Developer: Piranha Bytes
Publisher: THQ NORDIC
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 01/03/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
I know I am in the minority here but I did enjoy the very flawed but strangely enjoyable ELEX. So when I heard there was a second one I figured the only way is up from here. Did it meet the expectations or will it be lost to the winds of times like the first installment?
The story in ELEX 2 sees you play as Jax years after the events of the first game. We are once again on the planet of Magalan and we are living alone when a race of aliens falls from the sky. It hit directly Jax House, and he has to run. While fleeing he is bit by an alien dog/Xenomorph like animals. The bit infects Jax with a disease that leads him to find help from his son’s mother.
In order to save the world, Jax must set up the Bastion and bring together people from all over Magalan to face the invading hordes and save the world… Again.
As ELEX 2 is an open world RPG, the main quest is just the overarching narrative, the main story and the lore comes from finding side quests in the world and interacting with the populace. The interaction with the factions and companions also plays a big part in the narrative. The story will surprise you in places.
A Flawed But Mostly Enjoyable Game
As ELEX 2 comes from the same people who made Gothic, you will know what you are in for. With a hand crafted world, plenty of killing and, of course, a lot of talking.
The gameplay is pretty much what you would expect from an open world ‘Gothic’ RPG. You are free to roam where you want, but with plenty of caution, as not all the enemy’s levels are what you would be expecting. You will be slowly making your way through a hoard of rats, then another monster you think should be about your level, one shot you. To be fair, this feels slightly more feasible. Having stronger monsters in all areas of the world feels more alive.
To be honest, even when you’re level 50 and got the best armour you can get and fully upgraded same with weapons, there are some fights that will still hand you your arse before you know what has happened. So regardless, make sure that you are ready for the fights and the area you are in.
The battles are a little unbalanced in terms of weapons, as melee weapons seem to make the game harder. And more intense and you will die a fair amount. Whereas ranged attacks make the game fairly easy (mostly). There does not seem to be a middle ground in combat.
On a plus note, the combat if far more refined and competent than it was. Thus making fights far more enjoyable and less a chore even if it’s the harder fights.
There has been a massive overhaul of the Jetpack in ELEX 2. In the first game, it is a limited tool that allows for super easy traversal of the world and that’s it. Now it is a more involved and developed concept. We can upgrade the Jetpack to allow Jax more options in both combat and traversal. For example, boosters that allow Jax to get from one end of the map to the other in mere moments.
A Few Issues
ELEX 2 has a few problems technically. There are some instances of slow down and crashes. With some loading problems where dialog will start before the game is fully loaded and some delays before cutscene start. None that will ruin your experience, just a few annoyances.
Overall ELEX 2 is much more of the same from ELEX, but noticeable improvements have been made. However, not enough to make players change their mind if they did not like the first one.
However, for the price tag, I would have liked fewer bugs. Along with ELEX 2 not being everyone’s cup of tea, it seems on the expensive side.