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Default ELEX - Preview @ GamePressure

October 23rd, 2016, 09:51
Farflame spotted this ELEX-preview at GamePressure:

Elex hands-on – science-fantasy for the fans of Gothic

After some time spent watching and then playing Elex, an RPG by the German studio Piranha Bytes, it’s hard to believe it will be on par with Gothic. Will a well-developed world make up for technical shortcomings?

When we interviewed Björn Pankratz from Piranha Bytes a year ago, he told us that there would be more Gothic than Risen in their upcoming RPG, and I was really pleased to hear that. During Warsaw Games Week I personally had a chance to talk with the developers, see a considerable portion of gameplay, and – most importantly – take Elex for a spin myself. Indeed, from the very beginning, despite the futuristic tech and the ruins of a highly developed civilization on the horizon, I was half-expecting to bump into Diego or Xardas at any moment. However, it’s too early to fetch a nice bottle of champagne just yet – although every fan of Gothic will find something of interest quicker than you can say “Welcome to the Colony”, we also need to bear in mind that Elex's heritage sadly includes all the characteristic shortcomings of the developer’s games too.

[…]

In its current form Elex looks rather mediocre, and it probably won’t be a breakthrough in the genre… but then again, we don’t expect it to be. I hope that the world created by Piranha Bytes will make up for the game’s shortcomings, which are worryingly numerous in the alpha build I’ve seen. However, we have to remember that the games by the German studio have always been more than simply a sum of all their parts. After the presentation, I was disappointed, but then again would you be impressed if someone threw you into the middle of the first Gothic with the best weapon and armor just to kill some monsters? Probably not. There are many things that the players are able to forgive the makers of Gothic should their game have a great mood and a complex, captivating game world. Luckily for us, the German team seems to have a particular knack for this sort of thing.
More information.
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October 23rd, 2016, 09:52
This looks like room for improvement - I think PB thinks the same: The new release date is mid 2017.
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October 23rd, 2016, 10:19
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
This looks like room for improvement - I think PB thinks the same: The new release date is mid 2017.
Dont mind more waiting. I wish PB all the best since it is the kind of game that appeals me.
Maybe someday more people enjoy PB games.
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October 23rd, 2016, 10:52
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
This looks like room for improvement - I think PB thinks the same: The new release date is mid 2017.
I didn't think it was due until around that time anyways. What was the original release date?
Still my most anticipated game next year by far.
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October 23rd, 2016, 11:01
I thought the gameplay trailer they released some weeks back looked intriguing in a schizophrenic kind of way. Gothic is still the high water mark for me personally for open world games (though I've yet to play Witcher 3) and the Risen's were a pale shadow. Here's hoping they can recapture a bit of that magic.
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October 23rd, 2016, 11:44
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What was the original release date?
The original date published by THQ Nordic was "winter 2016/2017" so depending on whether you prefer seasonal or meteorological definitions somewhere between December 2016 and March 2017. Later on, PB often times mentioned the first quarter of 2017 at presentations, and ever since Gamescom this year, they are talking "mid 2017".

I agree with HiddenX and the assertion that there is plenty of room for improvement. But what still makes this my first ever bargain bin PB purchase is the weird setting. The wild mix of nordic looking warriors like in Skyrim (fantasy), the futuristic Albs (in Mass Effect armor), the Mad Max copycat Outlaws and the once again fantasy-inspired Clerics who are a tech faction here (they split off from the Albs) is a little too weird for my taste.
It may turn out a nice Skyrim/Gothic/Risen/Mass Effect/Fallout/MechWarrior/Mad Max/Equilibrium clone but I'm not really into that.
I don't need a fantasy setting but I prefer consistent settings. Classic fantasy or SciFi, not everything at once (which they probably just did to play it safe to not alienate their old fans too much but it's a big mistake IMHO).
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October 23rd, 2016, 12:35
Well I'll have to disagree with you about the setting. I don't think they're playing it safe at all. They're making the game that they want to make, which I'm cool with. I like what I've seen so far, although I'll admit some of it is a bit jarring.

Considering that it's still only in pre-alpha though, I expect it could change quite a bit between now and release.
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October 23rd, 2016, 14:48
Eh, JDR is already high on Elex.
Looks more weird than bad, but I see not logic behind team of 30-ish people developing bigger and bigger open world games.
I'm not sure they should go with companion route, considering the AI they acted more as enemy lure and an exploit.
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October 23rd, 2016, 16:22
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
In its current form Elex looks rather mediocre, and it probably won’t be a breakthrough in the genre… but then again, we don’t expect it to be
Even so, a mediocre PB game still appeals to me more than most other developers best efforts. You really can't judge it by an early alpha. There is still plenty of time to make up for the perceived shortcomings. I am really looking forward to this next year.
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October 23rd, 2016, 17:34
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
The original date published by THQ Nordic was "winter 2016/2017" so depending on whether you prefer seasonal or meteorological definitions somewhere between December 2016 and March 2017. Later on, PB often times mentioned the first quarter of 2017 at presentations, and ever since Gamescom this year, they are talking "mid 2017".

