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November 16th, 2017, 20:21
Niche Gamer's Carl Batchelor understands how Piranha Bytes RPGs work:

Elex Review – It’s Gothic, Only Now With Laser Rifles

When Piranha Bytes released the original Gothic back in late 2001 here in North America, the era of open world CRPGs had just been kicked off by Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, and Gothic found itself lost in the hype that game generated. Though full of new ideas and even a few re-worked and improved upon old ones, Gothic had an unwieldy control system and clunky animations; remnants of its original status as an Xbox title meant for play on an under-powered console and controlled by a gamepad.

Regardless, Gothic found its niche with older gamers who appreciated the Ultima 7 inspired NPC interaction, the creative faction play, and the feeling of hopelessness that permeated both the game’s story and its lopsided combat difficulty. It harkened back to a time when CRPGs didn’t set out to make the player feel like a golden god and instead did everything in its power to humiliate and frighten the player as well as the main hero that you controlled.

[…]

With its only downsides being an awkward progression table and combat that comes with a steep learning curve, I was highly tempted to give Elex a 10. Though after comparing the game to the ultra-polished and masterfully balanced Witcher 3, I don’t feel comfortable putting it above CD Projekt’s masterpiece of CRPG design.

That being said, I still consider Elex one of the best CRPGs of this decade, and, if my 2nd trip through the game is as enjoyable as the first, it could be Piranha Bytes’ best game to date. As I’m playing through the game with the two factions I *didn’t* pick, I’ll be eagerly awaiting Elex 2.

The Verdict: 9

The Good:
  • Amazing graphics
  • Tons of choice & consequence
  • Moderately non-linear and highly replayable
  • large, well designed open world
  • A fun twist on the cliched post-apocalyptic style
  • Lots of tactics to employ in combat makes late game battles very enjoyable
The Bad:
  • Spend the first half of the game relatively under-powered
  • Combat can be awkward at times, requires lots of patience and practice
More information.
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November 16th, 2017, 20:21
"Spend the first half of the game relatively under-powered"

You can say that again !!
This game is hard, and i need to fly all over the map to score some quest that are doable…

Anyone got a tip, since joining the clerics is hard (i am lvl 12).


I can agree, it is indeed gothic 2 with lasers
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November 16th, 2017, 20:25
A good tip about a good companion.

Spoiler


Also if you have trouble in combat, you can run away far enough after you companion has fallen over that you companions gets up and helps you again. Also use NPCs to hep combat after you have completed their quests.
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November 16th, 2017, 21:23
Yeah, with lasers. The laser weapons are also quite powerful.
(And the rare/named melee weapons and bows are pretty useless.)

Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
This game is hard, and i need to fly all over the map to score some quest that are doableÂ…

Anyone got a tip, since joining the clerics is hard (i am lvl 12).
Some general tips:
Spoiler

And here's a short tip on joining the clerics.
Spoiler
Last edited by Cacheperl; November 16th, 2017 at 22:07.
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November 16th, 2017, 21:24
Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
"Spend the first half of the game relatively under-powered"

You can say that again !!
This game is hard, and i need to fly all over the map to score some quest that are doable…

Anyone got a tip, since joining the clerics is hard (i am lvl 12).


I can agree, it is indeed gothic 2 with lasers
The factions work a bit different in ELEX, in that if you want the join the Clerics, you should be higher level. The Outlaws are the middle ground, and the Berserkers are easy to join.

A 9, cool. I don't give number scores anymore but I'd say this is my favorite RPG since Skyrim, which was a very big release for me. I'd also say that ELEX is in the running for my favorite open-world RPG ever, also up there with Elder Scrolls.

