By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on October 23, 2017
Don't you just hate it when a random meteorite destroys a large portion of life on your planet? I mean, just imagine you have just painted your house and all of a sudden there's fire, dust and other assorted crap all over the place! Well, if you happen to live on a planet called Magalan, you are probably all too familiar with this scenario...
So, welcome to Magalan; a planet that was thriving and making great advances in technology before the aforementioned meteorite came along and ruined it for everyone. After the dust had settled, the survivors banded together in factions and started, as factions often do, to wage war on each other for survival and dominance. As if this wasn't enough in itself, the meteorite that crashed on the planet also brought another power into the mix; a mysterious and hitherto unknown element called Elex.
Elex is a powerful element with numerous applications, ranging from powering machines to imbue the user with magical properties and even reshaping life itself. Naturally all the factions want to get their hands on as much Elex as possible, and this is where the proverbial shit really hits the fan. You are an elite member of the largest faction in Magalan: The Albs, who are basically all soldiers that have used Elex from childhood in order to numb their emotions and raise their strategic insight, making them cold and calculating fighting machines.
Next to the Albs, there are three other factions on Magalan: The Berserkers, the Clerics and the Outlaws. The Berserkers are tough fighters that want nothing more to do with everything related to modern technology and are best compared to a group of medieval knights. The Clerics are religious zealots in service of their god, Calaan. They do not ingest the Elex, but instead use it to power their mighty war machines. The third faction, the Outlaws are a band of warriors who use Elex as a stimulating drugs and have no structured form of leadership. Instead, whoever is the toughest, is the leader.
So, back to our protagonist; you are on a mission to tip the balance of power in the Albs' favor once and for all. However, in an act of pure treason, your jet gets shot down before you can reach your goal, necessitating you to make your way through the harsh and unforgiving lands of Magalan... without Elex for the first time in your life! Being an Alb, you are like the least popular kid in school, only imagine your school being as large as a planet, filled with bullies that are out for blood. So you disguise your heritage, as not to be recognized as being an Alb. In doing so, you can earn the trust of the three factions and, eventually, even join forces with one of them, as long as they don't find out who you really are. Oh man, this can only end in tears! Will you be able to survive long enough to discover why you were betrayed and bring the guilty parties to justice?
Being an open world RPG, Elex offers a range of expansive and gorgeous environments for you to explore, divided into five regions. As opposed to other games in the genre, the entire world is available for exploration right away. On your journey, you will come across a host of characters, either friendly or hostile, and it is your choice how to approach and talk to them. The way you answer their questions or react to their remarks, defines how much they will trust you and your overall alignment. You can gather resources that are scattered across the ruins of the old world, or the bases of the factions, which can be used to trade or craft gear and upgrades.
The world of Magalan is a dangerous one. Whether you come across members of a faction you managed to piss off somehow, or are being set upon by mutated creatures that somehow survived the meteorite-impact and now roam the lands freely, you will have to be constantly on your toes. Luckily, a range of weapons can help you with overcoming some of these dangers. These weapons can range from anything between a sword or pike to a shotgun or flame thrower. Not a fan of normal weapons? Why not try your hand at some magic! Elex offers a wide variety of attack abilities and it's really up to you to decide which ones are best suited to your preferred playing style!
Overall, Elex is a very good game that offers a solid immersion into the war torn planet of Magalan. The decisions you make shape the story and help determine the outcome of your quest. Visually, it looks good and you actually get a sense of accomplishment when you take the next step in your journey. If there had to be one thing I had to criticize, it would be the thing that I find lacking in many, if not all, RPG's; the movement of your character looks a bit stiff at times and the combat isn't as fluent as in games like God of War or titles like it. But then again, it is an RPG, not a hack 'n slash, so I can't really hold it against the game, now can I?
So, in short, Elex is a challenging and immersive game that offers you tons of possibilities and, if you're into RPG's, hours and hours of gameplay. Interact with lots of characters, watch the story unfold and run, craft and fight your way through the perilous and expansive environments of Magalan. Decide the path you want to take and, in doing so, the fate of an entire planet!