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Rating: 3.0/5 (4 votes cast)

Pfu, this was a big one, with some rough corners, but totally worth it. Here’s my quick thoughts as the credits are rolling:

+, +, + fascinating interesting world to discover

-, + from the creators of Gothic I kept hoping for another interesting medieval world, but that’s okay because despite my bad expectations they somehow managed to pull it off, to make a mix of medieval and scifi that felt half believable. I didn’t expect that.

+, +, +, +, + Amazing and fascinating story. I say this despite my initial skepticism, but because of the many times it impressed and twisted things around, so many times I thought I had a point of view and opinion which was wonderfully flipped into new revelations and new curiosity and interest. I gotta say I was impressed

+, +, +, -, +, + Amazingly big and fascinating world. So much to explore, so much to do. In many ways it made me think of Zelda Breath of the Wild, in this kind of gameplay of a big world in which all directions are open, where you’re struggling but discovering. The world feels much more mature and well thought out, but also not quite classically fairy tale beautiful. Shockingly it is that too, with many many moments of jaw-dropping beauty. There’s areas in it which are not as artistically well done, but then others which are simply beautiful (amazing vegetation and the day night cycle come to mind). The beauty is enhanced by:

+, +, +, -, – there’s moments of technical excellence. Sometimes the world looks faantastic. And I suspect not just the artwork, which I found just okay, but the tehnical side, the god ray, the HDR lighting, the draw distances. Unfortunately also on the technical side there were some embarrassing weakness. Framerates/controls felt sometimes clunky or lack of fluidity in animations/movements. Another example eeeevery single going into the inventory took bothersomely long. And this is an acitvity that you do as you’d think VERY often in an RPG. Or weird stuff like going into the map and not being able to reach the North East side of it… except then later we discovered at a certain zoom level

-, -,+ the game has a lot of unpolished corners, from clunky controls to the occasional seeming “bugs” nothing game breaking, but little moments of frustration. It felt okay though as the amount of options and things to discover were worth overcoming these things.

+, + quite interesting and often beautiful vegetation. But also the deserts are quite beautiful. As usual didn’t like much the cold and snow areas, but hey, the variety overall I guess had to have it, and there’s even some lava fields. Still, my favourite were the green areas.

+ there’s some nice touches with sounds, for example when I noticed the bird chirping in the green areas I was quite pleasantly surprised

-, +, – the game mechanics are often too little explained. In this it’s a bit like the original Dark Souls, and no, i don’t mean like gameplay like most people do, I mean in it being that kind of unpolished gem where you keep getting annoyed at things that weren’t explained, at stats/traits which seem trivial/useless but then are crucial… but then we forgave it all seeing how much thinking was put behind the stuff and it’s not that the world was bad, just the explanations were underbudgetted

+, + quite cool minigames, I liked the lockpicking in particular, and the hacking was interesting too… but again hoooribly eplained, had to youtube/google it

+, + the music I found okay, not amazing but not bad either; however through repetition does add a lot to the mood of various places

+, +, + pretty interesting factions

– annoying too strong startup/logo/intro sounds… at each startup being too loud and scaring a bit, so many times jumped to grab the volume control, often too late

+, + there’s some nice amount of choice and tradeoffs

– the freedom in gameplay choices means you can easily make a game which can already be hard to learn the ropes of, even harder, which is what I did.

-, – yet another game which doesn’t understand the meaning of an “easy” difficulty, though in the end it was a good enough game to be worth putting up with that

-, – there can be pretty strong discrepancies between what your character says and how he speaks and your actual abilities in the game, like he may be talking like a powerful person while you feel yourself in practice very weak. Similarly you encounter people in the world which talk to you like you’re some great hero and powerful problem solver even while you’re in fact hiding behind your companions which do most the work or you simply run away from places.

+, +, + a large amount of interesting quests loaded with interesting characters and stories, both in world characters and companions that surprise and delight

– the endgame has a bit of a cliff hanger ending… which I don’t fully agree with as I prefer great stories to be closed, even if they will be enriched or expanded later, but one has to admit it was done pretty nicely and while one is left with curiosity I have to give it to them they do manage to misdirect wonderfully with a lot of wrapups of other loose ends and mysteries.

+, +, +, + I really had the impression they have put a lot of thought into creating this world

+, +, + plus although i would’ve hoped for a purely dark fantasy world without the scifi, I gotta say they managed to do amazing world building here, and in particular I have great admiration for the effort of creating a NEW world, something which, it’s true, can only be done once, but it is the more remarkable because of that. It’s much easier to build on an existing world, but to create a new one, and do so with such ambition and backstory, i gotta say I’m impressed

Overall I’d give this game a 3.9 on a -5 5o 5 scale. Despite the rough corners and lack of polish which made me initially just think of just a 3.5 the size and scale and grandeur of the project, the ambition and choices… as well as the amazing length of the story (I think about 90h so far, and story ongoing after credits also) has impressed me in great ways.

PS: it’s only after the credits and after doing another big set of wrapup world exploration that when the game did a “summary of your actions” ending type of things that I remembered again just how much this game reminded me of my beloved Fallout 2: not just in the way where it pays off to go around to talk with random people in the town but in it’s quest and story structure, perfect for this kind of complex ending that requires a very flexible non-cinematic summary, because your actions in the world cannot be summarized in 1 or 3 or even 5 endings, but instead they are upon locations and upon people and upon projects. Another great plus for the game! + +  + +

PS2: even after finishing the game it’s still a fun to explore more, and I’m finding to my surprise still new and interesting areas.

ELEX - impressions, 3.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings