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ELEX II | PS5 Review

ELEX II, developed by Piranha Bytes and published by THQ Nordic is an open world RPG set in a sci-fi land that's under great oppression from a new threat. It is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, and XBox, and for the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.


 

Taking place some time after the events of the first game, you resume the role of Jax who had just defeated the original threat to his home, however, now opening up ELEX II on the fantasy planet of Magalan; there is a new threat that is endangering all life on the planet. To overcome this, Jax has to go on a treacherous mission to unite the various factions around Magalan to come together to fight as a united front against these violent aggressors. Equipped with your trusty jetpack, you need to set out on your exploration of Magalan, meet various members of the factions and try your best to befriend as many as possible. Your dialogue choices and failings will be remembered and held against you by the factions, so make your choices wisely with the knowledge that any one thing could potentially see you in great trouble with any faction.


 

Whilst I could very much see what Piranha Bytes were trying to achieve with ELEX II, I felt like it fell short in almost every sense. The dialogue between Jax and the NPC’s felt incredibly long and drawn out, and in the process contained very little that really held my interest. I just couldn’t seem to care about anything that was happening in the game; I couldn’t connect with the characters, never mind giving a single thought for their plight and predicament. Unfortunately, everything just felt a little haphazard and all over the place which contributed to that feeling of just not caring for what was happening because I really struggled to find a cohesive thread, where everything connects to each other and in games where your choices impact things. Being able to follow the narrative and see these connections is very important, whereas in the case of ELEX II, everything just fell into obscurity and had a distinct lack of meaning behind it.


 

The combat could have easily been a redeeming factor, but instead it yet again fell short. The combat was incredibly basic and incredibly clunky. The game clearly wants you to combine light and heavy attacks with dodging and rolling; but instead what ends up happening is you attack, run out of stamina, retreat, let your stamina regenerate and repeat. I feel like smooth combat and movement is essential in these games, and unfortunately this aspect was just another disappointment for me whilst playing ELEX II.

 

I feel very conflicted about ELEX II because I can see what Piranha Bytes were trying to achieve - they were trying to build the next big open-world game. The heart is there, the vision is there, but unfortunately it feels as though the world was far too big for its own capabilities, and it struggled in way too many areas to be enjoyable. I personally feel like if the game was half the size in scale and focused on perfecting the various aspects and polishing up things like the combat, then I believe ELEX II would have been a different experience for me. The ambition and desire is definitely something worth admiring from a small developer team; however, I think on this occasion it has fallen flat and could do with perhaps reigning in the ambition.


Lj's Rating: 2.5 half-baked storylines out of 5.


 

For more information on ELEX II please use the following links...


Piranha Bytes - Developer | Facebook | Twitter | Website

THQ Nordic - Publisher | Facebook | Twitter | Website


Many thanks to Game Tomb for the Review Key.


ELEX II | Windows PC | PlayStation | XBox

 
 

#ELEXII #PiranhaBytes #THQNordic #SciFiRPG #IndieGame