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Default ELEX - Review @ PC PC Aficionado

November 26th, 2017, 17:00
PC Aficionado checked out ELEX:

ELEX Review

From the developers of the classic PC-exclusive Gothic franchise, ELEX is a sci-fi open world RPG which was regarded as the “Skyrim-killer” prior to its release back in October. These claims were based mostly on the promise of a seamless open world that’s just as immersive as the cold Skyrim itself. In this post-apocalyptics setting, four factions fight for power, each being characterized by a core genre. Yes, a genre. Whereas other RPGs define their factions through core ideas, ELEX does so through genres such as fantasy and sci-fi.
[…]
For what it offers, ELEX is decently priced. This is hardly the “Skyrim-killer” people were talking about a year or so ago, but its world design and content distribution are entertaining enough to justify its price. Piranha Bytes fans might be rather pleased with this release and how difficult it is. Meanwhile, those who know of Gothic only by name might be a little disappointed if they’re looking for a Dragonborn alternative. With at least 10 hours where you have no idea what to do, ELEX is a tough sell for gamers used to regular RPGs with perfectly laid out plots and fluid mechanics. If you’re hesitant, remember to check on the Steam discussions the best ways to make significant progress as there are many threads on the subject. As long as you’re willing to overlook its problems and the fact it always feels as if it didn’t go through any sort of QA testing, ELEX can be rather fun with its choices and their consequences and its seamless open world.
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November 26th, 2017, 17:00
A 4.9, really?

For the most part, the first 10 hours are poorly balanced
Outdated mechanics

No, you are supposed to be almost helpless at the beginning, you have no armor, no weapons, and no skills. That's the way PB games work.

Tough to get into without prior knowledge of its unforgiving difficulty
Generic story and characters undermine the experience

There's a challenging learning curve. Waaah! I need games to hold my hand and just tell me what to do and I shouldn't meet any enemy that I can't kill instantly with my lead pipe as a weapon. Where is the fun in that?

A static world

Really? No, just the opposite, a very alive world.
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November 26th, 2017, 19:18
With at least 10 hours where you have no idea what to do…
What did the reviewer do for 10 hours…

- Sit in front of their monitor waiting for something to happen?
- Search their map for loot box icons?
- Alt tab over to Candy Crush Saga?
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November 26th, 2017, 20:08
'Any sort of QA testing'? Seriously? I'm not a fanboi of PB games, but I know what to expect. I've played G1-3 several times and sampled the Risen series. I can honestly say, I've run into fewer game breakers and goofy occurrences than in Skyrim or FO3 & 4.
I see no mention of what these supposed QA problems are. Combat can take some acclimation to the system. Turn off target lock, get a feel for the timing and you're good to go. Does it make sense that in Skyrim you can kill a Dragon in the first 15 minutes? Not to me.
In a PB game, you get your ass handed to you on a plate until you progress, as it should be. Yes, the game has its rough edges and faults, but it's not anywhere the hot mess these 'reviewers' make it out to be. Stick with Candy Crush or Sonic games.
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November 26th, 2017, 20:24
Ha ha ha good joke! No.
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November 26th, 2017, 21:22
"With at least 10 hours where you have no idea what to do, ELEX is a tough sell for gamers used to regular RPGs with perfectly laid out plots and fluid mechanics."

Wait, what? "Regular RPG's"? A perfectly laid out plot? Is that code for streamlined corridor shooter with some RPG mechanics thrown in, because I don't really see what RPG's he's talking about. Probably none I would enjoy. I've yet to finish DOS2 (almost there though) and ELEX has moved to the top of my to-play-list. If nothing else than because these reviews annoy me to no end. I might of course not like the game, but hardly for the reasons given in this review.
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November 26th, 2017, 21:48
Maybe he should change his name to Mainstream Aficionado.
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November 27th, 2017, 14:31
I've seen idiotic reviews before for plenty of different games.
This one tops them all.
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November 27th, 2017, 14:46
Who called it Skyrim-killer? I never saw that anywhere.

The game isn't trying to be Skyrim AFAIK.

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November 27th, 2017, 16:10
A lot of responses to Elex reviews tend to read "so, yes, it's meant to be hard, it's a Pihrana Bytes game…" but having played about 10-15hr of the game so far, this is not an overly valid response (although I understand the authors' point of view). Elex is tough, even for PB…

1) Elex is one landmass, with no easy connections

Previous games such as Risen 2/3 offered different islands which could be visited via your ship, almost from the get-go. This made early levels easier because you could tackle basic quests from lots of different ports, without having to tackle too many foes.

In Elex, you can visit the first town easily enough, but there are nasty foes right outside its gates. You can only do the quests from that one town, and if you want to visit other (perhaps more appealing) factions, you have to navigate most of the map… on foot. Even early-town quests will require some exploration outside of town, which makes the early game tougher than most PB games, as almost any foe will likely kill you.

2) Early companions.

Again, Risen 2/3 offered plenty of choice of companions, and they were fairly easy to obtain. Elex doesn't immediately offer a companion (apart from scripted first-10-mins) and although it is possible to get one in the first town, it requires progress in a quest that requires a fair bit of "out-of-town" leg-work (ie. dangerous).

