trending / - - - - - - - - -

trending / playstation 4 - ni no kuni - halo - wii u - bungie interview - ces top picks - radeon hd 7850 - woods pga tour

ELEX Preview: Sword and Circuitry

/ Jun 29th, 2017 No Comments

ELEX

Fantasy and science fiction can be easily mined for intriguing story beats and inviting worlds, but how does a developer set itself apart? Developer Piranha Bytes decided that the best way to change things up would be to combine those two genres with ELEX.

At E3 2017, I got a chance to see the game’s wild take on an open world and was left wanting more.

When Worlds Collide

Over 100 years ago, a meteor crashed into the planet of Magalan, wiping countless lives off the surface and drastically altering the landscape. Inside the meteor was ELEX, a substance that can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. ELEX is a power source to fuel robots and teleporters. It can be consumed to infuse a person with magic. It can also slowly strip a person of their humanity if they consume too much.

ELEX is the driving force behind differentiating the game from its peers. Any number of RPGs share similarities in their mechanics, but a unique setting truly elevates familiarity into something more. During my half hour demo, I watched the player character walk around a world that had been shaped by a fantastical post-apocalyptic event.

Players will run through dense woods and come upon cracked highways and towering buildings. This is a world where players can fight dinosaur-like creatures and robots with suits of armor and glowing eyes. In my demo, we fled from combat with a giant, high-level ogre only to run into an equally deadly robot.

The world of ELEX has been shaped by various factions, technologies and magic, the results of which are etched into Magalan. A deeper lore can be uncovered through audio logs and books, ensuring that the past doesn’t stay buried under a hundred years of meteor rubble.
 

ELEX

Gruesome beasts can be lured into villages and kill quest givers.

If you’ve dabbled into any open-world RPG in the last decade, there are vistas from ELEX that will strike a familiar chord. At first blush, ELEX takes ideas you may have seen before and simply cuts and pastes them together in a compelling way.

Thankfully, Piranha Bytes is harmonizing the fantasy and sci-fi elements to craft a cohesive universe that players will want to get lost in. According to the developer, ELEX contains more than 80 hours of gameplay, which can be a blessing in a tantalizing open world with things to do and a curse in boring, empty ones. Whether the game will feel like separate visions welded together hinges on if this world is believable.

Opening Up

Piranha Bytes is pushing ELEX beyond the normal expectations of an open-world RPG through more than just a spin on setting. The developer took a few minutes to show off the game’s jetpack, which introduces some unexpected verticality to the genre.

Jetpacking around ELEX’s world allows players to go anywhere they want. In an open-world game, seeing a beautiful landmark or panning over a mountain range in the distance creates a sense of place, but it becomes a “wow” moment when you can actually go to those places. During my demo, the developers showed off the beauty of the game’s open world, but only did so after using the jetpack to boost up the steel beams of a hollowed building.
 

ELEX

The jetpack introduces verticality and movement options to the world.

The jetpack is about creating new opportunities for players and allowing the developers to think about ELEX’s vertical spaces. Dangerous combat situations can be avoided, or at least temporarily dodged, by shooting up into the sky and hovering away. Now that mountain off in the distance seems like less of a hassle to ascend. I was even more impressed when I was told that there would be no loading zones when traveling across the world.

Future Dangers

ELEX promises a lot of the creature comforts players have become used to in games over the past few years. Stealth, crafting, pickpocketing, fast traveling and base building are a few of the boxes the game checks off. Combat was one aspect of the game I didn’t see a lot of but became more curious about as it was explained to me.

Weapons in ELEX are the expected arsenal of bows, swords, shields and guns. The clash of technology with medieval fantasy also brings chainswords into the game and the ability to use ELEX to infuse weapons with magic. Players will hack and slash at enemies, consuming stamina and building up a combo meter. Being able to read enemy movements and dodge their attacks gives the impression of a faster, less brutal Souls game. With Souls in mind, the game doesn’t pause when you go into the inventory.
 

ELEX

Mystery surrounds the world and its many NPCs and factions.

If battles become too intense, players have the choice to lure enemies into settlements and villages to get a helping hand. Doing so may take the pressure off your health pool, but it puts quest givers at risk of being ripped to shreds. In the unfortunate event of that transpiring, the story will adjust the narrative appropriately.

While ELEX has traditional RPG leveling, Piranha Bytes is diversifying the process by adding learning points. These are skills and abilities that can be taught by other characters in the game. A hunter can teach players to skin creatures better to reward more materials. This makes the process of leveling up and improving your character more than just a simple method of unlocking. Your character is actually being taught abilities and learning new things, making the role playing that much deeper.

Because such a big world can be quite lonely, ELEX offers companions and factions to become involved with. Seven companions will be available over the course of the game, with romance options available — there’s no word on if the robot companion can be romanced, though.

