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ELEX is one of the best RPGs of 2017

His Majesty

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Belgium
#1
This game may have flown under the radar for a lot of people but in my opinion it is one of the best games of this year. ELEX is a game created by Piranha Bytes, famous for their Gothic and Risen games. The game reintroduces a lot of aspects that made Gothic 1 and 2 such great games.

Exploration is rewarding. Not only is the open world stunningly beautiful, exploration is actively encouraged and necessary for progressing in the game. Gear is the major factor in determining your strength, so exploring the world in search for better armour and money is a very worthwhile activity. The jetpack is super awesome and removes a lot of the frustrations people might have had with previous entries.

ELEX has great worldbuilding. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic setting with some fantasy elements on top of it. The world, called Magalan, truly feels like a place of two times. On the one hand there are ruins of the Old World scattered about yet at the same time the various factions are moving on. Contrary to Fallout 4 people do not live in half destroyed shacks but every faction has rebuilt civilisation suited to its own needs and aesthetics. Its inhabitants also reflect this. There are large cities and communities where all people perform their own tasks. This is maybe the defining trademark of Piranha Bytes games. It actually feels like a living world, not just a collection of NPC's waiting for the hero to swoop in.

Its economy is on point. Money is used for everything, from buying gear to crafting skill points to unlocking skills. You'll be constantly looking for ways to make more money, avoiding the pitfalls of a lot of RPG's where you are swimming in money at the midway point.

Choice & consequence are one of the key aspects of the game. Solving quests in a particular way will lock away certain parts of the game and open up new roads. As in every Piranha Bytes game you can choose from different factions, which will also dramatically alter gameplay and how you interact with the world.

There is no level scaling. Even in beginner zones you will encounter enemies that are too tough to handle. You will feel weak at the beginning, having to move around carefully and avoid fights to survive. This contributes to a great experience where you will really become stronger over time and become able to tackle tougher enemies. Thanks to the jetpack it has become a lot more viable to stealthily navigate throughout this treacherous world, which is often a necessity because of the non-linear nature of the game.



Of course, ELEX suffers from the same problems many Piranha Bytes games suffer from. It can be buggy, the movement is unintuitive and overall it is a game with a large amount of eurojank. But despite that it is also a breath of fresh air in an RPG landscape which has largely turned away from offering this amount of freedom and non-linearity in an open world.



All in all if you loved previous Piranha Bytes games you MUST absolutely play ELEX. I can also heavily recommend it to people looking for a more sandbox like open world RPG experience. For me it is one of the biggest surprises of 2017.

Peace out!

 
Oct 25, 2017
132
#2
I believe I heard this was one of the best games of 2017 if not the best.

Waiting for a Black Friday sale to check it out.
 

Robin

Restless Insomniac
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
1,676
#4
IDK, I've just been burned by this dev team too many times. My friend is a Gothic 3 superfan but I just cannot get into the series at all. I will admit this one has piqued my interest more than any other, and your OT is pretty persuasive. I'll have to think about this one once it's in the bargain bin.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,746
#5
I've never heard of this game, and it looks pretty cool. Looks like it is on PC, PS4, and Xbox One right now.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,100
#6
Glad to see you made it His Majesty. I'm really looking forward to it once I've finished Divinity: Original Sin 2.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,294
#8
The fuck is elex........

Literally the fist time I have ever heard of this game.

I will 100% check out some reviews though,. But yeah, this one really flew under the radar.
 

Deleted member 1777

User requested account closure
Member
Oct 25, 2017
637
#9
Finished it at the weekend with around 45 hours on the clock. Absolutely loved it, it's a great RPG and the jet pack is such a great addition. One of my favourite things is the verticality of the world, being able to just run and jump off a high mountain and then use your jets to land softly never got boring. Your choices also matter and do affect the story a good deal. I'd say it's probably my favourite Piranha Bytes game, I enjoyed it more than any Risen game. (not played the Gothic games though)

They did make it easy to abuse crafting though to earn loads of money and essentially break the game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
512
#10
I really want to get this. But Piranha Bytes means for me: wait at least a few months for a stable build. Plus so many games releasing this and next month that Elex will have to wait.
 
