Gothic, Risen... ELEX


That’s a very entertaining write up. It also shows very clearly how what you expect determines what you see, for good or ill. Given that the writer is offering impressions, not a formal review, that’s perfectly fine, because I think a lot of what most gamers get out of games what they take into them. And if you take in the same sort of baggage, it’s more likely you’ll come away with a similar viewpoint on the title.

Also, nothing in there contradicts the equally heartfelt criticisms made about the game. It’s entirely possible to have a buggy, ugly, janky, frustrating, poorly balanced and grossly unfair game that is also amazingly compelling, internally consistent, and viscerally satisfying. It just may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

For me, definitely a “wait for the sale” title though.


Though that’s true, I don’t think those apply to Elex. Except maybe janky, as regards combat :)

Most importantly, if it’s an 80 hour experience I want to hear impressions about 80 hours, not 1 hour. Will we come to know and love Magalan like we loved our 200 hours in Skyrim? Why, or why not?

PS: Last night’s useful discovery for me - if you map a key like Alt to the Evade move you don’t need to double tap to roll and you can use the key on its own to do a small jump back.


What if we resented our 250 hours in Skyrim?


Will we come to know and resent Magalan like we resented our 250 hours in Skyrim?


throws computer into the pacific ocean


14 hours in and that’s not been my experience… well okay it is janky. :)

But not buggy, frustrating, or unfair.

When you’re told by the first character you meet that the world is dangerous, they’re not mucking about like in many other games. You have to be careful. Do as advised - get weapons and armour before leaving the safety of the first town, and buff a couple stats and abilities.

Then once you venture out to do a few nearby quests, you don’t need to fight everything. Scout first. Sneak around dangerous foes. Exploit verticality with the jetpack. Run and hide when things get dicey.

It may not be a AAA game with physically based rendering and fancy shaders but it’s not really ugly either:

I’m loving it so far. Great if you like exploration, tense combat, and interesting character/quest interactions.


Git gud.


Heh, haven’t played it, and not passing judgment on it. Just saying, in theory, that it’s possible to have wildly opposing views and both sides be pretty much accurate. I agree, though, that you need more than a few hours with a game this big. I’m actually really interested in it, as I love this style of game, but I have a lot on my plate right now.


Reading the IGN review it seems like the game was super buggy for the guy, same as with Divinity OS2 for the polygon writer. But then other people don’t report any significant bugs.


Possibly most reviews didn’t have the day one patch which does fix some quest stuff. Or possibly we’re not up to all that broken stuff yet. :) The IGN review also says this:

And it’s all accompanied by almost shockingly high-quality voice acting.

Currently at Mostly Positive on Steam which I guess is a side effect of low expectations.


It’s in the global top sellers too, which is encouraging. I am loving it.


I am super excited to play it, but with my current backlog of Yakuza 0 and Bloodborne I think it is smart to wait, maybe they will release some nice patches and improvements (one that would show numerical values for experience etc would be welcome).


I consider this a beta game. The game balance is totally borked.
For example, does anyone find ranged weapons are actually good against anything that has a skull marking (which is like 97% of all mobs in the game)? I had a bow and shooting most skull monsters would barely damage them. Then I got a laser rifle which does 36 damage a shot. I can unload a clip into a monster and barely hurt it. However, my chain-lighting spell which does 40 points of damage, takes a visible chunk of health out of the monster.

It seems that ranged weapons are just for trash mobs and are useless against everything else.

Also, the Berserkers suck. I did a shit-ton of quests for them and the head asshole read a giant list of accomplishments and then says, “You need to do more.” So , fuck them. I go to the clerics and they are like, “Solve our drug problem and you are in” Number of quests needed? 2. One of them is totally non-combat, and in fact they both can be.

I have not done anything with the outlaws, so I can’t comment on them.

Anyway, if someone understands why ranged weapons suck and how to fix it, please let me know.

Combat in this game is about two things:

  1. Training two mobs on each other so they kill each other.
  2. Standing on some kind of perch out of harms way casting spells or shooting things.

Melee combat = death.


Thanks for posting that, Paul. I wish more game designers would also write game reviews. :)



I thought the skull meant “you’re too weak to fight this”?

Maybe if you keep fighting things labelled with the skulls…


I got it, since I feel compelled to support PB, but will probably hold off playing it for a while. It actually has me in the mood to boot up Risen (1)


Gee it looks thematically discordant.

Part of the strength of the gothic\risen games was the consistency of the world.

Their forest\jungle environments still look quite nice


Vince is one of my favourite reviewers. Even when I disagree with him about the game overall, I still enjoy reading his stuff (same thing I got with you - I obviously disagree with most of your, say, classic Deus Ex review, but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless, because it is well written). For example his classic Oblivion review, game I enjoyed for about 90 hours:

Or DA2:

I guess I should try Age of Decadence one of these days.

Though the best review I ever read on codex is by someone else, for Fallout 4:

Maybe this video could help?


Yeah, that guy’s awesome. He’s a terrific writer and designer. I can’t wait to play his next RPG, The New World, as his approach for choice and consequence really resonates with me.


As in all PB games: if it is a higher level the you you will very propably die or need to cheese it. Enemies with skulls get more protection against your attacks and seem to do bonus damage against you. I hit lvl 13 yesterday and a bunch of creatures lost their skulls and now I can defeat them much more easily. It is very noticeable.