I think it's just great.
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November 17th, 2017, 01:20
lol, this is a 6 for me
but im glad its successful . maybe it will help the big guns understand what sells .. "scripting"
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November 17th, 2017, 01:33
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
lol, this is a 6 for me
but im glad its successful . maybe it will help the big guns understand what sells .. "scripting"
I'm sure the big guns are well aware of what sells, which is why we don't see RPGs like ELEX being made by them.
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November 17th, 2017, 01:51
Originally Posted by borcanu View Post
lol, this is a 6 for me
but im glad its successful . maybe it will help the big guns understand what sells .. "scripting"
I think you're generous. From all I have seen this is a 5 at most. IMO, a lot of what makes a good RPG is not present in this one.
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November 17th, 2017, 01:55
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
IMO, a lot of what makes a good RPG is not present in this one.
Like?
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November 17th, 2017, 02:01
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Like?
Examples: I have seen one guy jetpack over a checkpoint and land a few metres past the guard. He then comes back from inside out and the guard says he cannot enter… The way speed is completely broken when you're running and activate jetpacks… Completely weird hitboxes, collision and overall weak combat aspect… These kinds of things totally break immersion to me. I just cannot cope with all this weirdness, especially at such a high price.
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November 17th, 2017, 02:05
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
Examples: I have seen one guy jetpack over a checkpoint and land a few metres past the guard. He then comes back from inside out and the guard says he cannot enter… The way speed is completely broken when you're running and activate jetpacks… Completely weird hitboxes, collision and overall weak combat aspect… These kinds of things totally break immersion to me. I just cannot cope with all this weirdness, especially at such a high price.
Weird, as I'd consider these very minor issues in the game after playing 150 hours of it so far. In that time I've had about 3 or 4 weird hitbox issues total. The jetpack guard issue, yeah, it happens in that one area, but it's a super minor thing. It is an open-world RPG on a massive scale so we should expect some weirdness like that. Weak combat, well, we can agree to disagree there, I enjoy flying around and tossing grenades, rolling out of the way and letting my companion keep 'em busy while I snipe 'em. It's fast, furious and fun for me.

The weird speed issue when running and jetpacking, I agree, and I think they can tune that up a lot for ELEX 2. I'd actually like to see maybe a toggle switch that lets you change the jetpack motor to either move vertically or a bit more horizontally. A lot of times I'd like to move more horizontal. So yeah, I see what you're saying there. But again, very minor issue in 150 hours for me.

But if those are your examples of "things that make an RPG good that this game is lacking", well, we can disagree there, too. I prefer real RPG mechanics like the ones in ELEX first and foremost in an RPG. The rest of these things are small niggles to contend with when a game is the size and scale of ELEX. And ELEX has stronger RPG elements than pretty much any other action RPG on this scale that is out there.

Just my 2.
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November 17th, 2017, 02:44
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Weird, as I'd consider these very minor issues in the game after playing 150 hours of it so far. In that time I've had about 3 or 4 weird hitbox issues total. The jetpack guard issue, yeah, it happens in that one area, but it's a super minor thing. It is an open-world RPG on a massive scale so we should expect some weirdness like that. Weak combat, well, we can agree to disagree there, I enjoy flying around and tossing grenades, rolling out of the way and letting my companion keep 'em busy while I snipe 'em. It's fast, furious and fun for me.

The weird speed issue when running and jetpacking, I agree, and I think they can tune that up a lot for ELEX 2. I'd actually like to see maybe a toggle switch that lets you change the jetpack motor to either move vertically or a bit more horizontally. A lot of times I'd like to move more horizontal. So yeah, I see what you're saying there. But again, very minor issue in 150 hours for me.

But if those are your examples of "things that make an RPG good that this game is lacking", well, we can disagree there, too. I prefer real RPG mechanics like the ones in ELEX first and foremost in an RPG. The rest of these things are small niggles to contend with when a game is the size and scale of ELEX. And ELEX has stronger RPG elements than pretty much any other action RPG on this scale that is out there.

Just my 2.
The main point to consider is that what you face as minor issues might be a big deal for me and other people, things that should be unacceptable in a game at this day and age. Those were quick examples from the top of my head.

The graphics look like bad 3D from 10 years ago to me. Sound design is generic and did not provide the oomph I generally seek in a game like this. A.I., both for allies and foes, looked pretty dumb to me. The art design is uninspired and doesn't convey a sense of cohesion. Overall main quest/quest design also did not make me feel as if I cared about the characters and what was happening. The conversation offers too much exposition and tries too explain too much. No show don't tell here; every NPC looks like he's got something about the lore ready to explain to the first stranger that appears. These things and more kill immersion to me to the point where I could not care less.