Oct 25, 2017
105
#11
I loved Gothic 1 and 2 but disliked Gothic 3 and Risen 1. I never even played the other Risen games because supposedly they don't get any better.

I really hope Piranha Bytes has managed to get it together again but I have my doubts. I'll probably give it a try during a sale and hopefully by then some of the bugs have been worked out.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,204
#12
I’m definitely looking forward to giving it a go sometime as the holiday craziness dies. The PB jank is always fine in my book, I like what I’ve seen of the combat and the exploration looks amazing!
 

Arx

Member
Oct 25, 2017
231
#13
Hell yeah an Elex thread right in the beginning of a new ERA :D

So in short, the game is great. Or rather, the sum of its parts is great while individual systems may seem lackluster.
It has a fantastic world to explore and despite the scenario being weird af at first, it kinda works. It takes time until the game clicks, but when it does it can really grab you hard.

What is most important though is that this game takes its players seriously. You CAN go wherever you want, but you will soon learn that some places are just not for you. It may seem unfair at first, but the jetpack gives you tons of options to navigate around the world and also around enemies to get to places, finish quests and so forth. Dialogue can actually have real consequences...like in old times.
Its a true successor to Gothic 2.

The fuck is elex........

Literally the fist time I have ever heard of this game.

I will 100% check out some reviews though,. But yeah, this one really flew under the radar.
Reviewers on big sites hated it mostly (lol at that 4/10 from IGN and Gamespot). Its a divisive game for sure, but reading some of the really negative reviews reveals that some members of the press tried to play the game like Skyrim basically. This does not work out at all.
 
OP
OP
His Majesty

His Majesty

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Belgium
#14
I loved Gothic 1 and 2 but disliked Gothic 3 and Risen 1. I never even played the other Risen games because supposedly they don't get any better.

I really hope Piranha Bytes has managed to get it together again but I have my doubts. I'll probably give it a try during a sale and hopefully by then some of the bugs have been worked out.
Risen 2 and 3 are rather mediocre games. As someone who loved Gothic 1, 2 and Risen 1 I can say that ELEX is a return to form for Piranha Bytes. While it is not entirely on the same level as Gothic 2, it is the best game they have released since that game.
 

texhnolyze

Self-Requested Ban
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,543
Indonesia
#15
Preach!!

It's one of the biggest surprise for me surely.

Most people can only see the tip of this game, such as graphics and animation (I honestly think the animation is fine outside of combat). But RPGs are more than that. ELEX is a very mechanically-deep RPG with very minimum hand-holding in a harsh world. Tackle quests however you want, be it with a persuasion, a bribe, or even a duel. Go anywhere, do everything, and be anything; it's game of complete freedom.

The combat might require some adjustments before you get it, but it's not that bad. Unlike in some other RPGs, the enemies don't scale according to the area they reside in. You can meet low-level enemies and higher level ones in the same area, so it's best to scout ahead and plan your move before encountering them. Sometimes, hiding and sneaking around the enemies is the only way to tackle a quest. You're not a superhuman, you're just a weakling in this game. Even after 25 hours in, the world is still dangerous with deadly enemies lurking in every corner.

If you're a fan of RPGs and could stomach Bethesda janks, you shouldn't skip this one out. It's even more polished than Bethesda RPGs, in fact. Don't let the mainstream reviewers sway you, don't miss out on this hidden gem.
 

Deleted member 1777

User requested account closure
Member
Oct 25, 2017
637
#16
I really want to get this. But Piranha Bytes means for me: wait at least a few months for a stable build. Plus so many games releasing this and next month that Elex will have to wait.
Honestly I didn't have that much trouble with the game at all technically. It's janky in that it's animations etc are eurojank budget but it's probably their least buggy game to be honest. Doesn't mean their aren't any bugs but it was like riddled with them or anything. Also seemed pretty well optimised in that I was well above 70 fps on an old i5 2500k/gtx 970. Though admittedly only at 1080p.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,895
#17
I've got to play more. I've only just made it to the Berserker town at the beginning, but it seems pretty well made considering the developer. Too many games coming out!
 

Derrick01

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,289
#20
I'm definitely intrigued by it and will buy it when things calm down with new releases. I've been listening to some people who know what they're talking about with RPGs and they've been mostly echoing each other and everything I hear sounds like what I expect out of actual RPGs and not action games that stole a couple of basic RPG elements.
 
