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Piranha Bytes and Nordic Games have announced an "edgy, dark, uncompromising [and] complex" open-world role-playing game called ELEX for PC and "current gen consoles". It's due out winter 2016/2017.


A vertical slice build of the game will be shown at Gamescom next month.


Piranha Bytes is the German studio responsible for the Gothic (not number 4) and Risen series of fantasy role-playing games. In other words it's been doing this for a long time. But Piranha Bytes won't develop it alone: ELEX is described as a collaborative project with Nordic Games. Nordic hasn't made a name for itself in development yet but has been making some noise snapping up old game licenses from sunken publishers THQ and JoWooD.


Nordic's business development boss Reinhard Pollice described ELEX as "edgy, dark, uncompromising [and] complex". Piranha Bytes' game director Bjorn Pankratz called ELEX "a completely new game experience with a fresh setting".


The press release blurb described a "post-apocalyptic science fantasy universe that puts players into a huge, seamless game world full of original characters, mutated creatures, deep moral choices and powerful action".


Oh and ELEX, incidentally, looks like it stands for Eclectic, Lavish, Exhilarating and Xenial.





Edited by WhiteWolf
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  • 2 years later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Deep deep sale. Garbage AI despite having awesome exploration. Lack of polish is fine. 


Summary So much to like. Held back by so many issues. If you are like me and like PB's games you may like it. But for now, the AI and various other little things NEED to be patched. Also sorry for what some are calling very late game spoiler stuff. I tried to steer clear of it and its quick enough I think it passes. apologies. Also, any stutter in the video is I guess youtube. So odd. It's not been doing well with its transcodes. But aside from the drops as I said in mists and random little bits it actually is very smooth.



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Sounds like a PB game alright. I honestly can't wait to jump in! Some of my most memorable RPG experiences have been from the Gothic and Risen games. I agree that objectively these games aren't worth buying at full price and require a lot from the player but at the same time they offer freedom and actual problem solving like no other open world game. The first few hours are absolutely brutal and almost like a rite of passage.

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Okay I promised posting impressions so here it is!


I spent most of my Diwali break playing this game and have already spent 25 hours on it.


First things first - this isn't your regular AAA RPG that holds your hand and like the previous games from Piranha Bytes it is brutal and unforgiving as hell. Hell I didn't even fight anything properly in the first 10 hours or so. At least not until I got a companion and even then even minor creatures could easily kill me. The difference between a PB game and other open world games is that in most games the enemies gradually get harder as you reach higher level zones. There are no "zones" in this game. Enemies of all levels prowl everywhere. It's up to you to engage or simply avoid them. The game clearly marks high level enemies with skulls. However it is still completely possible to kill them if you play right.


I've heard a lot of complaints about combat from reviewers and while some of it is deserved I'll say this is probably the best combat system PB has ever done. It's somewhat clunky at first (don't expect Dark Souls style melee even though the controls are somewhat similar) but gets manageable as you invest in skills and get better gear. It isn't a button mash style combat system and I've seen many reviewers playing it like that (one dude kept complaining about the combat while trying to fight a skull-marked enemy with starter gear - I think it was IGN). The combat is all about mixing heavy and light attacks based on timing to stack more damage and unleashing with a finisher. Once I learned that, it became easier (but still challenging as you really need to pick fights carefully). When characters say the wilderness is dangerous, they f**king mean it!


The game also allows for more creative solutions like using the (very awesome) jetpack to quickly get away and use a vantage point enemies cannot reach and taking them down with ranged weapons. I was able to defeat many high level creatures by simply using the environment and a companion as distraction. Other times I took out groups of enemies by simply kiting high level creatures to their location and letting them fight.


Combat is one thing though but the game is also a rich RPG world begging to be explored. It's a bit like Fallout mixed with futuristic sci-fi and fantasy elements. This is a post-apocalyptic world with tech, magic and mutants. There are multiple factions and all have their own ideology, quests, gear and quest lines. You can commit to joining one but this isn't Skyrim where you can do everything. Choices have consequences all the time - sometimes as severe as a faction banning you from entering their towns permanently. Important NPCs can be killed and the story adapts to that. Quests have multiple solutions and often nest with other quests and will have you making difficult choices.


Apart from following quests, you can also explore many abandoned buildings and settlements for gear and supplies. Every piece of loot from a random water bottle to an upgraded weapon are hand placed. Nothing in this game is "generated" so you won't find copy paste quests apart from a few of the building layouts being similar. The character building system is also very in-depth and there are hard choices to make on how you want to build your character.


So yes, I'm enjoying the game a lot. Do know that It really does ask a lot from the player and it will frustrate you at first when you cannot make progress without dying at every encounter. However it rewards smart players who explore, talk to everyone and find creative solutions. No one makes RPGs like these days and that is why Elex is a special game. It doesn't play like a checklist of items to do and doesn't make your character this all-conquering badass who can do everything.


That said, like all PB games it is a flawed gem. The KB/Mouse controls in menus suck and I started using a controller about 2 hours in and haven't looked back. The menus themselves are badly designed and look boring. Some of the voice acting is like amateurs reading from a piece of paper with zero emotion. The main character is also a standard issue bald space marine who looks like Jason Statham and sounds like Batman. What's with Piranha Bytes and gruff bald dudes as the main character? Anyway, the good definitely outweighs the bad and I honestly think this is one of the best games I've played this year. Depends on how the rest of the game plays out this also might be the best game Piranha Bytes has made. It will get bad reviews and mediocre scores but no one plays games like this for metacritic scores, you play a Piranha Bytes RPG because it offers freedom and an interesting world to explore that's rarely found in modern focus tested AAA games.


PS: I'm playing it on the PC and it is pretty much flawless, 60 fps @ 1080p with everything maxed on my i5 4670K / GTX 1070.

Edited by Tyler
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3 hours ago, Tyler said:

The main character is also a standard issue bald space marine who looks like Jason Statham and sounds like Batman. What's with Piranha Bytes and gruff bald dudes as the main character?



Think that after Gothic's and Risen's nicely coiffed hairdos the studio went all like, f**k this sh*t. 

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