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Default ELEX - Review @ Niche Gamer

November 17th, 2017, 09:34
The Good:

Amazing graphics
Graphics aren't relevant to me in an RPG but amazing graphics? Come on just look at those horrid meshes. Trees have like 2 polygons. Game looks okay but nothing special.

Moderately non-linear and highly replayable
OK

large, well designed open world
OK

Tons of choice & consequence
Maybe not "tons" but OK

A fun twist on the cliched post-apocalyptic style
Lumping a bunch of stuff together like dinosaurs/lasers/mecha/swords without any adhesive character isn't really a "fun twist" to me but whatever. Would have made a great 80s RPG in the vein of Kung Fury.

Lots of tactics to employ in combat makes late game battles very enjoyable
Lmao what?

The Bad:

Spend the first half of the game relatively under-powered
That's not a flaw at all. This guy cannot even tell the different between good and bad /facepalm

Combat can be awkward at times, requires lots of patience and practice
OK

The Verdict: 9
9/10 is a little generous. I remember how gaming magazines in the 90s (when there was barely any internet) were super-conservative with ratings. 10s were practically non-existent and were just a theoretical threshold while only the best of the best games like BG2 got 9s. ELEX is not the best of the best. This guy is another Fluent-level journeyman who wanted to like this game too much and got a little too excited. Move on peoples.
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November 17th, 2017, 11:32
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
In other words, you haven't actually played it.



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.
To answer you and Fluent, no, I did not play it. Nor did I say I played it. That doesn't prevent me from having an opinion. I didn't take those points I made from thin air.

I am very interested in RPGs and watched a lot of reviews and streams about Elex because I was considering buying it. I saw a lot of technical discussions around some forums too. It's a lot of money to spend in one game I was not sure about and all the points I made are valid. Having played other PB games I kind of knew what to expect.

This is not an attack againt your or Fluent's liking of the game, it's just my 2 cents too.
Last edited by arthureloi; November 17th, 2017 at 12:11.
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November 17th, 2017, 11:37
In terms of visuals, the word "beautiful" isn't the first that comes to mind. I think the actual world is very pretty - and it IS beautiful at times, especially at night when the great lighting is best experienced.

But the overall visual impression from ~10-15 hours of playing is competent - and that's because the NPC faces and the rather clunky animations pull everything down a notch or two. It also suffers from amateur-hour implementation of certain effects, like extreme brightness in an attempt to simulate how your eyes have to adjust to the sun when exiting a building, but very much unlike real life - you actually go blind for a little while even in moderate sunlight

Witcher 3 is beautiful - and everything in that game comes together very nicely indeed.

ELEX is nowhere near that level of overall visual prowess.

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November 17th, 2017, 13:54
9's a bit high I think, but if you accept the game's general jankiness and 'going against the flow' in terms of progression, it's a very worthwhile RPG.
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November 17th, 2017, 17:01
I too agree that 9 is way too high, I would rate it around 7ish. However, I am not against a well know (is Niche Gamer well know?) site giving the game a leg up given how unfairly it has been treated by other well know sites.
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November 17th, 2017, 18:09
I can't agree. Not in this year.

9 would generally mean nearmasterpiece.
Is Elex nearmasterpiece? It is not. A blind person can know it.
Mediocre music, lazy (?) translation and VA, lowres textures and horrible hair plus vast of small not_that_good gimmicks. They progress system could have been better, hacking minigame is not on the same level as lockpicking (plus is bugged), etc.

Simply put there are too many questionable design decisions in it. The worst one in my case is introduction of trashmob godlike respawns.

But in the year 2017 Elex dared not to have season passes, not to spam us with DLC, lootboxes are out of question.
It's not the only such game, but sorry people, if garbage that does come with scams gets scores 8 and above, putting 9 on Elex does not feel too high any more. Not only that, Elex is more fun than any of those overrated bullshit products.

