavailable for the duration of that playthrough, necessitating at least two additional playthroughs to experience all Elex has to offer.
While refusing to join a faction until you have seen the world sounds good on paper, being unable to access powerful weapons and abilities makes this not only impractical but impossible due to the majority of mid-endgame quests being locked behind the player choosing a faction.
I will say, however, that branching quest chains are very immersive and can result in small decisions early in the game coming back to haunt (or help) you much later on, including a seemingly worthless individual becoming a major NPC in the latter half of the game.
Elex is a role playing game video game developed by Piranha Bytes and published by THQ Nordic, it was released on 17 October 2017 and retails for $29.99.
Elex is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Elex hasn’t been updated since shortly after release, which is one of the most puzzling things about the seemingly endless goodwill enjoyed by Piranha Bytes by a large percentage of the gaming community.
Launching on the 17th of October 2017, Elex received only two patches (27th of October and 27th of December) before the developers stopped interacting with the Elex community; despite many bugs and exploits remaining in the game, the developers stopped releasing patch notes and appear to have stopped working on Elex entirely in December of 2017.
On average Elex takes between 27 and 85 hours to complete.
Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Elex is rated PEGI 18+ and contains the following:
I fully recommend Elex to all fans of the Gothic series and those with a soft spot for eurojank titles.
However, for everyone else, I suggest checking out some gameplay and waiting for a sale before giving Elex a try, as, like all Pirhana Byte games, Elex is incredibly unpolished and suffers from multiple strange design choices and unaddressed bugs, which for many people could be a deal-breaker.