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November 8th, 2017, 17:32
About exploration: You cannot explore in the beginning as you spend your time running to save yourself from monsters that are much much stronger than you. Exploration for me is taking time to enjoy and discover the world. It's not about running to save our life. It's possible to start exploring when you are around level 15/20. At that time I had already played about 35 hours, which is a very long time spent running away from monsters.
Not much is said about combat in the review. In my opinion, combat is much more difficult than in previous Pirhana Bytes games, again until you reach level 15/20 and again for me this was after 35 hours of playing the game. What I found also is that the option of ranged weapons was not viable at the beginning of the game. For the reason that the mechanics of the game puts you at a total disadvantage: the initiative is given to monsters in combat, evading is sluggish and often does not work, and companions are mostly helpless. The game is by design unfair to the player. Combat then becomes an exercise in frustration: run or reload. After I switched to melee weapons, it was easier, but at that time I had lost attribute and skill points. I was frustrated that the game was allowing obviously unbalanced options for the development of my character. I chose a weak option and paid the price during 35 hours. Once you reach a high level enough, combat becomes much easier, but again this was for me 35 hours after I started the game.
Why do I insist on the difficult beginning? It is because this had an impact on the rest of the game. I've played 73 hours now but even after the game started to become easier, I was frustrated and stressed because of the beginning of the game. I did not enjoy the end of the game because I did not enjoy the beginning of the game. I could not forget and have not forgotten the furstration of my first 35 hours of playing the game.
This is too bad because the game could have been excellent. I still played 73 hours because I liked the world and the story and because the game has a personality that makes it attractive to play but in the end the souvenir is of frustration rather than fun.
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November 8th, 2017, 18:01
Originally Posted by CapuCCi The Cat View Post
About exploration: You cannot explore in the beginning as you spend your time running to save yourself from monsters that are much much stronger than you.
This is not true. You can explore LOT of the world at the beginning of the game. Its not like there are monsters everywhere. In fact I found the monsters at the beginning to be sparsely populated. I went to many building and houses and hardly any monster to be found.

Using jetpacks and running away, you can in fact get some nice loot that are guarded by monsters you cannot kill. So for me the high level monsters were never an issue, in fact they added a sense of danger to the world.

You need to hit rock bottom to really appreciate the highs! This is why the difficult beginning is all the more important. You can feel your power going up once you level up and kill those monsters.
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November 8th, 2017, 18:04
So it never occurred to you to just lower the difficulty?

There are four settings to choose from, so I don't get why some people are complaining that it's too hard. I played on the second hardest level, and while I had to reload a LOT, I found the challenge enjoyable.
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November 8th, 2017, 18:19
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So it never occurred to you to just lower the difficulty?

There are four settings to choose from, so I don't get why some people are complaining that it's too hard. I played on the second hardest level, and while I had to reload a LOT, I found the challenge enjoyable.
My not so sarcastic solution from another thread.

The way to fix this is to make lots of modes with different terminology but ACTUALLY just linking to only three levels of difficulty. Basic to Hard mode are all "Easy". Difficult to Ultra Insane is " Normal". God-like Extreme is the only Hard mode.

Basic
Casual
Explorer
Normal
Fair
Challenging
Hard
Difficult
Insane
Ultra Insane
God-like Extreme

This way it gives people the illusion of choice but still lets them feel like a hero for winning the "Insane mode!!!". And they will be ok with failing at God-Like because…
"come'on, like nobody could do that level.. the AI totally cheats in that one."

Allllll about managing expectations and ego stroking. I kid you not, this is something well discussed in marketing meetings all the time.
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November 8th, 2017, 18:57
Long but pretty good review, Maylander.

Originally Posted by TheSHEEEP View Post
Regarding translations:
Details have surfaced that prove that the English translation is total bollocks (as in, more a rewrite than a translation, for no reason at all) - and all other non-German languages are based on that nonsense translation instead of the German one.
Unfortunately its not new in case of PB games. Risen 3 had a lot of mistakes and nonsense in english dialogues. Some of them were not immediatelly visible, but it was clear from german texts. I remember some absurd jokes, for example when NPC said (in german) something like "its dangerous there. Maybe if you are lucky you wont encounter many (or any) enemies". While in english that NPC said "Maybe if you are lucky you will encounter enemies".