If it matters, no, per my personal judgment, I could never put 9 on Elex. Doesn't mean I can't understand why some reviewers did it. Perhaps, if I was professional reviewer, perhaps I'd do it too just to send a message to all scammers out there.
If only they all did so at the end of the year we could say Elex, and not garbage like Destiny, is overrated. But… We won't see that film.
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November 17th, 2017, 18:56
I think the lesson here is ignore review sites. If you're an experienced RPG player then watching a gameplay video or two and maybe combing some Steam reviews and forums should be enough to let you know whether the game is worth your time. Maybe there's the occasional exception to that but in my experience, no one knows what I like more than I do.
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November 17th, 2017, 20:27
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I can't agree. Not in this year.

9 would generally mean nearmasterpiece.
Is Elex nearmasterpiece? It is not. A blind person can know it.
Mediocre music, lazy (?) translation and VA, lowres textures and horrible hair plus vast of small not_that_good gimmicks. They progress system could have been better, hacking minigame is not on the same level as lockpicking (plus is bugged), etc.

Simply put there are too many questionable design decisions in it. The worst one in my case is introduction of trashmob godlike respawns.

But in the year 2017 Elex dared not to have season passes, not to spam us with DLC, lootboxes are out of question.
It's not the only such game, but sorry people, if garbage that does come with scams gets scores 8 and above, putting 9 on Elex does not feel too high any more. Not only that, Elex is more fun than any of those overrated bullshit products.

If it matters, no, per my personal judgment, I could never put 9 on Elex. Doesn't mean I can't understand why some reviewers did it. Perhaps, if I was professional reviewer, perhaps I'd do it too just to send a message to all scammers out there.
If only they all did so at the end of the year we could say Elex, and not garbage like Destiny, is overrated. But… We won't see that film.
I think the way review sites review games is a bit archaic. A game like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, doent have the best graphics, has tons of bugs, mediocre gameplay but it deserves all the GotY mentions it gets because of all it did for the FPS genre.

Games should be scored based on its impact to the genre and the enjoyment it gave to the reviewer. So imo Elex deserves a 10 despite its issues, I mean I havent completed an RPG as large as Elex 3 times in a row in the past even though when I was young I have beaten Zelda 2 like 20 times but that took 2 1/2 hours after the third time, and that tells me I have enjoyed the game more than any other game I have in the past. So to me it is the best game I have ever played. Surely that deserves a 10 from me?
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November 17th, 2017, 20:33
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
To answer you and Fluent, no, I did not play it. Nor did I say I played it. That doesn't prevent me from having an opinion. I didn't take those points I made from thin air.

I am very interested in RPGs and watched a lot of reviews and streams about Elex because I was considering buying it. I saw a lot of technical discussions around some forums too. It's a lot of money to spend in one game I was not sure about and all the points I made are valid. Having played other PB games I kind of knew what to expect.

This is not an attack againt your or Fluent's liking of the game, it's just my 2 cents too.
Well you kept mentioning "immersion", and you can't really judge that without actually playing the game. I don't care how many videos you've watched, it's not the same as playing the game yourself. So no, your points aren't completely valid.

Out of curiosity, what are some games that you consider immersive?
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November 17th, 2017, 20:49
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Well you kept mentioning "immersion", and you can't really judge that without actually playing the game. I don't care how many videos you've watched, it's not the same as playing the game yourself. So no, your points aren't completely valid.

Out of curiosity, what are some games that you consider immersive?
We'll have to agree to disagree, as I think the validity of my points is perfect.

The most immersive game I've ever played is X3: Terran Conflict, followed closely by Elite: Dangerous. Dirt Rally is very immersive too.

Super Metroid is an experience I'll never forget, considering ambiance such as sound, graphics and level design, as is Hollow Knight.

Talking about RPGs, I would say Diablo 1 is the most immersive experience I've had, but only if experienced by the time it was released. Deux Ex was excellent in this department. As for more modern games, I'd mention Morrowind and Skyrim.

Planescape: Torment really struck a chord within me but I got to play the HD version and I was not able to finish even the first CD, so I think it did not age well.

I almost forgot, you can add Gabriel Knight 2: The Devil Within to that list.
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November 17th, 2017, 21:00
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
We'll have to agree to disagree, as I think the validity of my points is perfect.

The most immersive game I've ever played is X3: Terran Conflict, followed closely by Elite: Dangerous. Dirt Rally is very immersive too.