To me, immersion is one of the most important things that define a good RPG, and the overall jankyness of this game just takes me completely out of the experience and makes the world unbelievable. IMO, those are factors that this game lacks, but that's just me.
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November 17th, 2017, 03:19
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
The main point to consider is that what you face as minor issues might be a big deal for me and other people, things that should be unacceptable in a game at this day and age. Those were quick examples from the top of my head.

The graphics look like bad 3D from 10 years ago to me. Sound design is generic and did not provide the oomph I generally seek in a game like this. A.I., both for allies and foes, looked pretty dumb to me. The art design is uninspired and doesn't convey a sense of cohesion. Overall main quest/quest design also did not make me feel as if I cared about the characters and what was happening. The conversation offers too much exposition and tries too explain too much. No show don't tell here; every NPC looks like he's got something about the lore ready to explain to the first stranger that appears. These things and more kill immersion to me to the point where I could not care less.

To me, immersion is one of the most important things that define a good RPG, and the overall jankyness of this game just takes me completely out of the experience and makes the world unbelievable. IMO, those are factors that this game lacks, but that's just me.
Mmm, graphics look quite beautiful on my 55" 4K TV. Playing in 1440p on mostly Ultra, but it's nice (looks great in 4K, just wish I had a GPU capable of running it.) Sound design is far from generic, and actually one of the stronger aspects of the overall presentation. Plenty of oomph when fighting giant mechs and hearing them clomp around on tinny walkways with explosions going off. Bjorn did a very commendable job on the music as well. Art uninspired? Not in my opinion, it's beautiful, but I understand these are all subjective things. I love the various uniforms for the Clerics, Berserker armor (Hooded Crows armor looks awesome), and the design of creatures and environment is very beautiful and certainly feels inspired to me. Get the Friend of Beasts skill and look at some of the baddies up close, they are really cool looking. Energy weapons glowing in the dark, awesome overall lighting effects in different spots in the game, various visual filters depending on the time of day and shadows, etc. Stuff like the Cleric Hort, the greenhouses in Tavar, Alb converters which are a sight to behold and much more.

Cohesion? Have to disagree with that as well. For mixing all these elements of fantasy and sci-fi I thought they did an excellent job. I thought before the game released that could be an issue, but the further you dig into it you realize there is a lot of great lore here, and visual lore as well. The world is such a large scale that the biomes are believable, and once you learn a ton more about the factions and the Old World history, things become very interesting, at least to me. Almost staggeringly so, especially when you start discovering weird underground bomb bunkers, or learn more about the strange mysteries in the game, often by simply exploring and seeing more of the world.

Not caring about the story, mm, okay, but what I just said makes me care a lot about it. The more you play the more weirdness you uncover. Secret notes, possible conspiracies, each faction having hidden motives that may not be at all apparent, the various ways each faction believe ELEX should be used. It has sucked me in like no game I can remember in a long, long time in that regard. There is also a staggering amount of choices to make and how they impact the story, it's done in a way I've never seen in a game before. At the 50 hour mark of my second run, already 5 or 6 characters have died that have literally changed the story, not just for a specific quest, but the main story itself! Absolutely remarkable and interesting, but that's just me. It makes me really wonder what the heck is going on on Magalan, and the interconnectedness of it all makes the story very cohesive and bloody interesting for me. Not to mention the mysterious companion side stories, which offer even more complex twists to the main theme. The game is very complicated and complex, even story-wise.

Conversations are generally pretty short, other than the opening Duras conversation. Not a lot of exposition in my opinion, but I'd say maybe some convos are 10-15% too long. Often an NPC may repeat a point they made earlier in a short sentence, that's about it. And other games certainly have more exposition than this one, I'd say. I recently played Planescape: Torment, so yeah. And there isn't any more exposition really in ELEX than there was in Gothic 1 or 2, IMO.

AI has issues here or there, but it's not terribly dumb. It will chase you and find a path to reach you if you go up to a higher spot, or it will shoot ranged attacks at you. The ranged attacks will try and lead you, or anticipate your movement, yet they are coded to not be 100% accurate, so it's realistic in that regard. Melee enemies can juke you like Barry Sanders, and hit you quickly when you weren't expecting it, etc.. Still, some slight issues here and there with companion AI, I agree, and PB should continue to patch that up a bit. Certainly not gamebreaking, though, and not a major issue considering the freedom they give you in combat; i.e., using a jetpack, attacking from said jetpack (both ranged and melee), flying on roofs and just general mayhem that can ensue in a good battle. All those things considered I would say they did a very admirable job on it, and should continue to tweak small things in patches going forward.