3) No Artifacts (that I've seen)

In Risen 2/3 there were artifacts that gave considerable boosts and they weren't too hard to find, usually. So far I haven't seen any in Elex, but they may be there. Either way, EVERY SKILL POINT has been hard won, with only one per level. Many dialogue options have skill requirements, making early progress doubly frustrating as you might (say) want to spend a skill point to help you fight (essential) but your next quest might ideally need Charisma 3. OK, so this is part of the design, but it *feels* tough.

Also, it has made my game somewhat linear in the sense that I feel like I can only pick skills to meet the quest requirements, otherwise I'll miss out on options. That means at each level-up, there's really only one skill that I can pick, even if I would like to grow in other directions. This is, granted, my own fault, but I dont' recall feeling quite so straight-jacketed in earlier games.

4) No safe paths

Although there are roads in Elex, they are hunted by tough monsters. It would be pretty lethal (although I'd wager not impossible) to try and get out of the first region before about level 8. For example, I'd like to try the more sci-fi elements offered by the other factions, but the only quests I can even begin to attempt are for the hippy classic-fantasy Berserkers. Heck, the game feels like I'm playing Gothic, not Elex!

I grant that last statement might evoke a cheer from many, but Elex is sold on its blend of sci/fi and fantasy elements, but my first 15 hours have been "low fantasy with a jetpack". I'm wielding an axe/sword, wearing animal hides, and fighting raptors and scavengers (classic PB enemies). I'm not complaining, but if it wasn't for the jetpack, this could be any PB game from Gothic->Risen 3. Oh, and there's the odd burned-out car/tank around.

5) Monster Respawn

Elex has monsters respawn after short period of time (feels like a couple of in-game days). This means you can't make short forays out into the world to kill a couple of foes, then retreat, heal, and gradually build safe routes for yourself. I forget how
Gothic series handled this, but Risen series was much more lenient in this regard. Respawn was, I think, linked to certain quest completion (eg. point in main story).


For reference, I have played every PB game, finishing G1, R1, R2, R3. I know I've missed out by not finishing G2, but for some reason it didn't click for me the way the others did. With G3 I kept waiting for patches and never actually got into it properly.
Elex feels more like a Gothic game, probably 2 or 3. I know that'll please a lot of folks given the love for G2, but equally reviewers have a fair point - this is NOT a game for PB newbies.

(A friend got real excited for Elex believing it to be the next big open world game. Suffice to say he really struggled, and is now playing AC:Origins. I warned him, but…)
Last edited by Irien; November 27th, 2017 at 16:52.
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November 27th, 2017, 16:28
Wait, noone said you have to like parts of or the whole game.

The problem up there is that reviewer completely missed the point and if I got the whole review right, was trying to review a Skyrim clone game which Elex is not.
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November 27th, 2017, 16:55
Hey, I like it, I just think that some of the reviews which complain about its difficulty aren't entirely unjustified. It *is* marketted as an open-world RPG, and a lot of potential buyers will be expecting an easier BethSoft/Ubi experience. They should at least be warned that this isn't what they're getting. And that probably *is* worth docking a point or two on the scoring scale, because for a general consumer, this is one of the less accessible PB games of recent times.

I think reviews often need to clarify *how* they score. Elex is probably a 10 for Gothic 2 fans, and a 5-6 for Beth/Ubi open-world fans. For me, I'd currently rate it a 7-8 out of 10, but I'm expecting that to rise when I get out of Gothic-land and into some of the more unusual regions.

Moderately expensive (eg. 500-1000 elexit) paid-teleporters between major regions early in the game might have helped a lot.
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November 27th, 2017, 17:21
This guy should drop the PC act and just admit he only plays on consoles.
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November 27th, 2017, 17:22
Originally Posted by Irien View Post
A lot of responses to Elex reviews tend to read "so, yes, it's meant to be hard, it's a Pihrana Bytes game…" but having played about 10-15hr of the game so far, this is not an overly valid response (although I understand the authors' point of view). Elex is tough, even for PB…
Yea, that's because there are a bunch of fanboys of Elex here, so they often will respond in a hostile way if any criticism is offered of the game, no matter how valid. I for one have not played it, and am not interested enough to buy the game, but this is just based on observations here.

You wouldn't know it from the fanboys spin, but it was a colossal failure if you look at stats from steam spy, for instance.

All of these games were made by the same developer: (Piranha Bytes)

Risen 3 -- 471,639 owners
Risen 2: Dark Waters -- 1,267,039 (!)
Risen -- 944,015

Now, compare those with the current numbers for Elex -- 131,175

Hell, even Torment: Tides of Numenera, a game universally panned here for having low sales, has more sales than Elex, according to steam spy.

It's hard to spin these kinds of sales numbers as some sort of positive result…anyway, not going to debate the obvious with fanboys either.

