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|Platform(s)||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows|
|Release||October 17, 2017|
ELEX (Eclectic, Lavish, Exhilarating, Xenial) is a science fantasy-themed action role-playing video game developed by Piranha Bytes and published by THQ Nordic. It was released worldwide on October 17, 2017, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows. The game has been described as an "edgy, dark, uncompromising, and complex" post-apocalyptic sci-fi role-playing game where the protagonist joins the war for the powerful resource, "ELEX", which gives people magic-like powers. The game world is a mix of futuristic and medieval locations, in which the player can use guns, swords and magic against enemies.
ELEX is the post-apocalyptic story of the planet Magalan, which was hit by a comet who brought not only mass destruction for its civilisation, but also a mysterious and extremely powerful resource called Elex. The few survivors organised themselves in factions, each with a different vision of the future and distinct ways of using Elex. The Berserkers reject technology and purify the Elex by transforming it into Mana in order to obtain magical, but natural powers; they do this by growing World Hearts, large plants that they believe heal the ground and thus the planet. The Outlaws only want profit and freedom, they use any modern weapons and technology they can find, being masters of putting to use any old scrap; they use Elex to create powerful drugs. The Clerics believe in a god called Calaan and are the most knowledgeable and technologically advanced faction and believe their religion can save the world.
These factions - the Free People - fight each other over resources, land and Elex, but they all share a common enemy in the Albs. The Albs are ex-Clerics who decided they should use Elex directly into their body, making them really strong at the cost of their emotions and skin pigmentation. They use the most advanced technology of Magalan, and work blindly under the command of the Hybrid, an ancient being which wants to gather all the Elex of the planet to achieve a new state of evolution for the Albs.
Jax - the protagonist - is an Alb Commander sent on a special mission by the Albs. His aircraft is shot down by an unknown enemy and then crashes over a mountain. He is knocked out for days in which time most of the Elex clears out of his body, leaving him weak and alone in an unknown location and with a "Chaos of Emotions" (as one of the quests is called). He needs to regain his powers by joining a faction. He learns about how the Free People live while at the same time looking to understand what happened at the day of the crash and who attacked him.
The player is in charge of many key points in the story (including the ending) by deciding if Jax is a cold person that keeps his Alb personality and goals or more emotional by helping and siding with the Free People.
ELEX is an action role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic open world environment and played from a third-person perspective. The player can use both swords and firearms in the game, with magic becoming available later. The game includes mutated creatures as one of the enemy types, and has an interconnected quest system that supports player choices. The player may join up with one of three factions - the Berserkers who use ELEX for magical purposes, the Clerics who use the substance to power their machines, or the Outlaws who embrace an "everyone for themselves" philosophy.
ELEX received "mixed to average" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Most critics praised the game's ambition and world, but criticized the story, unresponsive controls, and frustrating combat mechanics.