Primarily based on the ending to the primary Elex, its sequel at all times had a transparent goal: defending the planet from an otherworldly menace. Elex 2 not solely realizes that purpose however pulls collectively a narrative with loads of turns and twists, whereas additionally establishing for a correct threequel. Actually, on the finish of the day, Elex 2 delivers on its advertising and marketing guarantees and is what a correct open-world RPG and sequel ought to be.
Elex 2 is not going to be for everybody, nonetheless, and it’s extremely really useful that the primary recreation is performed earlier than it. In any other case, there are quite a lot of nuances that gamers won’t be able to select up on. However, up-front, the most important hurdle for some gamers can be that Elex 2 is clearly a Eurojank recreation. Eurojank is a subgenre outlined as bold video games that punch above their weight, usually lacking a degree of polish anticipated of AAA video games.
Certainly, somebody on the lookout for stellar graphics will seemingly be upset in taking part in via Piranha Bytes and THQ Nordic’s Elex 2. Its facial animations, textures, basic graphics, and extra are nothing to put in writing house about. Some mistake Eurojank video games as one thing usually riddled with bugs too, however this can be a frequent misperception. In our complete playthrough of Elex 2, bugs had been uncommon and by no means intrusive. General, what Elex 2 might lack in look and polish is made up for in sheer depth.
In Elex 2, gamers as soon as once more lace up the boots of Commander Jax. Though he was as soon as a hero within the recreation’s setting, the planet Magalan (which was wrecked by a comet), his deeds have been forgotten to time. Thus, gamers should as soon as once more pull collectively all of the factions of Magalan to face a brand new menace: the Skyands. In doing so, gamers will be taught extra concerning the historical past of the planet, the aim of Elex, the arrival of the comet, and who the Skyands are. Whereas it could appear easy on the floor, Elex 2 will make main reveals all through the sport—at all times tugging the participant to return for the following thriller.
In Elex 1, there are three factions gamers can be a part of: Outlaws, who’re the tough and difficult bandit-like faction of Magalan; Clerics, who’re extremely non secular and might successfully use know-how; and Berserkers, who use mana and magic to try to restore the world. Elex 2 retains all of those factions, permitting gamers to aspect with them within the coming conflict, however expands on them in the perfect of how.
Not solely has the elapsed time impacted their presence and energy in Magalan, however gamers are given much more Elex 2 factions and selections past these. Gamers may also be a part of the Albs, who had been the first antagonists of the primary recreation, as they’ve grown and discovered from Commander Jax. Gamers can be a part of the Morkons, who worship the God of Oblivion and embrace dying, permitting gamers to have an virtually Barbarian or Loss of life Knight-style construct. And, ought to they so want for essentially the most punishing playthrough, they’ll refuse to hitch any faction.
Gamers can be joined by their companions, although. Many acquainted faces from the primary recreation return, although there are model new companions in Elex 2 as effectively. Every has their very own compelling story, if their quests are considerably repetitive. Usually talking, gamers will both journey to a spot to kill an enemy or enemies or go on the lookout for one thing, upon which gamers might want to kill enemies. Nonetheless, the overarching tales of every companion are attention-grabbing and different, and the potential romances of Elex 2 are far more intricate and mature than the primary recreation.
Elex 2‘s dialogue and selections additionally function off a reasonably normal morality system. Gamers’ phrases and actions can contribute to Jax’s Destruction score–a low one means Jax is an effective particular person, a excessive one means Jax is an evil particular person. Its influence on the general recreation is quite minute, but it surely does influence how one offers with companions. It is completely attainable to be locked out of selections due to a Destruction rating.
On the opposite finish of the spectrum, fight is extra refined than Elex 1, however nonetheless not fairly to the extent of many RPGs these days. Gamers can parry, dodge, and use distinctive faction talents, whereas bettering their weapons and armor all through the sport. The number of weapons and armor is kind of restricted, however as most of this could tie right into a participant’s faction, it doesn’t show to be an enormous detriment to the sport. One enchancment that basically units Elex 2 aside from its predecessor is the usage of the Jetpack.
Not solely has its performance within the open world been improved, but it surely now has correct makes use of in fight. Gamers can “hover” and that enables them to face flying foes within the sky or zoom right down to enemies on the bottom. Even when the animations are considerably repetitive, there may be nothing extra thrilling than seeing Jax do a barrel roll via the sky to melee a flying enemy.
The place Elex 2 really shines is in its open world. Gamers are inspired to discover each nook and cranny of it, particularly areas dominated by factions. It’s a world the place aliens, fantasy creatures, and robots are round each nook, and gamers are going to get jumped, insulted, helped, shook down, and admired at each flip. This isn’t some type of check-list open-world recreation, the place the map is scattered with a bunch of icons to finish. No, as a substitute, it’s an open-world recreation in its purest type, full with the liberty of exploration, the flexibility to go anyplace, the sense that the world resides and respiratory, and the rewarding sensation of the journey.
On prime of this, the sheer quest selection and element of the sport is top-notch. After all, there are some generic quest sorts like kill X enemies, escort this NPC, or fetch one thing, however all of this falls to the wayside for its distinctive quests. With out going too far into spoiler territory, Elex 2 runs the complete gamut of RPG quests, and gamers will discover themselves doing one thing totally different each time they flip round. Elex 2 is a time funding that really respects gamers’ time, giving them loads to do with out simply throwing them a listing of actions to finish.
Nevertheless, it ought to be famous that come Elex 2’s last chapter, gamers can be doing quite a lot of combating—in opposition to the Skyands, in opposition to rival factions, and in opposition to everybody if want be. Elex 2 gamers can be getting ready for conflict this complete time, and as soon as the conflict comes, the battles really really feel epic if considerably repetitive. Nonetheless, for a recreation the place the vast majority of quests are uniquely satisfying and this conflict is clearly coming, it solely is sensible from a design standpoint.
Finally, Elex 2 has some small shortcomings like all online game however not the place it issues. If gamers can look previous the tough edges, they’ll discover an open-world RPG that places others to disgrace and a correct sequel that takes the whole lot from the primary recreation and improves upon it tenfold.
Elex 2 releases March 1 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Collection X/S. Sport Rant was offered an Xbox Collection X code for the needs of this evaluate.
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