Super Metroid is an experience I'll never forget, considering ambiance such as sound, graphics and level design, as is Hollow Knight.

Talking about RPGs, I would say Diablo 1 is the most immersive experience I've had, but only if experienced by the time it was released. Deux Ex was excellent in this department. As for more modern games, I'd mention Morrowind and Skyrim.

Planescape: Torment really struck a chord within me but I got to play the HD version and I was not able to finish even the first CD, so I think it did not age well.

I almost forgot, you can add Gabriel Knight 2: The Devil Within to that list.
So basically "immersive" to you is games that are technically consistent but dont let you do much?
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November 17th, 2017, 21:01
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
So basically "immersive" to you is games that are technically consistent but dont let you do much?
Could you explain that notion? Have you ever played an X game? You can do much more in it than in most computer RPGs.

Also, I'd rather be restrained than be able to jet pack 1 meter away from a guard that won't notice my presence in a forbidden area.
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November 17th, 2017, 21:11
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
We'll have to agree to disagree, as I think the validity of my points is perfect.
I think that's like judging a tv show after reading the synopsis, but ok. To each his own.

Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
Talking about RPGs, I would say Diablo 1 is the most immersive experience I've had, but only if experienced by the time it was released. Deux Ex was excellent in this department. As for more modern games, I'd mention Morrowind and Skyrim.
Interesting. So the AI quirks, etc, didn't bother you in Morrowind or Skyrim, but you speculate those things would destroy the immersion for you in Elex.
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November 17th, 2017, 21:18
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I think that's like judging a tv show after reading the synopsis, but ok. To each his own.



Interesting. So the AI quirks, etc, didn't bother you in Morrowind or Skyrim, but you speculate those things would destroy the immersion for you in Elex.
They did bother me, yes. But there's one thing that should be noted here. I did not play Morrowind when it was first released, but in a complete package years after, with expansions and a lot of patches, so the game was not as weird and buggy as when it was released.

As for Skyrim, the same thing. I got to play it more than one year after release, so it was relatively ironed out.

That said, these games are indeed buggy, but the bugs I found were not detrimental to my experience so I really didn't notice them. As a rule of thumb, though, I generally don't play games at launch time anymore.

On the other hand, the Risen games I have played were filled with weirdness, clunkyness and overall amateur design that kept me from enjoying them.

Lastly, I do see how these PB games can be attractive to some, and I would call it a very niche game for a very specific set of tastes. Please note that also happens with some of the games I mentioned, such as X, which are very niche specific.
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November 17th, 2017, 21:33
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
They did bother me, yes. But there's one thing that should be noted here. I did not play Morrowind when it was first released, but in a complete package years after, with expansions and a lot of patches, so the game was not as weird and buggy as when it was released.

As for Skyrim, the same thing. I got to play it more than one year after release, so it was relatively ironed out.

That said, these games are indeed buggy, but the bugs I found were not detrimental to my experience so I really didn't notice them. As a rule of thumb, though, I generally don't play games at launch time anymore.

On the other hand, the Risen games I have played were filled with weirdness, clunkyness and overall amateur design that kept me from enjoying them.

Lastly, I do see how these PB games can be attractive to some, and I would call it a very niche game for a very specific set of tastes. Please note that also happens with some of the games I mentioned, such as X, which are very niche specific.
Ah.. so you've never been a fan of PB games in general then. If that's the case, I can see why you would assume to not like Elex.

Immersion is very important to me, and I think that's an area where PB is one of the best in the industry. I found Elex very immersive, but I also happen to be a big fan of post-apocalyptic settings.

Oh well.. If it's not your thing then it's not your thing.
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November 17th, 2017, 21:38
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
Could you explain that notion? Have you ever played an X game? You can do much more in it than in most computer RPGs.

Also, I'd rather be restrained than be able to jet pack 1 meter away from a guard that won't notice my presence in a forbidden area.
I have only played one X game a long time ago. IIRC there isnt much to it in terms of choices and npc interaction as in it isnt very nuanced when it comes to choices, there is very little character improvement like no skills or attributes. And like most space sims, you are doing nothing for extended periods of time. I can understand that it is a good sim, but as a game, it's less than average.

