World’s colliding is a complete understatement when it comes to THQ Nordic’s Science-Fiction and Fantasy crossover, Elex
As a fanboy/nerd/geek, I have numerous different fandoms. Being a fanboy/nerd/geek, I thoroughly enjoy talking about my fandoms. These conversations often involved the overlapping of multiple fandoms and interactions between those fandoms. This is a common trend that can be seen in such discussions as, Goku vs. Superman, Death Battle, and Pirates vs. Ninjas. It’s a great past time, one that nerds have participated in for as long as I can remember. However, Piranha Bytes and THQ Nordic have taken this past time to a whole new level with their upcoming game Elex.
Elex is a handcrafted action-role playing experience from the award-winning creators of the Gothic series. The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic science fantasy universe that puts players into an enormous world, with no loading times between areas, that is full of original characters, mutated creatures, deep moral choices and adrenaline-inducing action. At E3, I got to check out Elex and was in absolute awe of it.
First, there’s the scope of the game. You’re in this huge world that has different seasons, different regions, that are all uniquely populated by differing creatures, people, structures, and items. The world is uniquely designed and put together and has logical and expected transitions. Deserts are around mountains and snow is in higher altitude, plus there is no load time between areas so you can travel around the whole world in one go. What I also really like, is that the enemies and NPC’s are all finite elements of the world. That means you can kill all the creatures and almost all the NPCs and just have a desolate world. I personally don’t think anyone should spend the time to do that, but I think it’s an intriguing factor of the game.
Aside from the grand scale and depth of the world and inhabitants of Elex, what I think is the biggest appeal to the game is the cross-sectional genre of science fiction and fantasy. In the world of Elex, Elex is a new element that can be used externally or internally. That is definitely not the most direct or exciting way to say it, but let me explain. Elex can be used by players to imbue themselves with power, or it can be used as a resource to power their equipment. Elex can also be completely avoided for the unnatural resource it is. Players are able to join different factions that have different beliefs in the use of Elex. Essentially, players can go full on technology oriented that uses Elex for energy or go the complete opposite and be a primitive Mad Max group that doesn’t touch the stuff, and everything in between.
The variety of Elex consumption and use is how the game is able to have such a wide array of cross genres naturally in the same world. Picture a Mad Max-ish style brigade taking on a giant mech robot, or a troop of futuristic soldiers that have laser-based technology taking on a giant mystical troll, or a Viking-like warrior with a jet pack taking on a dinosaur. All of that is possible and likely in Elex.
The grand scale and dream crossover fantasy is all tied together with an amazing real time UI and AI. There are no forced HUDs or pauses from the game. The UI is based on the player’s character looking at a wrist device. So, if you want to switch weapons, you better be somewhere safe or else something can take you out while you’re looking down. The UI, the lack of loading, and lack of an intrusive HUD are all designed to fully immerse the player in this grand world.
To solidify the experience, the AI in the game is fully adaptive and responsive to the player’s actions and choices. Depending on your actions and choices, different aspects of the game will unlock, different characters react to you, and different options become available. A part I forgot to mention about the Elex, is the effect it has on the player. Consuming the Elex imbues players with magical abilities, however, it takes away from the player’s humanity. They become more logical and machine-like. Which will affect the responses and choices available to them, and inevitably how the game unfolds.
Elex is shaping up to be the next big game that is going to consume many lives. With no definitive paths, endless options, and multiple factions, it’s a game that screams multiple playthroughs and hundreds of hours of entertainment. The game also features varying difficulties so players can play through for the story, or even turn it into the next Dark Souls. I’m already imagining playing through it as a technologically advanced warrior, a magic wielding wizard, and an only the basics savage. I’d probably play on a low difficulty jus to get through it. I’m very excited but also scared that I won’t see the real world for days at a time. Anyway, watch the trailer, check out the images, and put in your vacation days.
Elex is set to release this August on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC from THQ Nordic.