developer: Piranha Bytes
publisher: THQ Nordic / Nordic Games
Game mode: single player
The action is set in a fictional post-apocalyptic universe. This dark world is a place where magic and advanced technology coexist together. The game takes us to the planet Magalan which has been struck by a meteor; the catastrophe doomed its civilizations. However, it does not mean that nobody survived - a handful of survivors still live and have split into two groups: those who still have access to the remnants of advanced technology, and those who decided to connect with the nature and revert to simple tools and weapons.
Along with the meteorite, something else arrived at Magalan – the eponymous, mysterious element: Elex. With it, all kinds of armaments can be manufactured; it also enables people to using magic. The trade-off is that the usage of this resource has a side effect – it causes the user’s body to degenerate. The inhabitants of Magalan don't seem to care, though, and keep fighting over its deposits.
Although the society of Magalan is divided into two main groups, the planet is a home to numerous minor factions. The Berserkers seek harmony with the nature, the Clerics demand an altogether ban on using Elex, the Bandits are considered terrorists, while the Albs desire to subjugate all inhabitants of the globe and are known for easily abusing the alien element. The players assume the role of a commander of the last of the aforementioned groups. During a battle, his fighter is shot down and he ends up stranded on the enemy territory belonging to the Berserkers.
Occasionally, we will be faced with decisions that influence the shape of the story, just like in Gothic or Risen. Our choices will determine which faction the protagonist will join.
Elex for PC, PS4 and XONE offers a grand, open world that can be freely explored without being interrupted by loading screens. The only limitation is our character’s level and the strength of the enemies who guard entrances to some regions of the post-apocalyptic universe. In the game, we visit dark swamps, snowy mountains, and verdant forests, as well as numerous other places. Of course, traversing such vast area and traveling between locations would be tiresome in the long run – this is why the developers introduced a quick travel system in the form of teleports. We may also use jetpacks that are part of the protagonist’s inventory.
In our travels, we will meet many interesting characters who have their own opinions on the world around them. Some of them are friendly, while others are hostile towards the protagonist. Of course, combat is an important element of Elex, and just like in the Gothic and Risen series the hero has to face many opponents, including mutated monsters. Our character has a wide and varied arsenal at his disposal, including both melee weapons, such as swords or advanced hand-to-hand combat gadgets, and rare firearms like laser rifles. There is no shortage of different armors, as well.
Just like all previous Piranha Bytes games, Elex does not offer a multiplayer mode, for the developers focused solely on the single player story campaign.
The graphics of Elex represent high-level quality. The locations we visit in the game look very pretty, especially on state-of-the art machines. The title is powered by a modified version of the engine that Piranha Bytes used in their previous productions.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 Ghz / AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz, 16 GB RAM, graphic card 3 GB GeForce GTX 1060 / 4 GB Radeon RX 480 or better, 35 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit
Minimum: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4 Ghz / AMD FX-6350 3.9 GHz, 8 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 660 / Radeon HD 7850 or better, 35 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit