August 25, 2019 at 10:20 PM #1300
Rating: 5.0 – Flawless
ELEX- Difficult, unforgiving, requiring immense strategy, & is Absolutely Amazing!
Overall Reception from Release-Current vs. The Reality
So Elex just recently (this week Mid January 2019,) provided an opportunity to purchase Elex for a fair price. That was thanks to THQ/Nordic having a sale on the Microsoft store. (Formerly the Xbox Store but now merged)
One of the 1st things you will find in Elex is a artistic quality that no matter your gameplay love, you cant deny is a great work of art. There was some extremely talented effort put into the game, and it deserves attention or acknowledgement.
The combat system, leveling, & responses to NPC’s you dialogue with are not easy, honestly the game makes very little easy, and frustration is a guarantee, but it’s a great moment when you manage to fight through and accomplish your goal. After many episodes of yelling uncivilized monologue at the screen, when you advance it’s like Queen’s "We are the Champions" or Dj Khalid "All I Do is Win" starts playing. In your head. As someone who competes in non game competitions for a different activity, I found it very similar. The game factor of difficulty is a factor that initially overwhelmed, but later evolved into a factor for enjoying it even more. Your looking at an RPG that you need to think like you would a game if Chess. The immediate impact and it’s domino effect with conversations, is a element that makes you think about your answers, being quick to just push through will not make things any easier. The same goes for your method of taking on various enemies. Your companion, placement of yourself and the use of your gear, weapons, environment, and other hostiles all impact your level of success. Getting hostiles to head towards you with a ranged weapon, and the path to you intersects with other hostiles provides you with a resource to help get higher level enemies or groups of enemies, into a condition that allows you to level the playing field. Using your companion for ranged work, by telling them to stay somewhere, while you sneak around to get something needed or attack from a new angle. Or using the enemy focus on your companion in order for you to use a potion or get another item to use. Then the jetpack placing you in locations where you can use inaccessibility and ranged weapons to attack, or to escape if needed. All the normal combat elements from any RPG and there but working with this open world with diverse landscape is as essential as the weapon your using. Just running in without a plan and thinking you will be unscathed is unlikely. Your ability to use stratigic attacks will play a large part in your outcome. This is something that wont fit every rpg fan, and could be what you dislike about the game. However, as you persevere it will provide a new array of tackling challanges, and help with leveling. Gaining skills like perception, provides greater experience with quest completions. Elex makes you work for it, and when you work for it, as stared earlier, satisfaction is much higher then more typical RPGs or MMORPG titles.
You start with very little and it makes any enemy encounter a hazard. I read a review that said even without Jax’s (your Elex alterego) abilities, armor, weapons, and no longer an Alb Status, he is a military leader and they didnt think a giant mutated rat would be a threat. I counter with, first rats can chew through a steel pipe, mutated and looking at least the size of a Wolf, your food. Even more when your entire existence, and way of life is completely changed, an adjustment period is expected.
The factions, are a personal preference style decision, use quick saves and save game instances to try one chouce vs another. They have made this very easy and quick to do (start then the Y button on xbox,) and auto saves can be set to a time spaced of what you want min every three min, havent checked the max. So the developers knew this was going to be a game, where you will face various threats and obstacles and need to alter your strategy to overcome them. Trial and error, but it puts gameplay into an unexpected level of calculated methods, not just the run in and destroy a large group with a huge AoE attack within 15 min of starting. Elex is a rpg that has the spirit of chess, you need to think a few moves ahead and not underestimate your opponent. If you can push on, your going to start learning that immediate access to a weapon that can destroy everything you face is less of a element to your victories, and that using hostiles against eachother is a weapon in itself. Putting yourself where two different hostile creatures or parties can be forced to intersect allows you to finish the job even with a low key weapon.
If you want a game that speaks to the soul of RPG, & willing to accept difficulty but enjoy earned victories, Elex will answer that call and more. It’s not an RPG that you play a human, use a sword and bow alone, riding a horse, because thats not something you cant do in real life. Elex mixes the resource the caused the world to become what it has, and how that resource is a impact factor on everything from abilities, buffs, and currency. your given alternative views on how that resource is used, and how the different groups feel about it’s overall use. Then you have situations where even if you plan your to stick to a certain character moral path, you will have to deviate and go against it, for the greater good or greater evil. There is a element of Jedi vs. Sith but you will have moments where your principles aren’t an option (usually do to a small decision earlier in the game.
