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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » ELEX - Pro & Contra

Default ELEX - Pro & Contra

September 19th, 2017, 17:28
GameStar found the major pros and cons of ELEX:

ELEX im Test (video in German)


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Pros: world, quests, scope, atmosphere
Cons: technical side, combat system, controls
From Reddit: Elex - 7 Things to know before you buy (GameStar; source in German)

  1. Elex doesn't take your hand

    • tiny small tutorial
    • all enemies kill you at least within 3 hits
    • you can miss quests/infos/mechanics if you miss proper attention
    • first hrs are hard and at times frustrating
    • might be either refreshing or totally overwhelming
  2. Elex embraces Piranha-Bytes strengths

    • your char is bluff; piles of coarse dialogs
    • huge open world however with fascinating details around every corner
    • environmental stories; hidden camps; people; weapons; all sorts of stories, audiologs and letters
    • gameplay is defined by the classic gameplay-quintet of combat, conversation, exploration, scavenging and leveling
    • ruthless difficulty
    • but ALSO all the known PB shortcomings (animations, textures, production values…)
  3. Elex is NOT an AAA game

    • graphics doesn't knock anybody's socks off; not ugly either
    • 30 devs working in a single family building
    • animations are stiff, facial expressions and faces are repetitive, some textures look rough.
    • creative Art-Design: picturesque landscapes due to diverse sceneries
    • german syncro is doing well
    • best score since good old Gothic days
  4. Elex runs on a toaster

    • runs on even weak PCs decently
    • with min. details (16x AF, SMAA) even a Geforce GTX 760 will run it with 45fps
  5. The strength of Elex' stories is found offside the main story

    • main story THE most interesting PB has ever written: your alter-ego is a former terroristic ALB-General, who finds himself amidst normal people and societies. We gradually learn more about his own violent past, learn about a vile betrayal and decide how the world should keep on spinning.
    • mix of genres invites to learn and see more of the world
    • main story remains in the background for some time
    • no arc of suspense a la Witcher 3
    • interesting moments offside the main story - side quests, environment, companions
    • each main protagonist has its own little story
    • quests with nasty moral decisions which end up far more gripping than in Gothic or Risen series - HIGHLIGHTs of the game
    • standard fetch quests but also most quests can be solved in more than three different manners
  6. Elex is no Bug-Fiasco, but has rough edges

    • while testing no severe bugs that affect test score
    • however glitches and small issues along the way; nothing has impact on the overall fun factor though.
    • many mechanics lack the necessary fine-tuning; combat can be fiddly and clunky; the jetpack lacks the proper pace; Interface and inventory are neither particularly impressive nor managable.
  7. Elex is a true RPG

    • no Action Game with RPG elements but a true RPG
    • combat is subordiante to the character system
    • Leveling and specialization is often times more interesting than the actual use of such enabled combat mechanics; killing a horde of raptors after you've been pathetically running from them hours priorly is extradordinarily satisfying
    • satisfaction of leveling combat mechanics > clunky combat
    • Crafting, using sockets, alchemy and the correct choice of factions can create a deep and rewarding rpg system.
Thanks Farflame!

More information.
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September 19th, 2017, 17:29
Great summary although sad to read some of the things as I doubt I will be able to play. I really dislike games whose difficulty just turns into frustration. So unless something is added to adjust the difficulty level I doubt I will play.
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September 19th, 2017, 17:32
Looks great to me, although animations could and should have been better.
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September 19th, 2017, 18:08
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
Great summary although sad to read some of the things as I doubt I will be able to play. I really dislike games whose difficulty just turns into frustration. So unless something is added to adjust the difficulty level I doubt I will play.
Risen 3 had 4 difficulty settings ranging from a cakewalk to… a slightly more involved cakewalk, so I wouldn't be worried. Part of early reports of "ruthless difficulty" also likely involve people wandering into high level areas at too low of a level and getting mauled by a powerful beast. I read a preview talking about how the difficulty curve is "broken" because someone kept getting killed by a Swamp Troll at level 1 when they went in a high level area. IMO that's what makes PB games great but casual players who aren't familiar with their style may not understand or even know that.

