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ELEX pre-release Steam header.jpg
Developer(s)Piranha Bytes
Publisher(s)THQ Nordic
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
ReleaseOctober 17, 2017[1]
Genre(s)Action role-playing

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.[2] The game has been described as a "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.[3] The game world is a mix of futuristic and medieval locations, in which the player can use guns, swords and magic against enemies.[4]


Magalan was a planet looking to the future. Then a comet hit the planet, causing massive destruction. Those who survived are now trapped in a battle to survive, and a struggle to decide the fate of the planet. At the center of this fight is the element ELEX, a precious and limited resource that arrived with the meteor, which can power machines, give magical powers, or re-sculpt life into new, different forms. The protagonist is a former member of the Albs, who use ELEX to power their advanced technology and consume it to gain enhanced strength as well as rid them of emotions and enable them to make decisions based on cold logic alone.[5]

Recovering from a crash in his glider jet, the protagonist goes through withdrawal from ELEX, experiences emotions for the first time in his life, and is classified as a traitor to the Albs. A central conflict of the story will be the player character's history with the Albs and the need to hide his former identity from the factions he previously fought with.

The player can cooperate with and eventually join one of three factions in the game. The Berserkers have renounced modern technology and the use of Elex, instead finding a way to purify the substance into Mana to weave magic and restore life to nature. The Clerics fanatically worship a god called Calaan and operate like a religious police state where consuming Elex is expressly forbidden but it is used to power complex war technologies. The Outlaws have no formal leadership and operate with a "survival of the fittest" mentality, using improvised and deadly weaponry, and consume Elex in the form of specialized stimulant drugs.


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.[3] 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.[5]


ELEX was announced during Gamescom 2015, where Piranha Bytes and Nordic Games confirmed their partnership on the project.[2] It was featured as a cover story in the German magazine GameStar.[6]


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PS4) 58/100
(XONE) 62/100
(PC) 67/100
Review scores

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.


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