ARPG (third person view) set on a world that has been destroyed and changed by a collision with a comet. The comet brought with it mysterious substances, Elex and Mana, that have altered the landscape, animals, and even the people. Nobody seems to be alive anymore that remembers the time before the comet, but the world is littered with remnants from then. Now people are divided into various groups:
-The Berserkers are ruled by a strict code of laws and ethics. They shun technology. They're a combination of Vikings and the Amish.
-The Clerics are religious fanatics who worship Calaan. They embrace technology.
-The Outlaws are about profit. They have a city/government, but power/money is what rules there. They are essentially what far left extremists think all Capitalists are like.
-The Albs are ruled by the Hybrid and seek out Elex above all else. Failure means death. They consume Elex and are white skinned, cold (a HUGE key word in the game), and logical. Think Data from ST:TNG, but as a junkie.
You are Jax, an Alb commander whose raider was shot down. Your armor and weapons are gone. Even worse, your connection to Elex is gone and you have turned mostly back into a human. (Human? Are they? One assumes this is Earth, but that is never actually proven in any way.) Now you need to get your bearings, figure out who shot you down, and who stole your equipment.
The world of Elex is really cool. The animals/monsters, landscape, and mythos are all well conceived. It's the execution part that is maddening.
This game needed another 6 months of polish. Not saying the game is bad. It was an enjoyable time, but there are so many small details and design decisions that clearly could have used more time to get tested and fleshed out.
For example: There are apparently multiple endings and different slide show fates given to the different characters you encounter based on what you do in the game. Now some of them can be altered by your actions, like if you kill one of them (although, not always true...). However, the ending of the game, by all accounts, seems to be based more on your "cold level". Your cold level is given to you via words, but you're never told anything about the scale. There is one way to decrease it, but two ways to increase it. The first way to increase/decrease it is through conversations with people. Certain choices will lower your cold level, while others will increase it. You would think this would be easy to spot or contain a tag indicating the effect, but no. That means lots of exiting and reloading a save point to ensure you get the results you want. That also means not responding to conversations the way YOUR CHARACTER would, which kind of kills the whole "RP" aspect. Now the other way to increase cold is to consume Elex, which your character will do. Certain Elex potions give you skill and attribute points, so if you want any sort of power, you need to consume them. Now here's the best part, the cold level thing is not explained in game. I learned this stuff thanks to Google and reviews. So while it's super easy to raise your cold level, it's very difficult to lower it and impossible once you're done with most of the missions. Just an insanely dumb design decision.
And remember when I talked about killing someone not always changing their fate? (It was the last paragraph, pay attention!) The flags/triggers in the programming are clearly fucked in multiple places. I killed a main character, yet there was his card in the post-ending slideshow saying he died in a battle he didn't attend. I've completed a bunch of missions in my run, talked to the quest giver who had yet to give me the actual quest, and then listen to them drone on about some problem I've already resolved. I had already beaten a LARGE portion of the game before I finally triggered the end of "chapter 1".
Just as bad were several issues with the story/characters. I think the writers and I, as well as a large percentage of people on the internet, disagree with how to resolve issues, what makes you "warm/cold", and just how people generally act. The best way I can put this is imagine that we hired a sitcom writer to dictate your decisions in life. They would inevitably pick the most ridiculous decisions instead of the logic or rational ones. That happens a lot here.
-For example: One asshole gave the leader of the Berserkers a bad word about me, but that asshole is breaking the Berserker law, was pissed at me for not doing something illegal for him, and I have no recourse despite all the evidence.
-Another example: is some guys who needed food and I was given moldy bread to give them until I could find more. However, I only ever got blamed for making them sick off the bread and they never accepted the good food I brought them later
-Another example: Berserkers shun technology, right? Yet they use teleporters in their village. They also VERY annoyingly yell at you every time you use your jumpjet or open your Adjunctor (your menu that you MUST access constantly).
-The Berserker missions are so utterly broken that I joined the Scientologist-like Clerics instead of them or the irredeemably evil Outlaws.
These issues get amplified by the world being completely open. Meaning you can go anywhere and do anything from the start. Game developers really need to get a better handle on this type of game because it caused so many problems here. Part of it was cool as I had to run from monsters a LOT that could wreck my world. (This will cause you to realize a lot of the animations are too slow...)
Anyway, before this becomes a total bitchfest, the story is actually quite good. It's original and interesting. However, the cold meter thing did make my ending rather underwhelming. Again...stupid.
Also, there are characters you meet that travel with you and have their own missions to complete. Think Mass Effect. This is a pretty interesting collection of characters, some of whom are really fleshed out and others not so much. Ray is pretty awesome and deep, but needed a touch more polish for his own story. (One part of which comes out of NOWHERE. It's so fucking random and weird.) Nasty could easily be a top ten favorite NPC of all time, but again not fleshed out, and her ending card was missing a rather ginormous fucking detail... (Seriously, her design, dialogue, and the voice actor were all nailed. Her story line was decent, but could have been better.)
The fighting is good, but could have been better. There are patterns/moves you'll learn to use on certain enemies and others that you simply cannot fight until later. And when later comes you just walk through the game like butter. There's magic, technology, regular melee, ranged combat, etc. So find your favorite and go with it. Each faction has perks that aid you whatever route you choose.
I do recommend this game for folks who like ARPGs or RPGs with loads of missions and a longer story. However, grab it at a lower price. Less than $10 would be ideal.
Oh and there is a sequel coming, which is cool because there were a few interesting loose ends. (I mean seriously, despite its flaws, the story was really solid.)
Mostly PC, but console and mobile too
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