Oct 25, 2017
80
#21
I really want to believe it's good, considering Gothic 2 is easily one of my favorite RPGs (mainly because of its amazing hand-crafted open world), but I felt like Piranha Bytes were on downward trajectory ever since Gothic 3. Risen 1 was a step in the right direction and I even sort of enjoyed Risen 2/3, but I just can't get excited for ELEX. I guess it's the setting that is the biggest turnoff, from the screenshots it looks like a mess of ideas that don't work together that well (or at all). But the positive reactions surprised me, so I'll definitely try it for myself eventually.
 
OP
OP
His Majesty

His Majesty

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Belgium
#22
I only heard positive stuff from players, but I see reviews are pretty lackluster. Who do I believe?
It is very telling that there is a massive difference in reception between mainstream outlets such as IGN, Gamespot and sites like RPGcodex and RPGwatch. IGN and Gamespot seem to focus on technical issues, bugs and the rough combat, which is understandable and worth addressing. But they don't seem to get the concept of the game. They don't know what to do with the freedom being offered. Two very similar excerpts from both reviews which clearly indicate that they really don't understand games like ELEX or Gothic.

Gamespot said:
Starting on the 2nd hardest of the four difficulty levels, it didn’t take me long to wind it back to normal, and then to easy. But regardless of difficulty level I felt hopelessly underpowered, even against enemies that appear early on, so much so that the only way I felt I could make significant progress was to run from as many encounters as I could.
IGN said:
Certain quests in ELEX, on the other hand, made me feel like I had to break or circumvent its core systems to win. Some required me to snipe a couple enemies from a large group with fireballs at a distance, run several hundred yards to a shack with a bed, take a quick nap to regain my health and mana, and return to repeat this process four or five times. That’s a tedious way to fight. One boss took me almost two hours to slay because I had to keep trying until I got lucky enough not to trigger his unblockable, nearly undodgeable rock-throw attack (which he could somehow hit me with even when I was standing directly behind him) too many times.
Gamespot and IGN aren't willing to concede that their character isn't an all powerful demigod which should be able to tackle all enemies in the world. ELEX can be a humbling game. If an enemy is too strong, flee and come back later or look for an alternative approach.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,312
#23
The fuck is elex........

Literally the fist time I have ever heard of this game.

I will 100% check out some reviews though,. But yeah, this one really flew under the radar.
Reviews are brutal last I checked. If you can put up with some jank and bad voice acting it's very, very good. Even has a jetpack!
 

texhnolyze

Self-Requested Ban
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,543
Indonesia
#25
I'll have to look into this game, but I feel obligated to play Gothic 1+2 first.
I've never played any of the Gothic games. I tried at one point but they just don't age well. No controller support also killed my desire to play them.

Just go for ELEX, it's in a totally different universe anyway and generally more polished.

E: it runs pretty well. No problem on my end.
 

Briarios

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,238
#26
I do want this bad ... I'm used to the kind of "jank" in these games, and the expected bad reviews. I'm hoping to pick it up around Christmas! It's good to hear people are enjoying it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
512
#28
Honestly I didn't have that much trouble with the game at all technically. It's janky in that it's animations etc are eurojank budget but it's probably their least buggy game to be honest. Doesn't mean their aren't any bugs but it was like riddled with them or anything. Also seemed pretty well optimised in that I was well above 70 fps on an old i5 2500k/gtx 970. Though admittedly only at 1080p.
This is good to hear that PB seem to have learned from their past issues. I have the same PC specs so I glad the game will run as fine as it should at 1080p.
But these weeks are just too crowded for me to start up another long RPG after just finishing Divinity OS2.
 
Oct 25, 2017
77
#29
My brother has been playing it since release day and hasn't shut up about how great it is heh. He's a big fan of Risen and has said it's basically a really good version of Risen with a Jetpack.
 
Oct 25, 2017
947
Poland
#30
I've been playing Piranha Bytes games since I got my first computer all those years ago. Gothic games were my first RPGs, next to Gameboy games like Pokemon and Golden Age.