Anyway, my two cents. And good luck on your forthcoming interrogation from Elex fanboys! (because your opinion must be wrong, of course, according to them)
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November 27th, 2017, 17:25
You can get the second best companion very early if you know what you are doing.
Spoiler

The second time through the game with your new knowledge of the game is definitely more fun because you know what your are doing. I have beaten the game on ultra difficulty 3 times now, but I did struggle the first time I played it(I always played it on ultra). You also understand the ins and outs of the combat system providedd you try the melee combat the first time like I did. When it clicks, the melee combat is wonderful imo, I had no clue the first runt through of the game, I was just spamming light attack.
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November 27th, 2017, 17:30
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Yea, that's because there are a bunch of fanboys of Elex here, so they often will respond in a hostile way if any criticism is offered of the game, no matter how valid. I for one have not played it, and am not interested enough to buy the game, but this is just based on observations here.

You wouldn't know it from the fanboys spin, but it was a colossal failure if you look at stats from steam spy, for instance.

All of these games were made by the same developer: (Piranha Bytes)

Risen 3 -- 471,639 owners
Risen 2: Dark Waters -- 1,267,039 (!)
Risen -- 944,015

Now, compare those with the current numbers for Elex -- 131,175

Hell, even Torment: Tides of Numenera, a game universally panned here for having low sales, has more sales than Elex, according to steam spy.

It's hard to spin these kinds of sales numbers as some sort of positive result…anyway, not going to debate the obvious with fanboys either.

Anyway, my two cents. And good luck on your forthcoming interrogation from Elex fanboys! (because your opinion must be wrong, of course, according to them)
Yeah that's pretty bad. Still interesting though. A shame. Perhaps teh game will sell a lot more when the price drops.
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November 27th, 2017, 17:37
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Now, compare those with the current numbers for Elex -- 131,175

And good luck on your forthcoming interrogation from Elex fanboys! (because your opinion must be wrong, of course, according to them)
Man, I wish I had at least the same fun with GTA5 that sold 7834652347895692356239785698 copies as I had with Elex.

That aside, we're talking about lousy quality of the review up there, not about game sales or fanboys.
It doesn't matter if the reviewer likes a game or not, it's just that the review is badly composed. IMO ofc. Maybe you find the review worth the next pulitzer.
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November 27th, 2017, 18:00
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
You wouldn't know it from the fanboys spin, but it was a colossal failure if you look at stats from steam spy, for instance.

All of these games were made by the same developer: (Piranha Bytes)

Risen 3 -- 471,639 owners
Risen 2: Dark Waters -- 1,267,039 (!)
Risen -- 944,015

Now, compare those with the current numbers for Elex -- 131,175

Hell, even Torment: Tides of Numenera, a game universally panned here for having low sales, has more sales than Elex, according to steam spy.

It's hard to spin these kinds of sales numbers as some sort of positive result…anyway, not going to debate the obvious with fanboys either.
I don't have Elex, nor do I plan on buying it anytime soon, so I can't make a judgment about its qualities or flaws. However, I couldn't resist to comment on your SteamSpy numbers which are completely and utterly worthless.

Why? Because you can't compare the "total ownership" numbers of games which have been on Steam for years with a game that has been released a few weeks ago, especially if you consider that the Risen games were part of Humble Bundles and are often heavily discounted. If you want to use meaningful numbers to prove a point, give us the numbers for a comparable time interval, e.g. the first four weeks after release.
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November 27th, 2017, 19:01
Originally Posted by Arkadia7 View Post
Risen 3 -- 471,639 owners
Risen 2: Dark Waters -- 1,267,039 (!)
Risen -- 944,015

Now, compare those with the current numbers for Elex -- 131,175

Hell, even Torment: Tides of Numenera, a game universally panned here for having low sales, has more sales than Elex, according to steam spy.
Those numbers are indeed worthless because some of those Risen games have been a part of Humble's $1 bundles or Risen franchise bundles for $5 to $10 or Deep Silver bundles etc. etc. etc.

I'm wary and critical of Elex and have not bought the game yet but credit where credit is due. It is PB's best selling title since the first Risen.
Both Risen 2 as well as Risen 3 took a loooong time and many, many sales to cross the 100K owners threshold.

Risen 2 and 3 were sitting at 60K to 80K owners on Steam for months after they were released and at least Risen 2 was a 100% Steamworks game at release so every PC copy showed up on Steam whether retail or digital.

The same is true for Torment ToN by the way. That game sat like a fat paralyzed duck at ~60K to ~80K owners for a long time. It has only gone up considerably due to sales and is a much worse sales performer than Elex.

Elex, this close after release, is already doing better than the two last games of PB and than ToN. So, all in all it has performed quite well for a PB game.

That said, the sales performance on a grander scale is nothing to write home about either. Elex has only once made an appearance in the weekly Steam top 10 sales charts (place no. 4 in the week of its release). It also no longer appears in the top 100 most-played games.

It will be interesting to see Elex 2 numbers. I'm sure that there was a considerable curiosity factor involved with Elex like "oh an all new PB game? I'm gonna check this out".
But the question is how many people will return for more Elex? Or will Elex 2 suffer the same fate as Risen 2 where sales jump off a cliff with part deux? Only time will tell…
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November 27th, 2017, 19:32
Moriendor, you must be an Elex fanboy!
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