ELEX Interview

The folks at WCCF Tech have recently talked to Amadeus Weidmann, Game Designer at Piranha Bytes, on the subject of ELEX, Piranha Bytes' upcoming action-RPG. Jetpacks, game systems and mechanics, romance – the interview covers them all. And then, it touches on Piranha Bytes' reputation for making games with a fair share of bugs and janky combat animations. An excerpt:

What are the main innovations and gameplay additions in ELEX compared to previous Piranha Bytes titles, aside from the different setting?

We added the Jetpack as a core feature of our game because we believe that our players love to explore and we wanted to give them the total freedom to do so. Also, we really want to immerse the player in our world so we made sure that he almost never gets reminded that he is just playing a game. A few things to achieve that are for example the absence of loading zones. The player will never encounter a loading zone in the huge continent of Magalan, the game does not stop if the player opens his inventory and so on. A lot of our NPCs in the game are mortal. This means the player can kill almost everyone. If he kills someone who had a quest for the player, that quest is gone but if he kills someone who was only part of another quest, the quest will get different dialogs and maybe a different ending.

Is there a level cap? Could players unlock all skills (except the faction ones)?

There is no level cap. But each consecutive level needs more and more experience points.

Will it be possible to mix and match weapons without restrictions, for instance using a shield and a gun at the same time?

You can use Swords or other one-handed weapons together with a shield but, for example, a two-handed hammer cannot be used together with a shield. But of course, you can switch from sword and shield to a laser rifle instantly.


For those who intend to become an outlaw, will bounties carry over from town to town or are they local?

The Outlaws are a faction in our game. If you join them, the other factions might not like you anymore but you will not be a criminal. You only get a bounty on your head if you commit too many crimes in a city and if this happens you can’t for example trade anymore in that city, but only in that city. Other cities are still friendly towards you unless you commit crimes there, too.

Can you talk about the companion system? Is it possible to upgrade their equipment?

You can learn perks which make your companions stronger. We have a lot of features for companions in ELEX. They have their own character and will interrupt you in dialogues, comment on your surroundings, have their own questlines and even leave you if you do too much stuff they dislike.

A fairly significant amount of bugs has been the bane of previous Piranha Bytes games. Do you feel that ELEX will fare much better in this regard at launch?

If you look at the Risen series then you will see that those games do not have many bugs anymore. This time we even made all console versions ourselves to ensure that these versions are on the same level.

Similarly, users have often lamented the “janky” combat and animations. Do you think ELEX has been improved significantly in this area?

We had a lot of positive feedback about this on our latest version at the GamesCom. Last GamesCom (in 2016) we had some people complaining about the animations so we worked really hard to improve them.