When I got a chance to check out Elex at E3 2017, the first thing I thought was wow, if somebody asked me to describe a perfect game this is probably what it would be. Monsters, laser guns, jetpacks, battle axes, and magic all thrown into a massive post-apocalyptic open-world RPG, what else could a person ask for?
Elex takes place one hundred and six years after a meteor has struck the Earth, leaving nearly everything completely destroyed. The meteor also brought with it a whole new element called Elex, which has some very special properties.
Elex is able to create a customizable experience through the use of the titular element. Using Elex scientifically enhances one of the game’s societies called the Cleric, which has advanced technology, hence the laser guns I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, there are other groups such as the Outcast which chooses to hang out and take Elex as a drug, leaving them less advanced but giving them a large boost in physical power.
One of the moments that filled me with a sense of pure amazement was when I got to see the player character fighting against a large ogre-like creature using an axe, and not thirty seconds later I got to see a different player character fight a mech-type creature using a laser gun. I was completely astonished by how drastic the customization in the game could be and how different a player could go about experiencing Elex. I could barely believe that these two fights were in the same game. While the character with the axe can still fight the mech creature, they will have to go about it in a much different way than someone with the right tools for that fight.
In Elex, the enemies don’t scale with your character, so sometimes you will run into opponents that you can’t defeat on your own. At times like this, thanks to the simulated world that Elex takes place in, you can lure the enemy to NPCs who will then attack and try to defeat the opponent. These NPCs can die during this encounter, and if certain NPCs die it can affect the game in a big way. Ninety percent of the game’s NPCs can be killed and if these characters happen to have a quest for you, that quest is no longer available. While talking to the developer, they mentioned how important player freedom and immersion was to their vision, so mechanics like NPC deaths affecting quests, no loading screens at any point, and the ability to go anywhere at anytime, are aspects that are integral to experience that they were trying to create.
During my time with the game I got to see three different factions and how very different they truly are. The Outcasts are a rowdy bunch that look like the post-apocalyptic groups you would expect to see from a Mad Max movie. Outcasts will be more suited to players who like to use guns rather than medieval weapons, as they are the only faction that can craft bullets, while the rest of the factions have to buy them for a rather hefty price. Berserkers believe that nature should retake the Earth and rather than using guns, use magic that they gain from turning Elex into mana. While Berserkers can use magic, such as fireballs, they are also able to enchant weapons, making a weak bow and arrow into something that can take down a heavily armored robot. The last Faction I got a look at was the Clerics. The Clerics are a technology driven faction that uses Elex as a power source for their inventions. The clerics are small in number but have built an army of robots to defend their cities, along with some pretty neat plasma rifles.
Choosing to join a faction will greatly change the narrative of your story. If you decide you want to be an outlaw, doing a quest for a cleric later on will be more difficult and you will be treated in a different way due to their dislike of the outcasts. If you can’t decide on which faction you like more you can complete up to ninety percent of the game without ever choosing to join a faction. To complete the story, however, you will need to pick one.
The world of Elex looks like it will be an incredible thing to experience, I can’t remember the last time I have seen so many different genres all put together, without turning into a confusing muddy mess. Whether you like attacking monsters with a giant hammer and a suit of armor, or running around in a city full of giant robots Elex probably has something for you. Elex comes out this August on PC, PS4, and Xbox One