-------
Regarding critical opinions about Elex - it seems to me there is growing number of graphical whores who like to bash any game that is not hyped up for its graphics. Even if the game can look very good on high settings. Or because main hero doesnt look "perfect" or badass from the start. Anyway… the real "gem" is this review:
http://www.cinelinx.com/reviews/games/elex.html

Rating is 1.7 out of 5

Mainly because he cant skip dialogues, dont like personality of main hero, dont "feel" impact of hits and graphics is awfull. But… there is one paragraph that reveals how new generation of players see dialogues. Its this quote:

"Another one is how the developers decided to do most of the storytelling. They open with still animation that describes what the world is about and then let the rest of the exposition be told through interactions and loud analysis by the main character. While that’s nothing new in gaming, the questionable decision comes in making these interactions last for roughly 5-10 minutes. The average gamer’s attention span during an interaction is about 2-3 minutes and that’s with characters that are actually interesting and memorable. In contrast, ELEX makes you sit through long-winded conversations, that you can’t skip, with repetitive questions and a main character that is so intense, you can’t help but be turned off by him."
I wonder how these people can still play RPGs with a lot of dialogues…


Also some weird reasoning behing 3rd person view:
"ELEX is played in the 3rd-person, with the gamer being able to see our main character, as he explores Magalan. However, it never feels quite right. It’s almost as if the developers were going for an MMO-type gameplay experience, but ran into some issues and then switched gears to a low-budget Horizon: Zero Dawn. It becomes obvious in combat situations, when you’re unable to feel the impact of each blow."
About graphics:
"An initial hook for any game stems from the quality of the graphics. If the graphics start out wonky, without a wow-factor, it becomes tough to continue playing."

Elex is a game that skimps on the graphics, motion capturing, and code needed to make this game something more than the Alpha that it is."
final paragraph:
"Unfortunately, the gameplay couldn’t live up to the intriguing world it was in. THQNordic and Piranha boast that ELEX needs about 50+ hours of gameplay, but with all of its major flaws, I’d be surprised if anyone even gave it 10 hours. They disregarded quality in order to throw out a game that clearly wasn’t ready. Maybe Piranha ran out time. Maybe THQNordic wanted to get something out of a game they knew had no future. In any case, ELEX will never be worth the time or the price of admission. Even free is too expensive for this game."
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November 8th, 2017, 19:14
Thanks for the review Maylander! I was going to wait with buying the game until i've read your review but my gutfeeling told me I would like it anyway and here I am already finnished the game before reading your review

Edit:
Oh and I'm one of those people that liked this game more then Original Sin 2. I'm not a huge PB fan either. Played and loved Gothic 2 and played Risen 1 like halfway through before losing interest.
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November 8th, 2017, 20:04
Good review, as usual. I wouldn't worry about the length of the review - it's an enthusiasts' forum, after all, and an alternative to the standard publications.

I suspect I'm going to like it. As I've mentioned before, I'd say most of my favourite RPGs had some clunky elements that had to be tolerated, and required a bit of patience. If the world is reasonably compelling, and the exploration and character development are strong, I'll probably get my kicks.
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November 8th, 2017, 21:13
Thanks @Maylander!

I didn't read the whole review yet (don't want any spoilers, gameplay or otherwise ) but I would say that I would consider the game Excellent, quite a bit above Very Good. But one of the main factors would be not only my enjoyment of the game, but because I think it needs to be judged on a sliding scale.

What I mean is, the game definitely has flaws. Some of the translation can be poor, the voice acting can be not-so-great at times and there are plenty of little quirks here and there that show you the game was made on a lower budget. But the reason I would not count those heavily against my overall score of Excellent/Must-Play is because the game was made by 29 people.

29 people with 1/10 at best of the budget of similar open-world RPGs! So there has to be some sort of bonus point(s) for that alone, IMO.

So while again, there are issues, the fact that this game was made by 29 people has to be accounted for. They just managed to cram so much good stuff into it that it's really remarkable such a small team managed it. And the world design itself is probably the best I've seen in a game like this yet. Huge scope and scale yet never feels empty and maintains a strong feeling of being very well-crafted and handcrafted throughout. Let alone the RPG systems and mechanics that somehow seem to work very well (high challenge level, very complex questing with multiple branching paths, balancing of many items and objects with no level scaling, etc..) Remarkable stuff.

Will def read the review when I'm done with the game. Cheerio! Just my 2.
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November 8th, 2017, 21:22
Originally Posted by BrianOConnell View Post
Great review Maylander and the right length too. I finished it last weekend as a Beserker and I agree the magic was very underwhelming so I ended up sticking with sword/bow but it's also worth mentioning that ranged covers laser rifles etc. and I think it would be worth splitting bows and rifles in terms of skills because by the closing hours of the game I was wiping out enemies en masse with laser/plasma rifles even though at heart I had chosen the medieval/Beserker route.
Yep, I agree. The faction weapons that are unlocked via ranks are generally strong at the time, but can often be surpassed by non-faction specific weapons, which does feel a bit odd. I wouldn't mind it if the crafting skills could affect ranged weapons as well, as that would give them a certain edge (a magic bow shooting fire arrows for example would likely do more damage than a laser rifle).

That being said, the most damaging attack in the game is actually the Berserker skill "split arrows" with a tier 3 bow if you can get close enough before shooting, as all 5 arrows will hit the same target. That's 5x120 damage or so. Nothing comes close to that as far as I know.
Originally Posted by BrianOConnell View Post
I loved every minute of the game bar the final chapter really. Not because it was bad per say but because I'm an OCD explorer and by the end I had seen everything more or less and there is a strange sadness to realising you've seen it all. I also regret doing almost every quest available before picking a faction and next play through I will pace myself a bit better because you miss out on some of the satisfaction by doing some of these quests early when you are under-powered and maybe run in grab something and run out avoiding enemies whereas later on having chosen a faction you might be able to complete the quests by taking them on. Neither is the right or wrong way to complete a quest but I personally would feel better doing it the second way.
Indeed, there's little reason to postpone joining a faction in ELEX. Unlike in certain PB games, quests aren't locked when joining a faction, so you can still do all of them even after joining. I'm likely to do that in the future, unless I'm going for the Outlaws, as that's not an area I'd like to explore at too low levels.

Originally Posted by BrianOConnell View Post
Finally I thought all the loot was fixed bar dead bodies as per usual with PB. Did you test the game and find randomly generated loot in chests etc.?
I was thinking of the bodies yeah. Even that is usually fixed in PB games. No idea about the containers, it might be fixed, or maybe pre-generated as the world is generated or some such thing. It certainly could be hand placed, but that does seem a bit excessive given how generic it is in most cases.
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
Nice review and I agree with the review overall. But disagree on the dated comment. Having played current games this game isn't on par with more high-end (or modded) games. I spend a lot of my time on visual quality in games for screenshots and ELEX is certainly nice to look at but it isn't on par, to me at least, with some of the bigger titles.

It doesn't matter to me but it was just the part of the review I disagreed with simply because I have played better looking games.
Something I failed to mention in the review is that the screenshots are all compressed. At full size they're huge. Here's one that's not compressed:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hjjpfv2e6s…essed.png?dl=0
Edit: Even that one's slightly compressed. Geez.

I think it looks fantastic. Yes, the tech in Horizon and TW3 is better, but that's about it for games of this scope, and neither of them have this kind of variety. ME: A was the last open world RPG of this size, and Fallout 4 before it, and neither look as good to me.

The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine is still the sexiest game I've played (of any serious scope), but I wouldn't call any game that doesn't rival it "dated". That's a bit unfair.

Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Thanks @Maylander!

I didn't read the whole review yet (don't want any spoilers, gameplay or otherwise ) but I would say that I would consider the game Excellent, quite a bit above Very Good. But one of the main factors would be not only my enjoyment of the game, but because I think it needs to be judged on a sliding scale.
Thanks, and yes, I see where you're coming from. Like I said in the verdict: It's going to range all the way from poor to excellent, and I expect it be GOTY for quite a few people around here. It really is a fantastic game for the right audience, but it does require a bit of patience.

Originally Posted by Thiraury View Post
Thanks for the review Maylander! I was going to wait with buying the game until i've read your review but my gutfeeling told me I would like it anyway and here I am already finnished the game before reading your review

Edit:
Oh and I'm one of those people that liked this game more then Original Sin 2. I'm not a huge PB fan either. Played and loved Gothic 2 and played Risen 1 like halfway through before losing interest.
Yes, it's my GOTY as well, even ahead of D: OS2. I did not expect that, but PB really delivered.

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Good review, as usual. I wouldn't worry about the length of the review - it's an enthusiasts' forum, after all, and an alternative to the standard publications.
Thanks, nice to know!

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I suspect I'm going to like it. As I've mentioned before, I'd say most of my favourite RPGs had some clunky elements that had to be tolerated, and required a bit of patience. If the world is reasonably compelling, and the exploration and character development are strong, I'll probably get my kicks.
Certainly sounds like it could be a good fit. In fact, that's almost exactly how I'd describe the game.
Last edited by Maylander; November 8th, 2017 at 22:04.
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November 8th, 2017, 21:22
Originally Posted by TheSHEEEP View Post
Regarding translations:
Details have surfaced that prove that the English translation is total bollocks (as in, more a rewrite than a translation, for no reason at all) - and all other non-German languages are based on that nonsense translation instead of the German one.
Hm, interesting. Some of the post-final conversations (especially with William and Logan) made not that much sense to me. Maybe that's due to the translation.
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November 8th, 2017, 21:33
Originally Posted by TheSHEEEP View Post
Regarding translations:
Details have surfaced that prove that the English translation is total bollocks (as in, more a rewrite than a translation, for no reason at all) - and all other non-German languages are based on that nonsense translation instead of the German one.

