Elex – Review PS4
When Elex was first announced, the concept grabbed me. A mix of fantasy and Sci-Fi bundled into an action RPG? Of course, that sounds amazing! But does it actually get a sleeper hit status? It’s a little hard to just flat out said it without pros and cons. I’m going to try to explain this game the best I can.
Right off the bat, to make it as clear as I can, this game has a steep difficulty curve. You will get your ass kicked. A lot. This isn’t a game where you start off as a hero as in other games. Don’t expect to have a Fallout or Skyrim experience where you already start as a hero in a beginner-type area. If you wander too far off the path (sometimes not even wander off the path) you can meet some very extreme enemies so you need to keep your eyes open. There aren’t clear trainers, or where to go shopping in towns. You will spend a lot of your time in towns talking to everyone, learning the lore, discovering shops and trainers, even gathering quests just listening to conversations between characters.
There were some issues I ran into during gameplay that kind of irked me. Most of these can be repaired with a simple patch. For example; many times when I had the map open I could not navigate, it would be kind of stuck and slingshot back to the location I was at. I was able to fix it by going in and back out of the map once or twice so I was able to search around the map. There were times I also got stuck in a couple of places around the game and in buildings by accident. I had to crouch and get myself unlocked.
These little issues didn’t really kill the gameplay but they are worth noting. This game does not hold your hand whatsoever. No major tutorials and no blips on your radar showing interesting points of interest (Fallout 4). Everything is a blank slate for you. That, in turn, does make the overall experience a little more rewarding as you, your character also has no idea and is learning everything first hand as well.
The character development was great and the decisions you get to choose are fun…but have no real reward. I wanted to build a ranged character that was high in speech. Yet the opportunity to use the character in that way was nowhere to be found. Mostly every situation required melee combat with no major way to ‘talk’ your way out of it. This was probably the most frustrating aspect, not being able to use your character the way you want.
The graphics were great. No major issues or clipping issues throughout the game. The animations were pretty slick and the transfer between walking and using your jetpack was fairly smooth! The created world, in general, was pretty amazing. Each faction has its own area and posts, rivers, valleys, mountain ranges engulf your character. Nothing feels out of place at all. The details of the characters, weapons, and armor, really help you feel apart of the game and feel for characters.
The audio is also great. The soundtrack works well and ambient noises are fun to notice. Things like waterfalls or running water fade in and out when you get closer or further away from it. It really was a nice touch. Another quick high point is the voice acting. Each character had its own individual voice and personality and was done DAMN well. Everything ties in with each other to build a really fun immersive experience.
The story of Elex is pretty awesome. It is clearly the major leg this game has to stand on. The story and details were a treat and were really the only drive to carry on through the game. You can get as deep as you want in the story or just try to fly through it. You will be rewarded by getting immersed in the story. The path you can take, the twists, everything that can affect you is worth your time. Your companions you ‘could’ meet, have amazing depth and are believable. Believable in a sense that they feel like they belong in this world. They have reason and a drive to exist in this world. It’s truly great when you learn something new about a companion that may make you rethink everything you previously thought they were about.
At first, I thought this was going to be a game where fans would love to beat this multiple times from the different factions, unfortunately, I don’t see this the same with some of the gameplay issues. Some true fans will definitely get multiple playthroughs to get the most out of the story. But some gamers may be turned off due to the difficulty and the idea of needing a certain type of character no matter what faction or skills you sign up for. Granted you can play this game any way you please. The more time you invest in it, the more it doesn’t matter what your character is built like.
Elex is a game that may frustrate you the way it did to me. You’ll know the game is so much better than it seems when you run into issues. The story is amazing and the gameplay can use some work, but that is fixable. For those gamers that are interested in Elex, I do not want to sway your purchase, it has its high points. You may though, want to wait for a major patch to release to fix some of the minor things and balancing. I personally am hopefully looking forward to the future of Elex. They have a great world, an amazing story, and I hope that this becomes a sleeper hit after a patch to clean up some of the game. RPG fans should keep an eye out for this title.
Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a physical copy for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Amazing story
+ Beautiful graphics and voice acting helps immersion
+ 50+ hours of gameplay
+ Fun mix of sci-fi and fantasy
- Fun breaking bugs (not game breaking)
- Combat feels unbalanced
- Character creation somewhat limited as diplomacy tactics aren't used much.