We were recently invited to a hands-off presentation of upcoming action-RPG sequel ELEX II, shown a quick video of some early gameplay footage and given the chance to ask some questions afterwards. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to get us mildly excited for this upcoming release that offers a lot of promise.
For those that missed out on the original that released back in 2017, ELEX is a sci-fi post-apocalyptic action-RPG series. It featured warring factions who believed they knew what best to do with this new substance known as Elex that arrived on the world of Magalan after a catastrophic meteor explosion.
Knowledge of the first game isn’t necessary to enjoy the upcoming sequel. You may miss out on those moments of recognising returning characters, or subplots being further expanded, but ELEX II will be newcomer friendly. New characters, new environments and new gear; it is offering lots for returning and new players.
Jax is once again the main protagonist. ELEX II is set a few years after the original and is largely a separate entity, so any allegiances Jax once had have now disappeared. He has since become more of a lone wolf, cutting all ties with previous NPCs as he ventures off alone. Just as well then that there are over 300 new and returning NPCs to forge new relationships with; friends and enemies, or those to rebuild bridges with. Once again there will be choices in your conversations with these characters, encouraging replayability if you don’t get the outcome you wish for. Though with an expected average runtime of 60 hours, don’t expect everything in that time to go your way.
And yes, the world of Magalan is once again a living, breathing world with a full day/night cycle.
During the short gameplay treat we got a look at some of the biomes and traversal methods you will be using. Developer Piranha Bytes have promised us that if you can see it, you can go there; whether it be a dilapidated city, dense forest or treacherous icy mountain peaks, you can visit them all. And you can do that once again with the jetpack, allowing Jax the opportunity to easily traverse the environment. And if travelling around the world of Magalan is this much fun with a rocket attached to your back, who needs fast travel?
In between bouts of jetpacking around, we saw ELEX II’s combat; something that once again will feature a healthy mix of ranged, magic and melee attacks. It has been completely reworked though from the first game yet is still aiming to deliver the same varied and challenging combat. We were shown Jax flailing a pipe around, before upgrading to a sword and swishing away at some mutated creatures. We also saw some sort of beam rifle that appeared to be one-shotting any enemy that dared stand in the way of one of its shots. Whether it would have the same effect on any of the other 100+ different enemies Jax will be facing remains to be seen.
At the end of the demo we were briefly shown some magic with a spell simply called ‘Rain of Fire’. And it did exactly that, as fireballs flew down from the skies above and made short work of the enemies troubling Jax.
At this point in time, we don’t have anything resembling a release date for ELEX II, but with the footage we were shown it looks like it could still be a while away. Development has been progressing without much delay as a result of COVID, as the team have moved to their home offices. Piranha Bytes have even created ‘Garden’ and ‘Kitchen’ rooms on their Teamspeak servers where staff can chew the fat much like they would in a normal office environment.
Nothing has yet been decided in terms of Xbox Series X|S optimisation – which may suggest a release date isn’t a million miles away if they are still targeting last-gen consoles – but the team are working hard on putting as many features in as possible whilst keeping performance good. We do know however that ELEX II is arriving on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. For the latter, check out more details on the dedicated Steam page. So, all-in-all, things are shaping up nicely, but we should expect a lot more details to come.
Are you excited for ELEX II? What are your memories of the first game? As always, hit us up in the comments below with your thoughts.
And thank you to Piranha Bytes for inviting us in for a first little look at what ELEX II has to offer.