If you want a hack and slash, where your given instant gratification on a reliably high frequency, and are expecting a consistantly victorious outcome, your not going to be able to enjoy Elex (unless your up for pushing through that to find a great world to make your own.)
The equipment, weaponry, armor, story are all great. Not o overwhelming but not bland. You can find your perfect mix of faction specific abilities (magic, tech with a magic undertone, or the apocalyptic "morals what morals,) take what you want, from whoever you want as a long as they are weaker than you. (The general view I have seen is Beserkers- who are more just druid natures restorers with magic and middle-ages weaponry, & clerics- tech advanced energy weapon wielding faction are the most commonly chosen. The outlaws- seem to be the less chosen option.)
It is important to note you can’t mix factions, but you can despite the attitude of the groups in the game, still take great elements from alternate groups. Use Cleric Tech armor and Beserker magic. The only factor that messes with that is that Beserkers can amplify their weaponry with their magic and clerics do the same with their skills and gear. I am not to the point where I have been able to find out if or how drastically this will be a factor in choice of mixing it up. Others have stated that they are using this style and have done well and enjoyed the game.
The character dialogues do have dead air gaps of silence, from what is probably caused by the response choice impact, but its faster to put subtitles up and read. Then skip to next part of conversation.
Also, there is an extemely annoying situation with Beserkers, that you will face while you work through their quests which is the first region you encounter, where using your main character interface for inventory, quests, skills, and maps that they call you out for using tech. This is the same for using your jetpack, another piece of primary gear, and even as a full faction member it’s stated. Its annoying but doesn’t impact how your perceived by your characters faction rank as a berserker. Oddly, you can join berserker faction and walk in fully armed with Cleric armor and no one says anything, so it is a minor element that can be annoying.
Elex is a title where you will probably hate it or love it, but as a gamer will likely appreciate the overall beauty of the games open world. It is a work of art with both the environment and character designs deserving a pat on the back. The reviews that come in with 1 star and complaints, are for the most part due to the difficult nature of the game, and it’s challanges appearing immediately when you start. Also, due to the conception given by the trailer of the game and how expectations where set that most thought Elex was going to be a game where you could become a hero or anti-hero that is able to become a new beacon that is the combination of all of the 3 main factions, and using that to progress and in the end lead the charge against your former home faction. This is not the case, except as said with the gear. I know I had that expectation and at minimum hoped that you could replay, and with a higher difficulty start where you ended previously and add the next faction that way. I cant say I honestly am disappointed, and was hoping that it would be that way. The disappointment on that element alone is not enough that I dont still highly recommend this title. The game earns high merit and should be explored if your an rpg fan, and the negatives I touched on should be help set expectations. The poor reviews are generally pointing towards game elements that are true, but in my opinion are overly critical, and based off a certain type of gamer. Modern gamers didnt have the level of gamer evolution that gamers 25+ yrs old faced. I remember playing Wanderers from Ys on super Nintendo, and how I much I disliked that game because it was too difficult initially and them how much enjoyment I had after I was able to move forward. The same with FFVII which was one of my first console RPG’s it was difficult if played on a level above easy, for a teen gamer.
With all that in mind, remember that some of the best things in life, are the most difficult to obtain. Depending on a more in-depth look at the gamefaqs,gamespot posting rules, and if it is allowed I will post streaming gameplay on Mixer or Twitch, if putting up a link is allowed.
I hope this helps some of you with the decision, and appreciate your time to read my more in-depth analysis. I would also like to point out that, if you want a hack and slash, instant gratification slaughter of hostile forces, THQ has the Darksiders series and new release of the 3rd Horseman to be put into play by The Charred Council - Fury! A series I love for the jump in whenever and know I can just hit a level of destruction that Darksiders is known for.
If a livestream is something anyone would like to see please let me know! Additional questions about ELEX, I will gladly answer all that I can.
Thanks for stepping into the mind of- Reaper
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