I agree with HiddenX and the assertion that there is plenty of room for improvement. But what still makes this my first ever bargain bin PB purchase is the weird setting. The wild mix of nordic looking warriors like in Skyrim (fantasy), the futuristic Albs (in Mass Effect armor), the Mad Max copycat Outlaws and the once again fantasy-inspired Clerics who are a tech faction here (they split off from the Albs) is a little too weird for my taste.
It may turn out a nice Skyrim/Gothic/Risen/Mass Effect/Fallout/MechWarrior/Mad Max/Equilibrium clone but I'm not really into that.
I don't need a fantasy setting but I prefer consistent settings. Classic fantasy or SciFi, not everything at once (which they probably just did to play it safe to not alienate their old fans too much but it's a big mistake IMHO).
Only thing they're missing is zombies, and they'll have most covered. Loved the Gothics, but after Risen 2/3 I'm on the fence for this one. The plainly ridiculous setting is not helping.
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October 23rd, 2016, 19:06
I sort of wish they would have gone Steampunk route. PB is still one of my favorite developers, so keep hopes going for a great game.
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October 23rd, 2016, 21:43
Originally Posted by hiciacit View Post
Only thing they're missing is zombies, and they'll have most covered. Loved the Gothics, but after Risen 2/3 I'm on the fence for this one. The plainly ridiculous setting is not helping.
How is the setting ridiculous? I've seen a few things I don't care for, but overall I think it's one of the more interesting worlds I've seen in a long time. I'm glad they're doing this instead of just recycling yet another fantasy setting.


Originally Posted by BoboTheMighty View Post
I'm not sure they should go with companion route, considering the AI they acted more as enemy lure and an exploit.
I completely agree with you there. If they want to include some optional companions then that's fine, but make it so we can solo the entire game if we prefer.


Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
I sort of wish they would have gone Steampunk route. PB is still one of my favorite developers, so keep hopes going for a great game.
A new Steampunk cRPG would be great, especially since there's never been one in 3D. That reminds me, I really need to finish my Arcanum playthrough…
Last edited by JDR13; October 23rd, 2016 at 22:02. Reason: Typo
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October 24th, 2016, 02:22
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
How is the setting ridiculous?
I don't think I'd call it ridiculous myself. But the setting does seem confused. I do know I never liked that some of the CRPGs I've played in the past (though still enjoyed) employed sci-fi elements in an otherwise fantasy setting (i.e. Ultima, M&M).

That said, I'll keep an open mind.

Sometimes I feel like PB must be so sick and tired of their Gothic setting that they'd just about do anything other than revisit that. Which is too bad when it's personally all I ever hope they'll go back and do… like a proper G4 or just move on to a G5.
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October 24th, 2016, 02:57
G5 if we are voting!

Hand placed loot, large world, 4 factions, no level scaling.
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October 24th, 2016, 14:17
I'm on the fence about the setting - it does appear to be a little bit of a hodgepodge of ideas. Still, perhaps these eccentricities will allow a wider breadth of creativity and help make the game more memorable than a more tired vanilla setting.

I'll certainly do my best to keep the PB faith as I do enjoy their games a good deal - haven't stopped half way or not completed one yet!
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Last edited by Pessimeister; October 24th, 2016 at 16:18.
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October 24th, 2016, 15:12
There’s a lot to explore, and as Björn Pankratz himself stated, the world is 1.5 times bigger than that of Gothic 3.
Not sure that's a good thing. G3 had a lavishly big world with incredible vistas, but filling it with meaningful content proved difficult.
We'll just have to wait and see, I guess. I will most definitely be grabbing this game, but I might be holding off until I read some impressions from fellow Watchers.

As far as the setting goes, I'm on the fence. I'll agree with the sentiment that it seems one of contrasts, but it's hard to say whether it'll work or not.
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October 24th, 2016, 16:10
I've only finished one PB game, so this will be a bargain bin dive for me. I expect to hit at least 60% off before I bite.

What's the top-selling PB game 500,000 copies?
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October 24th, 2016, 17:23
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
What's the top-selling PB game 500,000 copies?
Yes, Gothic 3 with 500K+ lifetime sales is their best selling game to date. The whole Gothic series from no. 1 to ArcaniA (PB did not develop the G3 add-on and ArcaniA) has sold north of three million copies according to the German Wikipedia page. Of course this probably includes all the bundles, re-releases, fan editions etc. etc. etc. … those games were repackaged and republished a lot by various publishers over the years.
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October 24th, 2016, 17:37
Compared to Skyrim's dull large world, G3 is a masterpiece!

G3 size might have reduced the density of quests per area, but still the world design, factions and simulation aspects (not to mention graphics) were ahead of any competition at that time (if you consider Oblivious as competition).
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October 24th, 2016, 18:11
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
Compared to Skyrim's dull large world, G3 is a masterpiece!

G3 size might have reduced the density of quests per area, but still the world design, factions and simulation aspects (not to mention graphics) were ahead of any competition at that time (if you consider Oblivious as competition).
Okay, I'll bite

Uh huh. Why didn't it sell then? Hmmm? PB would give each of their left arms if they could make a game that sells like the TES series. The bottom line is they don't have the skill or else it would show in sales. No matter how many excuses you make for them, PB hasn't released any game that has come close to TES and probably new will. It doesn't mean they're a bad company, just not in the same league as Bethesda.

Same goes with CDPR. Can't compete in sales, though W3 did okay versus other companies. Just not Bethesda. I laugh every time somebody downplays Bethesda with a game that made less than a 1/10th of its profits. Where is the remastered editions of Gothic? Oh yeah, it would never sell enough to be profitable.
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