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September 19th, 2017, 19:42
Is there an english speaking video as well?
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September 19th, 2017, 20:26
Sounds great to me. Starting to look forward to this game after having been surprised by Risen 3. It was actually pretty damn good experience, at least after the first few hours.
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September 19th, 2017, 20:44
I can live with all the weaknesses, after all they're in Risen and Gothic as well. I've enjoyed every PB Game I've played, even Gothic 3 and Risen 2, so I'm sure I'll like this one as well.
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September 19th, 2017, 20:48
I'm really looking forward to this game. I'll be playing it after I finish Divinity Original Sin 2 which since as I'm still in Act I will be awhile.
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September 19th, 2017, 20:51
Originally Posted by fatknacker50 View Post
Is there an english speaking video as well?
I doubt it. Gamestar is a German Magazine, and because PB is a German developer, they always get the first exclusives, and the first chance to play PB games. I'd say they usually are a little soft on PB as far as the criticism goes though.
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September 19th, 2017, 20:54
I'm most definitely clearing my schedule for a week (or two) just for this game.
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September 19th, 2017, 20:57
What some players term 'ruthless difficulty' is what I call proper player progression. Why should a Lev. 1 player be able to walk around anywhere and kill anything in two swipes? You have to earn your kills. Put in the work to build your character/stats so you can use better weapons and armors. Then it's much more satisfying when you finally do kick some real ass.
I felt like I really accomplished something in G1 & G2 when I was eventually able to use better bows, swords, and armor. Then I'd go a-hunting for all the Baddies who pushed me around earlier. Pay-back is a byotch.
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September 19th, 2017, 21:13
Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
Looks great to me, although animations could and should have been better.
Yes, I still find it surprising they haven't addressed that shortcoming. The rest looks solid, and technically quite an advance.
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September 19th, 2017, 22:08
Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
What some players term 'ruthless difficulty' is what I call proper player progression. Why should a Lev. 1 player be able to walk around anywhere and kill anything in two swipes? You have to earn your kills. Put in the work to build your character/stats so you can use better weapons and armors. Then it's much more satisfying when you finally do kick some real ass.
I felt like I really accomplished something in G1 & G2 when I was eventually able to use better bows, swords, and armor. Then I'd go a-hunting for all the Baddies who pushed me around earlier. Pay-back is a byotch.
I wish I could give 10 likes for this post. This is what rpgs are all about: Character progression. Gothic 1 & 2 are one of the few openworld rpgs which have nailed it perfectly. Lets hope Elex is like that.
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September 19th, 2017, 22:13
For some reason, I just can't get into Piranha Bytes games. Gothic at the time was interesting, but the cluncky controls and combat wore me out. I could even get into Ryzen, once again, cluncky controls and combat. And, of course, extremely buggy games.
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September 20th, 2017, 00:00
Originally Posted by Gwendo View Post
For some reason, I just can't get into Piranha Bytes games. Gothic at the time was interesting, but the cluncky controls and combat wore me out. I could even get into Ryzen, once again, cluncky controls and combat. And, of course, extremely buggy games.
Of all their games, only Gothic 3 was what most people would consider extremely buggy. Even that game is mostly bug-free now, although it took a lot of patches to reach that point.
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September 20th, 2017, 00:24
Don't confuse character progression with difficulty - which is what I am seeing here.

I can only speak for myself of course but I prefer games that don't do a lot of scaling. In other words I don't want to wander everywhere and always be on par with things. I prefer games where you have different levels of difficulty. Some flexibility in how much of that there is - but I don't have any issue with having to get more powerful to move on to other things or run away to fight another day.

I also love progression of characters. Without it I get bored fairly quickly. It is one thing I love most in a game. Tied to that is getting stronger so you can go back to do an area or defeat an enemy.

When I talk about difficulty being no fun, for me at least, because it is too hard (like I have heard from Dark Souls) is simply this - I don't enjoy having to reload a game a dozen times to finish one fight; I don't enjoy getting stressed and frustrated because every trash mob fight turns into a drawn out battle; I don't enjoy a game with either bad combat mechanics that make fights a bitch or twitch like games where you have to memorize lots of key-combo moves and have fast reflexes.

I like some challenge and gaining a sense of mastery but I don't want most of my focus to be on the combat. There are many other things I enjoy in games besides combat so it shouldn't be the determining factor in game play.

One can have an enjoyment and love of character progression and mastering a game without it having to be all about combat and playing on some ultra-hard core ironman mode. For those who love combat go for it. Some folks don't get into just the combat as much.
@Fluent - Thanks. I read that different areas are harder (much like many earlier RPG I used to play) and hadn't thought that maybe some reviewers didn't take that into account so consider the difficulty more ruthless than it actually is.
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September 20th, 2017, 00:39
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
I can only speak for myself of course but I prefer games that don't do a lot of scaling. In other words I don't want to wander everywhere and always be on par with things. I prefer games where you have different levels of difficulty. Some flexibility in how much of that there is - but I don't have any issue with having to get more powerful to move on to other things or run away to fight another day.
Well that pretty much describes Piranha Bytes style exactly.
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September 20th, 2017, 00:48
I like this summary, and all mentioned 'shortcomings' are typical appreciated strengths in PB games.

I also like the fact that it runs on a toaster (as I personally don't care much about graphics in comparison to mechanics, simulation, story, interactions, factions, exploration .. etc.).

I am also surprised to see their claim of Elex having the best soundtrack of all PB games. That was the only serious area of concern to me, and although happy to see this I am still skeptical. The soundtrack is very important for me in large scale games - a true example is Gothic 3 soundtrack which matches the large areas in the game and is a pleasure to listen to during exploration.
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September 20th, 2017, 00:55
Lost in the world of SimCity Buildit for the past few months. But my fingers are itching for some good ol RPGs. I was going to hit Original Sin 2 up but the discussion about the camera in that game has put the game on hold. Besides I can't play two epic RPGs at the same time so, I will mess around in the the ios world for a couple weeks.

The supposed weakness (not AAA game) does not bother me at all. Gothic 2 level graphics can probably be sufficient for me until the day I die . . . provided there is game quality there.

ELex could be just a sci fi Gothic and that would be fine with me. I want there to be areas that I have no business in, in the early game. I remember in Might and Magic 6 or 7 there was this city in the clouds, and these titans were even kicking my butt in the late game.

That is a wonderful list of the games characteristics and I'm pre-ordering Right Now.
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September 20th, 2017, 01:25
I really like exploring the environment in these games. Can't wait to explore the usually inaccessible areas now I have a handy jetpack.
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