ELEX - Review @ Niche Gamer
Niche Gamer's Carl Batchelor understands how Piranha Bytes RPGs work:
Elex Review – It’s Gothic, Only Now With Laser Rifles
When Piranha Bytes released the original Gothic back in late 2001 here in North America, the era of open world CRPGs had just been kicked off by Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, and Gothic found itself lost in the hype that game generated. Though full of new ideas and even a few re-worked and improved upon old ones, Gothic had an unwieldy control system and clunky animations; remnants of its original status as an Xbox title meant for play on an under-powered console and controlled by a gamepad.
Regardless, Gothic found its niche with older gamers who appreciated the Ultima 7 inspired NPC interaction, the creative faction play, and the feeling of hopelessness that permeated both the game’s story and its lopsided combat difficulty. It harkened back to a time when CRPGs didn’t set out to make the player feel like a golden god and instead did everything in its power to humiliate and frighten the player as well as the main hero that you controlled.
With its only downsides being an awkward progression table and combat that comes with a steep learning curve, I was highly tempted to give Elex a 10. Though after comparing the game to the ultra-polished and masterfully balanced Witcher 3, I don’t feel comfortable putting it above CD Projekt’s masterpiece of CRPG design.
That being said, I still consider Elex one of the best CRPGs of this decade, and, if my 2nd trip through the game is as enjoyable as the first, it could be Piranha Bytes’ best game to date. As I’m playing through the game with the two factions I *didn’t* pick, I’ll be eagerly awaiting Elex 2.
The Verdict: 9
- Amazing graphics
- Tons of choice & consequence
- Moderately non-linear and highly replayable
- large, well designed open world
- A fun twist on the cliched post-apocalyptic style
- Lots of tactics to employ in combat makes late game battles very enjoyable
- Spend the first half of the game relatively under-powered
- Combat can be awkward at times, requires lots of patience and practice
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One