As for immersion, I dunno, I'm loving this setting and I honestly did not think I would. The combination of sci-fi and medieval fantasy actually works and the more I play, the more I'm immersed in it.

I've dug deeply into this so far and I think it's amazing what they've pulled off, but I understand it's mostly subjective. I'm curious, how much time have you spent with it? I'm at 150 hours for the record. Just my 2. Peace.
Last edited by Fluent; November 17th, 2017 at 03:34.
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November 17th, 2017, 03:31
At 106 hours now and still playing, I'd consider it good.
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November 17th, 2017, 03:48
Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
At 106 hours now and still playing, I'd consider it good.
Yeah, it's not bad. And less than 50 cents an hour, can't beat that.
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November 17th, 2017, 03:49
You'd think jetpack upgrades would be a quest chain and/or levelable skill, or a craftable.

I think for Elex 2 they should split the story into an Edan/Xacor story and a separate game for anyone who thinks a Fallout mod in the Gothic engine sounds like fun, ie Outlaw stuff. Then I could skip that part
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November 17th, 2017, 03:51
Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
You'd think jetpack upgrades would be a quest chain and/or levelable skill, or a craftable.
Yeah! I chalk that up as a lack of resources. Would have been cool to have the mechanic at Origin hook you up with an upgrade or two. He kind of hints at that but then pulls back.

Definitely would like to see a horizontal jetpack toggle switch in ELEX 2.

And shoot, how about an upgrade that lets you fill up the jetpack fuel fast outside of combat, yet costs the use of an expensive item each time. Insta-fuel Injector for 300 elexit, for the impatient flyers out there.

Interesting side-note, but I heard that originally, PB was going to have the jetpack consume elex or elexit when you use it. Talk about hardcore.
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November 17th, 2017, 06:11
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
Examples: I have seen one guy jetpack over a checkpoint and land a few metres past the guard. He then comes back from inside out and the guard says he cannot enter…
I guess that is a just and early development thing, there are zones that npcs will get aggro later on in the game.


The way speed is completely broken when you're running
I dont think that is true.


and activate jetpacks…
I am pretty sure that is deliberate, having to wait a few seconds for full speed when you use your jetpacks would get annoying fast, especially the parts you have to use the jet pack in small consistent doses to navigate in later stages.


Completely weird hitboxes, collision and overall weak combat aspect… These kinds of things totally break immersion to me. I just cannot cope with all this weirdness, especially at such a high price.
That's fair enough. But that has been standard in Piranha Bytes games since their inception. I enjoyed to combat once i got the hang of it. Different strokes i guess.
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November 17th, 2017, 06:40
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
Examples: I have seen one guy jetpack over a checkpoint and land a few metres past the guard. He then comes back from inside out and the guard says he cannot enter…
You mean you saw a player (like in a video) do this, not an NPC right?

Yes there are a couple places where you are already in a location, then when you go to leave the normal way the guard stops you and tells you you can't enter lol.

First in the scrapyard in the first city, I jetpacked in and then walked out the front. I wish the guard would notice and say "hey how'd you get in there? get out!" or something.

And then in the Outlaw city, I was leaving through a different exit which apparently was an alternate way to get in and the guard gave me the conversation about not letting me "in" but then I talked him into it…

I think one of the cons is the voice acting is inconsistent, and the dialog is repetitive, and the PC has some moronic responses. Like many of the responses are just repeating what was just told to him in question form.

Although I just picked up my first companion and he makes the occasional observational comment which is pretty cool.

In spite of any of that, I still think the game is awesome and I'm really enjoying it. The freedom, graphics, challenge, edgy characters, and mix of gaming genres, A+ for me
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November 17th, 2017, 07:01
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
From all I have seen
In other words, you haven't actually played it.

Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
To me, immersion is one of the most important things that define a good RPG, and the overall jankyness of this game just takes me completely out of the experience and makes the world unbelievable. IMO, those are factors that this game lacks, but that's just me.
Exactly what experience is it taking you out of? Watching a YouTube video?

All in all, that's a pretty amazing analysis from someone who hasn't played the game yet.
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