ELEX... Reviewed!

Own or be owned... again and again and again!

Elex is one of those open-world RPG's that has a lot to offer and I appreciate the variety the world delivers. Some locations are more beautiful than others, but the beauty is in the variation and the types of experiences you will come across in these different lands. (This includes beasts and people.)

You play as a former Alb Commander by the name Jax who overcame his dependence to Elex. You may be wondering what Elex is because the game's titled the same. Elex is an element (in this game) that came by way of a comet impacting the planet; in other words... you're experiencing life in a world influenced by Elex (and you're fresh out of rehab). You pick up soon after Jax was nearly killed by fellow Albs... and you wake up in the shoes of a noob. You still look like a bad ass... but... you can't exactly get the job done just yet. I won't sugarcoat it, Elex is one of those games that literally leaves me feeling like I went through hell just to get from one location to the next. There are beasts everywhere, mutants, and people who don't exactly have a welcome mat on their doorstep.

I didn't start this game thinking I was going to just dominate Magalan, but... I didn't think the character would be such a weakling. There are settings that allow you to change up the difficulty, but it may only leave you asking... "What did it change?". It's more rewarding when it isn't a cakewalk, but playing around with the difficulty settings don't hurt.

Tips: Day one, learn how to evade an attack and counter. It's crucial to your survival.

Learn how to use the items, and... before you proceed further into the story after meeting the first NPC, use this NPC for level ups asap. Don't just rush off to the destination (or go it alone), take on beasts in the land and even if the NPC doesn't follow you to the beasts directly... remember where he's located and let the beast follow you to him. From there, let the beast square off with the NPC while you take cheap shots because you don't have enough oomph to take them down yourself at this point. This is one of the quicker roads to leveling up before you have to actually earn a companion officially.

Trust me... if you do this, you'll thank me later. Grind and get your level up by doing this, only after learning how to evade, attack, counter, running and jumping. Definitely, remember to run because you are not prepared for everything when you start off... and even after you've become a seasoned bad ass, some beasts and other enemies can still take you out. Play it smart out there.

In Elex, you may start off as an ex-Alb... but what you choose to become is up to you. When the adventure began, I had my fingers crossed hoping that I could customize Jax. That opportunity never came up though... which was disappointing, I wish character customization was available (I loved that about Mass Effect... among other things). In this game, you do get a choice between factions though... wielding magic as a Berserker like some sort of Earth Day crusader, taking the religious route with technological enhancements as a Cleric, or go lawless as an Outlaw.

Going back to your character starting off as a weakling, if you don't follow my tips (which you don't have to... in order to smooth out the initial experience) you will probably find it harder to get going. I would say that the initial experience may get some gamers bummed out... but if you get the game, I challenge you to get your money's worth. The difficulty increases the challenge, not just to lengthen the gameplay... it forces you to step your strategy up. Yeah... I went through hell to get from one location to the next, but it was awesome to fight, dodge and run like hell. I established a strategy through the challenge of survival.

Tip: What I do when an enemy is too strong, is... go and piss off an even stronger beast so it could chase me to that location. From there I just find a place to hide nearby and the beast usually ends up solving my problem. If it doesn't get rid of the targeted enemy, then I know I have to take a different approach or... find a stronger beast to finish the job. I focused on building my skill points so that I could use them on the attributes that unlock the ability to use a gun. After that... I made a few return trips to areas where enemies sent me packing and I was able to bring the pain; others... not just yet.

I enjoy this game, but I can't lie... there are annoyances. The minimap objective size isn't that great... and if I have to look at the large map to find my way because something isn't getting the job done the way it's supposed to, that's a problem. There should be bigger icons (which should be easy to replace). I want to know where I need to go if I have landed myself in hot water and need to escape. I don't want to run the wrong way and have to cross through the same location to get back on track... because sometimes it was a fight to make it out alive the first time.

Another thing that can be annoying is the crouching... which can occur when you're trying to run (crouch could've been done by pressing down the right analog stick). This is one of those OMG moments... because its no time to crouch when you should really be getting the hell out of dodge! I crouched when this gigantic stalker was after me and... I gasped as I rolled out of the way at the last second. Oh and I can't forget about the time it takes to get back up after taking a hit. If energy was lower, I could understand getting up slower, but when I get hit and I can't get up and dodge the second attack... I'm not the happiest camper.

Audio is good... but at the same time... it's not wow either, it gets the job done. One thing I could do away with is the water sound effect when jumping or flying out of the water. It seems a bit loud.

Price wise... it fits, because there is a lot of quality content to enjoy. Replay value is heavy so you won't be disappointed in that department because this clearly isn't a one and done game.

Overall, Elex is actually one of those games that I didn't foresee liking... (I just went in with an open mind) but it has a charm and the options that keep me coming back for more. The exploration is something I enjoy in games, but the world of Magalan is one I want to continue digging into even after the review because there are things that I wanted to check out but I didn't have time to.

I went back to the starting point and found various things after searching a bit more and I'm getting the hang of preparing for the poisonous & toxic locations (good lore is hidden in these places... but so is the chance of dying). The road to becoming a super bad ass is getting closer and closer, some of the powers available in this game remind me of Star Wars actually (i.e. Force Push). I saved six outlaws from these giant mutant bugs after using a Force Push... and all I could think about from that point is "Where are the lightsabers?!". I almost think I'm ready for the land below the lift (last time did not go so well... I scaled a mountain to escape). Anyway, game on... and Happy New Year!

Fun factor: 4

Visually: 5

Replay value: 5

Price: 5

"4.75 / 5 Cool Points"

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