So a HUGE disclaimer right off the bat before we talk Elex 2. I am a massive fan of the Piranha Bytes stable of games. The Gothic series, Risen series and, of course, Elex are some of my favourite games ever. These games are all slightly different to the more popular role playing games we all know and love. Some don’t like them at all, others have never played them, and then, like me, there is a group of absolute die hard fans. There is all the usual looting, crafting, training, levelling up, and decision making you need. Add in a great story and interesting characters and you have the makings of another great game on the planet Magalan.
The Sky Is Falling.
Following on from the events in the original Elex title you again fill the boots of Jax. A man torn between the factions of Magalan. Several years after his run in with the Hybrid, Jax is out to protect his family and indeed the existence of life as we know it on Magalan. This time the threat is an unknown aggressor from above. After an initial attack Jax is left wounded, weak, and without his gear. Sounds like a perfect starting point for an epic adventure to me.
Being a veteran of Magalan it is a absolute pleasure to be revisiting areas that are familiar to me. Ownership may have changed in some places and there has definitely been some greening up of many areas but returnees will still feel at home. Along side the familiar landmarks is the return of many key NPC’s for Elex 2. The story really entwines the lives of Jax with figures from his past. Thankfully these interactions are explained well with several well placed ‘flashbacks’ for those new to the world, or those with poor memories.
In a move similar to the In Extremo concert that appeared in the original Gothic game we get a performance to enjoy again. This time round it is none other than Billy Idol! Early on in the game you will get wind of an upcoming concert nearby. On arrival you will be treated to a performance of Whisky and Pills from Billy Idol. If anything can be used to explain how random these games can be, this is it. The concert doesn’t carry any context or add to the story, it is just like a concert in real life. Show up, enjoy, carry on with life.
No Training Wheels.
Like all Piranha Bytes RPG’s you are welcome to head off in any direction right from the start. But as you would expect some directions will result in a very short walk indeed. Encounters with tough creatures just mean, ‘come back later’. This is where you really need to pay attention to your attributes and skills. Skills are learnt from teachers and require certain attribute levels. So make sure you are putting points into attributes that will benefit the build you are going for. You will regularly find equipment that needs a higher attribute score. Don’t be tempted to dump points into that attribute if it doesn’t fit your build. You will regret it.
I’m bias, I know. But I absolutely love Elex 2, warts and all. It is a X|S Enhanced title but definitely doesn’t push the envelope visually. The only real bonus of this enhancement is the fast load times. Quick Resume tends to cause massive frame drops but quitting the game fully between plays seems to rectify this. But it is just such a joy to play! I have put close to 50 hours in and due to my play style am yet to align with a faction and have only recently started Chapter 2. Admittedly I love to explore every nook and cranny, complete every side quest, and loot every house. I have managed to get Achievements for completing 300 quests and collecting 100 000 items. I think you get the idea.
Recommending Elex 2 is like recommending Marmite on your toast. Many will love it, many will hate it, and many will just say “what the hell is it”.