ELEX is an ode to fans of Gothic and Risen, and fans will most likely be satisfied. How detailed the title is makes it clear: Piranha Bytes isn’t trying to cash in on an aging franchise. That being said, the issues cannot be brushed aside. It’s been nearly two decades since the studio published its first game, Gothic I, and what plagued the earlier titles plagues ELEX as well. And that, is a problem.
Overgrowth, while fun for a while, misses the mark for a captivating story or combat. The world feels uninviting and dead, giving off the feel of a game from the early 2000’s when the processing power of hardware was much more limiting. The combat is fast-paced and fun, but it lacks depth and eventually goes stale. The story that ties it all together feels loose and lacks impact, each character blends into another and consequently prevents the player from connecting at a deeper level. The title does shine for the first hour or two, but it quickly loses its flair.
Even those who don’t normally play point-and-clicks can enjoy Darkestville Castle, but only the die-hard devotees of the genre will be able to persevere past the inevitable and frequent bouts of frustration from struggling through convoluted puzzles. An intriguing story and captivating art style round off this puzzling puzzler.
Raiders of the Broken Planet just isn’t there yet. While an alpha build of the title showed promise, the title has much development ground to cover yet. Raiders of the Broken Planet isn’t half-baked: it barely got into the oven before players were encouraged to start eating the dough.
Echo proves that innovation can truly be limitless as long as there are people willing to push boundaries and explore new ideas. With a stunningly flawless trifecta of gameplay, storyline, and visuals, Ultra Ultra has knocked it out of the park with their first foray into indie gaming. Regardless of your tastes, styles, or interests, this adventure is sure to satisfy nearly all of your cravings. The only craving that you will be left with is for more and more game to play.