Game studio Piranha Bytes just wrapped on their latest game, Elex. Produced by THQ Nordic, the action RPG launched yesterday to somewhat mixed reviews.
The plotline of the game takes place on a planet called Magalan, which is in the throes of a post-apocalyptic struggle for survival after a massive meteor wiped out most of the population and technology. Factions naturally formed and pooled resources to live. One of these resources is an element called “Elex,” which was deposited by the meteor.
What makes Elex so valuable is that it can be used to power technology and even open up magical potential within the survivors. Because of this the factions fight for the resource, each with their own reason for using it. For example, the Albs of Xacor eat the substance because it rids them of emotions and allows them to act on logic alone.
The protagonist is a former member of the Albs, but after crashing his jet, he experiences emotions for the first time in his life. Even though it is through no fault of his own, this makes him a traitor in the eyes of the Albs. The story revolves around the protagonist's struggle to become whatever the player wants him to become.
The combat system seems to be a common complaint in early reviews, but it is not that different from previous Piranha Bytes titles. If you are familiar with the gameplay in the Risen or Gothic series, it should not be too difficult to overcome the "clunky" controls.
Factions will obviously play a big part in the game. Each group will have unique missions for the player to complete, which helps to grind out the character development. Players will eventually be able to choose a faction to join.
There are four factions, the Albs of Xacor, Outlaws of Tavar, Clerics of Ignadon, and the Berserkers of Edan. However, as mentioned, the Albs are out of the question for joining since the protagonist is now considered their enemy. Each of the remaining groups the player can cooperate with as long as he abides by their rules. Which faction is joined ultimate dictates the play style through the rest of the game.
Players who like to use magic will find themselves drawn to the nature-loving Berserkers who refine Elex into mana for performing magic. Those who prefer using the old tech found on Magalan might consider joining the Clerics who use the substance to power technological weaponry. For the anarchist in the crowd, the Outlaws have no rules per se and use Elex to make a stimulant drug.
Reviews seem to agree that there are elements in the game that need work. GameSpace says that the quest tracker, inventory, world map, and clipping issues all need to be addressed to polish the game. However, for a post-apocalyptic blend of fantasy and science fiction in an open-world environment, it scores above average.
Elex is available on Steam for $49.99. It is also out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for $59.99. there is also a Collector's Edition through Amazon that includes a 10-inch figurine, cloth map, and other goodies. The bundle is available in PC and console versions for $110 and $120 respectively.