So, if you do know German, I'd strongly suggest playing in German.

As for proof:
https://imgur.com/a/1PK4D
Source:
http://community.elexgame.com/thread…tion-is-a-mess

Here's an actual translation of the German text:
-But why the clerics?
-They are the TRUE hipocrites of Magalan.
-Their strongest weapon is infiltration. They act behind your back and finish you off before even YOU realize it.
- They proclaim their false faith and act as if they were the world's police.
- They are far more dangerous than even the albs.

Compare that to what the actual English translations says. It's a rewrite!
I seem to remember having some discussions with Gorath back in the days of Gothic 2 about translations, and if I recall correctly, he looked into some of the translations and confirmed that both the actual translations and voice acting was far superior in German.

I am surprised to see that the differernce remain as big though. Very interesting. I honestly thought they would have fixed that by now, but I do know that proper translations are a bigger task than it might seem.
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November 8th, 2017, 21:38
@Maylander 's GOTY, nice!
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November 8th, 2017, 22:32
Any way to play this in German with English subtitles? But correct subtitles?

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November 8th, 2017, 22:57
Thanks for a very good review, Maylander!

Although, it convinces me that this is strong sale or bundle material.
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November 8th, 2017, 23:11
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
@Maylander 's GOTY, nice!
#MaylanderReviewGate2017
Never forget…
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November 8th, 2017, 23:14
Originally Posted by Darkheart View Post
Thanks for a very good review, Maylander!

Although, it convinces me that this is strong sale or bundle material.
Nooooo…
Throw the extra three cups of expensive espresso at them for what they set out to do, and what they pulled off.
Otherwise you are going to have big studios churning out GTA shit and calling it RPG… and indie 7 year projects with pixellated art. Nobody inbetween willing to take a risk without millions of bucks backing.
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November 9th, 2017, 00:29
Thanks for your very good review. PB put in a great deal of creative and technical effort to pull this thing off. It's a compelling game, with yeah, some shortcomings, but those disappear from long term memory pretty quickly given all the good.

There ought to be a way for PB to make the game play more accessible (less difficult) for more casual players because there is so much to like regardless of a player's level of 'rpg-ness'. Game is like a swamp -- once you get sucked in it's damned difficult to leave.

As to length of review, short is always better. But I can't say that I felt this review was bogged down at any point.

Thanks.

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November 9th, 2017, 01:21
Originally Posted by Wisdom View Post
Nooooo…
Throw the extra three cups of expensive espresso at them for what they set out to do, and what they pulled off.
Otherwise you are going to have big studios churning out GTA shit and calling it RPG… and indie 7 year projects with pixellated art. Nobody inbetween willing to take a risk without millions of bucks backing.
Yep, agreed.

@RPGFool , I don't want to see the game easier by default. I used to think easier difficulty options were the easy answer, and maybe some of that is part of the solution, but nowadays I think it's more about improving the tutorials and finding other clever ways to introduce players to the game's design better. That would include better marketing tricks and the like, too, to prepare folks more for what they are getting into.

These "hardcore" or more challenging RPGs should work harder to introduce their mechanics and stuff better for new players. Since ELEX looks like your typical action RPG, gamers already expect it to play a certain way, and it throws them off when they find out it's way different. Even some of these professional website reviews have false information in them, showing clearly that many gamers simply don't understand the game at a core level.

It would be nice to see devs like PB, or even the indies like Numantian (Lords of Xulima) put a little more effort into education in their games. Tutorials, codexes, thorough descriptions and whatever clever tricks they can muster to make the game as seamless to start for a new player as they possibly can, while not removing complexity or simply making the game easier in any way.

Just my 2.
Last edited by Fluent; November 9th, 2017 at 02:20.
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November 9th, 2017, 01:43
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I have no issues with the graphics…I just found it really hard to get around the robotic NPC's and horrible writing, I'm sure I will go back to this eventually though.
I thought the writing and quest design was really good for the most part. Are you talking about dialogue?
Dialogue is a part of writing /facepalm. And I do agree with Rune, it might not be Andromeda-level of cringe, but it is quite bad. It's "I took an arrow to the knee" bad.
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November 9th, 2017, 02:14
The translation is wonky, that's the biggest issue, IMO. No debating it's weird in some spots, but I think the base writing is mostly fine. They need to enhance their translation efforts.
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