ELEX - Seven Things You Should Know Before Buying

It isn't particularly surprising that the majority of ELEX coverage, a game by a German studio Piranha Bytes, comes from German websites. Here, for example, we have an article from GameStar that lists seven things we should know before buying the next open world action-RPG from the Gothic developers. And while the original article is in German, this thread on the ELEX subreddit summarizes it in more or less English. There's some other stuff in the thread as well, but here are the main seven points:

Elex doesn't take your hand
  • tiny small tutorial
  • all enemies kill you at least within 3 hits
  • you can miss quests/infos/mechanics if you miss proper attention
  • first hrs are hard and at times frustrating
  • might be either refreshing or totally overwhelming
Elex embraces Piranha-Bytes strengths
  • your char is bluff; piles of coarse dialogs
  • huge open world however with fascinating details around every corner
  • environmental stories; hidden camps; people; weapons; all sorts of stories, audiologs and letters
  • gameplay is defined by the classic gameplay-quintet of combat, conversation, exploration, scavenging and leveling
  • ruthless difficulty
  • but ALSO all the known PB shortcomings (animations, textures, production values...)
Elex is NOT an AAA game
  • graphics doesn't knock anybody's socks off; not ugly either
  • 30 devs working in a single family building
  • animations are stiff, facial expressions and faces are repetitive, some textures look rough.
  • creative Art-Design: picturesque landscapes due to diverse sceneries
  • german syncro is doing well
  • best score since good old Gothic days
Elex runs on a toaster
  • runs on even weak PCs decently
  • with min. details (16x AF, SMAA) even a Geforce GTX 760 will run it with 45fps
The strength of Elex' stories is found offside the main story
  • main story THE most interesting PB has ever written: your alter-ego is a former terroristic ALB-General, who finds himself amidst normal people and societies. We gradually learn more about his own violent past, learn about a vile betrayal and decide how the world should keep on spinning.
  • mix of genres invites to learn and see more of the world
  • main story remains in the background for some time
  • no arc of suspense a la Witcher 3
  • interesting moments offside the main story - side quests, environment, companions
  • each main protagonist has its own little story
  • quests with nasty moral decisions which end up far more gripping than in Gothic or Risen series - HIGHLIGHTs of the game
  • standard fetch quests but also most quests can be solved in more than three different manners
Elex is no Bug-Fiasco, but has rough edges
  • while testing no severe bugs that affect test score
  • however glitches and small issues along the way; nothing has impact on the overall fun factor though.
  • many mechanics lack the necessary fine-tuning; combat can be fiddly and clunky; the jetpack lacks the proper pace; Interface and inventory are neither particularly impressive nor managable.
Elex is a true RPG
  • no Action Game with RPG elements but a true RPG
  • combat is subordiante to the character system
  • Leveling and specialization is often times more interesting than the actual use of such enabled combat mechanics; killing a horde of raptors after you've been pathetically running from them hours priorly is extradordinarily satisfying
  • satisfaction of leveling combat mechanics > clunky combat
  • Crafting, using sockets, alchemy and the correct choice of factions can create a deep and rewarding rpg system.