Factions operate as you may expect in that allegiance can be pledged to them for the added benefit of opening up new quests, acquiring unique loot, and pissing off an opposing faction. As an example, I was shown the Cleric and Outlaw factions.

Outlaws live in their own camp in the far reaches of the world. Imagine a bunch of Mad Max types banding together tempting your loyalty with the ability to craft expensive ranged ammo. Clerics are polar opposites of the Outlaws. The Cleric base is full of sharp, angular lines, surrounded by the blacks and reds of the technology they hold dear. They fight off the evils of the world with energy weapons and thick armor.
 

ELEX

Your allegiances will be rewarded with new quests and items.

Players will swear allegiance to a faction and can’t go back on that decision. Dialogue options will change and NPCs will react differently based on what faction you choose to align with. I understand the narrative choice to limit this option, but it would be nice to allow players to explore all facets of the game without having to start an entirely new playthrough.

Promise of Depth

ELEX looked nearly ready for primetime based on what I saw at E3 — as it should considering the game releases on Oct. 17. I’m sure there will be a handful of open-world jank, but the bits and pieces I’ve seen demonstrated a good amount of polish and even more care.
 

ELEX

Companions will be a crucial component of forging your own path.

The game has been in development for three years, and Piranha Bytes is investing a lot of work into making ELEX stand out from the crowd. Any fan of the genre will embrace its multiple endings and different ways to react and respond to dialogue and world events. But what should really spark the interest of players is how the game is twisting familiar conventions.

It isn’t often that science fiction and fantasy fuse together in interactive media. The taste of different enemy types and vistas only made me yearn for the other kinds of beasts and constructs tucked away in the far corners of the world.

ELEX looks like an exciting game that can capture the imagination of players. In a few months we’ll see if it lives up to that promise.

ELEX will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

 

Ben Sheene

Ben Sheene

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ben is from Kentucky where he originally began playing games (an activity he still continues to this day). With a love for writing he graduated from Centre College with a BA in English. He recently moved to California to pursue whatever future endeavors were there. A passion for music, gaming, blogging, and existing keeps him up at night and crafts him into the person he is today.
Ben Sheene
Ben Sheene

Latest posts by Ben Sheene (see all)

tags: , , , , ,

Related Posts

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Preview

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Preview: Rock the House

Jul 18th, 2017No Comments

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Preview: A New Hope

Jul 13th, 2017No Comments

Moss

Moss Preview: An Enchanting Virtual Storybook

Jul 12th, 2017No Comments

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Preview: Changing Mario’s Game

Jul 11th, 2017No Comments

Top Articles

Sundered Review: Virtual Insanity Aug 21st, 2017 at 12:00

What’s in Your Box: Chilli Dog Mania Aug 19th, 2017 at 11:00

Yakuza 6 Western Release Date Announced Aug 18th, 2017 at 8:25

We Happy Few Release Date, Publisher Announced Aug 17th, 2017 at 11:30

Death Squared Review: Quality Insurance Aug 15th, 2017 at 10:00

Pokémon GO Legendaries: Now What? Aug 14th, 2017 at 10:30

New Releases: Week of 8/13/17 Aug 13th, 2017 at 1:32

What’s in Your Box: Ink My Wagon Aug 12th, 2017 at 10:30

Play For Honor For Free This Weekend Aug 10th, 2017 at 8:12

Miitopia Review: An Adventure with Friends Aug 9th, 2017 at 12:00

Sundered Review: Virtual Insanity Aug 21st, 2017 at 12:00

Death Squared Review: Quality Insurance Aug 15th, 2017 at 10:00

Miitopia Review: An Adventure with Friends Aug 9th, 2017 at 12:00

Valkyria Revolution Review: Passive Aggression Aug 4th, 2017 at 10:00

Tumbleseed Review: Roll-like Jul 25th, 2017 at 10:00

The Surge Review: Souls of Scrap Jun 27th, 2017 at 11:00

NBA Playgrounds Review: Jam Session Jun 8th, 2017 at 8:00

Pokémon: Magikarp Jump Review Jun 5th, 2017 at 9:42

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review: New Tricks May 23rd, 2017 at 9:00

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop Review: Just Desserts May 22nd, 2017 at 10:29

bestjett buyeww 8889325989 link


besttrew buyhfgh 8889325989 link


bestavbe buydfgss 8889325989 link


bestjett buyeww 4836867424 link


besttrew buyhfgh 4836867424 link


bestavbe buydfgss 4836867424 link


bestjett buyeww 7514647354 link


besttrew buyhfgh 7514647354 link


bestavbe buydfgss 7514647354 link


bestjett buyeww 9672883538 link


besttrew buyhfgh 9672883538 link


bestavbe buydfgss 9672883538 link


bestjett buyeww 7642659899 link


besttrew buyhfgh 7642659899 link


bestavbe buydfgss 7642659899 link