The other games are self explanatory.
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November 17th, 2017, 21:39
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Ah.. so you've never been a fan of PB games in general then. If that's the case, I can see why you would assume to not like Elex.

Immersion is very important to me, and I think that's an area where PB is one of the best in the industry. I found Elex very immersive, but I also happen to be a big fan of post-apocalyptic settings.

Oh well.. If it's not your thing then it's not your thing.
Fair enough. PB is not my thing, indeed. But I kept an eye on this one, thinking it might improve over the old flaws, but to no avail, IMO. I am glad you guys like it though, and I am glad it exists to please its niche, which happens to not be mine.
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November 17th, 2017, 21:43
Originally Posted by arthureloi View Post
Fair enough. PB is not my thing, indeed. But I kept an eye on this one, thinking it might improve over the old flaws, but to no avail, IMO. I am glad you guys like it though, and I am glad it exists to please its niche, which happens to not be mine.
It's significantly improved over the Risen games imo, but it also depends on what exactly you consider "flaws". The things you mentioned previously are mostly insignificant to me.
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November 17th, 2017, 23:09
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
I think the way review sites review games is a bit archaic. A game like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, doent have the best graphics, has tons of bugs, mediocre gameplay but it deserves all the GotY mentions it gets because of all it did for the FPS genre.

Games should be scored based on its impact to the genre and the enjoyment it gave to the reviewer. So imo Elex deserves a 10 despite its issues, I mean I havent completed an RPG as large as Elex 3 times in a row in the past even though when I was young I have beaten Zelda 2 like 20 times but that took 2 1/2 hours after the third time, and that tells me I have enjoyed the game more than any other game I have in the past. So to me it is the best game I have ever played. Surely that deserves a 10 from me?
Yep, I 100% agree that the old model is a bit archaic. You also have to factor in things like PB's overall budget and manpower, which is far, FAR less than say, Bethesda's or CDPR. Yet those are the studios that PB will be compared with because their game is also an open-world RPG.

Witcher 3, for example, had at least an $80 million budget and hundreds (I've heard over 200) people working on it.

ELEX had a budget at most of $10 million with 29 people working on it.

Yet they are judged on the same scale, which doesn't make much sense to me.

That said, I think number ratings themselves are a bit archaic and prefer Steam's version of Positive or Negative. Then the text of the review can be more specific as to what the player liked or disliked about the game. I comb those for useful bits to help me make up my mind, even if the number system is more "satisfying" to look at (Oooh, a 10! Etc..)

To me, ELEX is also a 10 based on the impact it has FOR ME. I haven't played an RPG I've liked this much since Skyrim, and all of the twisting and turning choices and consequences and overall "hardcore" level of the game is just music to my ears. It's 100% my kinda thing and the type of RPG I adore, so it impacts me more.

That doesn't mean it's flawless (far from it), but you also have to consider the "total package". I mean, there simply aren't many of these types of RPGs even attempted, i.e. a massive open-world with all these super ambitious features. They get bonus points just for attempting and releasing a game like this in 2017. Most developers with their budget wouldn't dare, would play it safe and make a small yet tightly scripted experience to hopefully raise quality levels and appeal more to reviewers. So PB gets major props from me for what they did. They also get much more leeway from me because of those factors (budget, manpower, ambition.)

That said, everyone has their own opinion and I'm not here to disparage anyone of that. If you don't like the game that's totally fine. It can definitely be improved and I hope they do so in ELEX 2.

But for me, it's definitely my GOTY, and up there as GOTD (Game of the Decade) as well.

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November 18th, 2017, 03:13
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
ELEX had a budget at most of $10 million with 29 people working on it.
27, not 29 .

However, you can definitely add a few dozen more to that number because of outsourcing, freelancers etc.
It still remains true that they have not had hundreds of people working on the game but it's also not right to say that it was made by less than 30 people.

Also, it is their deliberate choice (per Pankratz), or their fault, depending on point of view, to be and to stay this small and they are playing ball with the big guys in the full price segment.

TW3 was selling for the same price at release as Elex so I think it is fair to compare the games regardless of team size. It is PB's own problem that they refuse to grow (up) .
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