Snapshot: Elex

Flying in on an invisible ship like something from the Marvel franchise the very first impression of the game wasn’t ideal. But after the initial dodgy rendering of textures in the prologue Elex set up an interesting take on SciFi in what seems to be a Skyrim – Fallout crossover.

Today’s snapshot is my first impressions of the Elex, released by THQ Nordic at the back end of last year. Elex is a single player action role playing game retailing on Steam for £39.99 (I caught it on an ever reliable Steam sale).

The Plot

The premise of Elex is an interesting clash of SciFi and Fantasy set on Magalan. “Magalan was a planet looking to the future. Then a comet hit the planet, causing massive destruction. Those who survived are now trapped in a battle to survive, and a struggle to decide the fate of the planet. At the center of this fight is the element ELEX, a precious and limited resource that arrived with the meteor, which can power machines, give magical powers, or re-sculpt life into new, different forms. The protagonist is a former member of the Albs, who consume ELEX as a way to rid themselves of emotions and enable them to make decisions based on cold logic alone.” – Elex Wiki

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I won’t say anymore to avoid spoilers but the setup is promising, on an alien world, with a number of diverse and varied factions with very  different views on the future of Magalan and how Elex should be used. The factions are interesting and from the first 4 hours I have only really experienced the Berserkers in any detail  but the four factions are:

The Berserkers – A Viking style magic using clan against the use of technology which poisons the world. Elex is converted to mana and used to give people magical abilities.

The Albs – SciFi technology focused soldiers that are ruthless and determined to conquer the world.

The Clerics – Tech loving religious types who use Elex to power technology and see consuming Elex as an absolute evil.

The Outlaws – Scavengers of old world ruins and technology think the raiders on Fallout.

Graphics

Graphically Elex looks good, the overall aesthetic in the starting area resembles Fallout if the nuclear wasteland became overgrown with ruined buildings half overgrown with lush plant life. The rest of the map has varied environments from desolate wastes to frozen tundra. The graphics are bold and colourful but not quite of the same level as some of the big triple A games of this year (if that’s the sort of thing you need in your game).

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Mechanics

Elex is a post apocalyptic action role playing game, with intuitive mechanics that are more of less standard across modern gaming. Elex does however come with a few quirks. The HUD is very SciFi in aesthetic which can look odd if you choose to side with the Berserkers with their  Viking like armour and settlements.  The strangest quirk Elex has is that you are not able to interact with the environment when your weapon is drawn. It’s an interesting system that let to me getting stuck for ages unable to locate a quest item because I had my weapon out!

Elex is also noteworthy for its difficulty. The game even on its easiest mode is more challenging than you’d expect in recent games. There seems to be a strong emphasis on slow and steady progress rather than just jumping into and rushing through quests which is refreshing in a modern game.

My Verdict

Elex is a promising game, this snapshot only comes from playing the first 4 hours and already I can’t wait to see where the story goes and experience the rest of what is a large open world. At £39.99 on Steam I would say it is rather pricey so I’d recommend waiting for a sale. But if a SciFi Fallout Skyrim mashup with magic and futuristic tech in a post apocalyptic setting is what your after then Elex is definitely worth a go!

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