At some point you just don't mind the jank. Hell, when I first played Gothic 1 and realized you couldn't attack with the mouse but had to use the keyboard, I just said 'Well, ok. I guess this is what games are like'. Then proceeded to play the shit out of it. Gothic 2 was much better and they won a lot of love with it in my part of the world. Then Gothic 3 came around, and well shit... it wasn't even about the jank and more how buggy and unfinished it felt.

Unfortunately every game of PB has felt like that to me since then. I will definitely play Elex at some point, as I did with Risen(s) though. Your post OP is encouraging.
 
Oct 25, 2017
642
#31
I've never played any of the Gothic games. I tried at one point but they just don't age well. No controller support also killed my desire to play them.

Just go for ELEX, it's in a totally different universe anyway and generally more polished.

E: it runs pretty well. No problem on my end.
Thanks. I may cave then after my second D:OS2 run.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,186
Brooklyn
#32
I was going to grumble about having to fit another long RPG into my schedule this year, but then I remembered I have an excuse for this one: I still need to play Gothic 2.

Thanks. I may cave then after my second D:OS2 run.
Also this. I'm not going to run D:OS2 again any time soon. But I am toying around in GM mode.
 
Oct 25, 2017
105
#33
Risen 2 and 3 are rather mediocre games. As someone who loved Gothic 1, 2 and Risen 1 I can say that ELEX is a return to form for Piranha Bytes. While it is not entirely on the same level as Gothic 2, it is the best game they have released since that game.
That's good to hear. Do you know if equipment/loot are also not level scaled?

I only heard positive stuff from players, but I see reviews are pretty lackluster. Who do I believe?
Players in the CRPG communities have always mattered to me a lot than mainstream reviews.
 

Derrick01

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,289
#34
I only heard positive stuff from players, but I see reviews are pretty lackluster. Who do I believe?
I would never listen to reviews from mainstream outlets when it comes to RPGs. These are the groups that handed every bioware and bethesda game from the past 10 years (barring fallout 4, though it was #2 that year) overall goty. They have shown they have no idea what makes a good RPG, and generally prefer much safer and hand hold-y games. Find users who over time show you that they know what they're talking about and listen to them.
 

Deleted member 1777

User requested account closure
Member
Oct 25, 2017
637
#36
This is good to hear that PB seem to have learned from their past issues. I have the same PC specs so I glad the game will run as fine as it should at 1080p.
But these weeks are just too crowded for me to start up another long RPG after just finishing Divinity OS2.
With all the games this year it's understandable, this Friday alone is....whew lad. Should get a patch or two regardless by the time you get round to it and be a bit cheaper by then too :)
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,892
#37
It looks really interesting but I saw there were issues on the PS4. Hopefully, they'll fix that. I have always wanted to try the Gothic series.
 

izx

Member
Oct 25, 2017
61
#38
Wow, I'm glad to hear that this is good. I saw a few things about it a week or so ago out of nowhere, but a few lookups returned nothing but people trashing on it, so I assumed that it didn't turn out so well. Definitely sounds like something I want to pick up. Thank you for posting this thread, I might not have given it a shot otherwise.
 

Rumblebones

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,609
#39
This game barely made a blip on the radar. I've known about it for a while but it always looked pretty mediocre. Still, I might give it a shot.
 
Oct 25, 2017
626
#43
It looks really interesting but I saw there were issues on the PS4. Hopefully, they'll fix that. I have always wanted to try the Gothic series.
Its understandable why reviews are poor. Chances are the game is being compared to bethy open world games. Those games are casual as hell, remember the first dragon you kill in Skyrim, well if it was a gothic/risen/elex open world game that first dragon would kill you with ease.

In bethy games within the first hour your destined for greatness and everybody is in awe of your presence. In this game you aint shit and got to earn everything.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
His Majesty

His Majesty

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,527
Belgium
#45
That's good to hear. Do you know if equipment/loot are also not level scaled?



Players in the CRPG communities have always mattered to me a lot than mainstream reviews.
Loot is gated by your attributes. If you have high enough strength/constitution/dexterity/... you can wield the weapon. You can add modifications to the weapon which will make it better but also increase its requirements. Loot isn't level scaled.
 
Oct 25, 2017
551
#47
I’ve been watching it a bit on Twitch and it’s super tempting. It’s clunkiness is weirdly comforting and attractive?