ELEX - Gameplay Impressions
@Gamepressure they preview Piranha Bytes' Elex and offer their first impressions.
When I was invited for a preview of their upcoming title, Elex, I was really excited; you don't get the chance to speak with the creators of Gothic everyday. There wasn't a lot of time to reminisce the adventures from Khorinis and Mhyrtana though, because Björn and Jennifer Pankratz - a married couple of game developers - had a lot to say, and a lot to show. We've even had a brief opportunity to grab the gamepads ourselves and see how does, among others, the combat system feel in Elex. It gave us a taste of - at least on paper - the most ambitious project by Piranha to date. But what is Elex actually? It's an entirely new universe, with dozens of new ideas, but does it mean that this is a new franchise first, and a Piranha Bytes' game second? Absolutely not. The developers are still sailing on familiar waters, and the heritage of their previous games is very much alive.
In Elex, the hero is no longer nameless (same as in Risen 3, btw). In the new game, we'll play as a former member of Albs, betrayed by his own people. When he wakes up after the crash of his fighter jet, he finds himself in a camp of Berserkers - Albs' sworn enemies. Because he won't be able to use elex for a long period of time, he will recover much of his human nature. The hero not only has his own story, but his story is also strongly tied to the main plot of the game - the task is to get into the base of the callous organization in order to learn the reason for the betrayal. Before that, the player will encounter a handful of other tribes struggling to survive under the regime of Albs, and will get involved into a tight network of intrigues. The main elements of the game are exploration, combat, decision making and completing quests - all of this should suffice for couple of dozen hours of gameplay. What's more important, though, is that in each of these elements, the players should have a lot of freedom.
Three factions are too few
Piranha Bytes games are known for their characteristic factions that the player can join; the decision is most often ideological. It will be similar this time, since each of the groups we encounter will obey totally different sets of rules. The devs revealed that although there will be a lot of different sides of the conflict, ultimately, Elex uses the classic division into three factions which we can join. The abovementioned Albs are the villains of this story, and while the players will get to know a lot about them, they will not be able to side with this faction (although we think that one of the endings can be somehow connected to this thread). There is, however, nothing that can stop us from learning the ways and philosophies of the Outcasts, Berserkers or Clerks and joining one of those groups. The devs say they want to make sure the players will get to know the factions well before they decide which side to take. The point at which the decision has to be made comes after completing all the quests for the three groups, about ten hours into the game. With this decision begins another chapter of the story, where the events will quickly gather pace.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One