Editorials Reviews Previews Essays Worth Playing

Essays

Essays 29 April 2022, 15:56

Piranha Bytes. 12 studios that keep making the same game

Table of Contents

  1. Games or series: Gothic, Risen, Elex
  2. Copy-pasting since: 2001
  3. Copied elements: mechanics, world-building, crudeness

What is very, very likely – almost certain – is Elex 3... the ninth game of the German studio Piranha Bytes, which gained popularity with the first two installments of the Gothic series. I could write here that the developer is still reaping the benefits since then. However, I won't do it, because – judging by the interest that the release of Elex 2 has aroused in the world (well, in some countries) – it would be quite an overstatement, and harmful at that.

Elex is Elex, but Gothic is sure to stay alive forever. - Copy and paste me more – document – 2022-04-24
Elex is Elex, but Gothic is sure to stay alive forever.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that all the installments of the Gothic, Risen and Elex series are iterations of the same formula. Each of them offers a hand-crafted, more or less open world that... needs a hero. The hero is of course the protagonist – usually nameless, although in Elex we had the pleasure to learn his name, which was Jax, and he, with all his gruffness and not very colorful past, turned out to be quite an interesting character. Certainly more interesting than the next blank character as in Gothic.

This can be taken as a sign that Piranha Bytes is changing, albeit gradually. Well, Elex 2 includes many cutting-edge solutions – you can even add markers on the world map! The thing is that this evolution is slow and limited to single elements. At its heart, the newest game is quite similar to the first one – enough for people who do not sympathize with these titles to be able to criticize them without much effort.

Fans don't care, though, and by default they end up playing with all character classes, eagerly rushing to the teachers to learn new skills and breathe some strength into a hero who – with or without a name – always has to start from square one. Because although the above-mentioned elements may be derivative in all games of the studio, the people from Pirannha Bytes invariably put their hearts into them anyway. No doubt these games are crude and uneven, but the true commitment to their craft is something that becomes increasingly old-school in our industry.

Hubert Sledziewski

Hubert Sledziewski

Has been writing professionally since 2016. He joined Gamepressure.com five years later - although he has known the service since he had access to the internet - to combine his love for words and games. Deals mainly with news and journalism. A sociologist by education, a gamer by passion. He started his gaming adventure at the age of four - with a Pegasus. Currently, prefers PC and demanding RPGs, but does not shy away from consoles or other genres. When he's not playing or writing, he enjoys reading, watching series (less often movies) and Premier League matches, listening to heavy music, and also walking the dog. Almost uncritically loves the work of Stephen King. Does not abandon plans to follow in his footsteps. However, he keeps his first "literary achievements" locked away deep in a drawer.

more

Elden Ring

Elden Ring

Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3

Hades

Hades

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5

See/Add Comments