Reviews - Updated on March 25, 2022

Actual for the platform: PC

If for the real “gothomaniacs” ELEX turned out to be more or less successful, then for everyone else it was just another mid-budget European RPG from “piranhas”, suffering from technical problems and obsolete. Now it seems that the authors themselves were not sure about the future of the franchise, and therefore the plot, especially its plot, turned out to be very tense in the sequel, as if it had been tortured. Which, however, does not prevent you from getting exactly what you expected from the game in the end – if, of course, you expected to get another “Gothic”, and not, for example, a party RPG in the spirit of Mass Effect or Dragon Age. After the preview version, I was waiting for changes, and after the release I gave up on it and just played, having fun, despite all the problems of the game.

Tight but interesting

In my preview, I explained why I did not like such an owl pulling on the globe in the story that the authors of ELEX II tell us. The hero of the first part, a stern man named Jax, who actually saved the world, is now again forced to prove that he is not a camel and ask for an audience with the faction leaders in order to unite them against the aliens attacking the planet Magalan.

And the leaders pretend that they don’t know and don’t remember him (although out of the five factions, by and large, only one is new – the Morcons), and if they do, they still ask the hero and savior to prove that he is worth something and he can trust. And that means mail delivery again, minor household repairs and stuff like that. Jax himself again begins to learn all combat and social skills from scratch, citing the fact that due to infection with aliens he lost all his strength – this looks, even taking into account the conventions inherent in the genre, as far-fetched as possible.

ELEX II Overview

Pan shield? The trademark “Gothic” irony is in place.

But we must admit that in the full version, the unpleasant impressions of all this are largely leveled by the saturation of the world – as the authors promised, while maintaining the size of the playing area, there are now more interesting events, quests and characters. Yes, in addition to the above-mentioned small household tasks in ELEX II many and much more exciting tasks. In an attempt to join one of the five factions, we seek out traitors within their ranks, infiltrate other factions undercover, conduct diplomatic negotiations, investigate terrorist attacks, and more. And at the same time, there is almost always a choice of how to behave – so, even after joining another group as a spy, the option remains to become a double agent or simply go over to the other side.

ELEX II Overview

We often have to go undercover.

In addition, we need to engage in the formation of a new force – the Sixth Army, which can include representatives of all factions, choose a commander in chief, rebuild and even decorate our base, Bastion, to your liking. Many events are connected with partners, among whom there are both old acquaintances and new ones. For example, the cunning and roguish Fox from among the berserkers constantly gets into trouble and sets us up – at first it even seems funny, but it all ends with memories of a family tragedy and a terrible relationship with his father.

ELEX II Overview

We still move around the world through the teleport system.

And Bestia, Jax’s former lover, wants to accompany him to negotiations with the leaders of the factions, but every time she behaves in such a way that after them they almost always want to kill us. By the way, we can also travel with Kaya, the mother of our hero’s son, who has a separate line of quests associated with him. And between the former women of Jax, naturally, tension arises – this also gives spice to what is happening.

ELEX II Overview

This girl does not go into her pocket for a word and talks to everyone like that.

Depending on our actions and phrases in the dialogues, the level of sympathy on the part of partners changes. The same Bestia, for example, loves it hot, that is, a tougher style, rudeness and selfishness – not to mention Chmoril, assigned to us by the leader of the outcasts, who almost immediately offers to engage in racketeering and rob caravans. But Kaya is completely different. As a result, if the trust level drops to minus, the allies may even leave Jax.

Yes, not always the characters, their characters and relationships are spelled out at the level of Dragon Age. There are enough conventions and sketchiness, a lot again looks strained, when, for example, the Alb Zarek, who hates us, who, together with Jax, was sent to the clerics to investigate a terrorist attack, after a couple of quests becomes almost the best friend and declares that we opened his eyes to him.

ELEX II Overview

The bastion can be decorated in the style of one of the factions.

But there are other examples as well. Deciding to help the merchant Ivan from among the Morcons, stuck with the berserkers, we travel with him through half the world, communicate, save him from torture and the death penalty (although there is an option, on the contrary, to substitute and not save). And in the end, when after a while we meet him again with his wife and child, we already treat him like a native.

The same “Gothic”, top view

In the gameplay itself, compared to the preview, almost nothing has changed. Classic RPG by Piranha Bytes – we run, fight, convert local animals into skins and meat, fry food on fires, complete quests, gain levels and look for teachers to learn / upgrade skills. At the same time, according to tradition, we increase the values ​​​​of characteristics so that you can use cooler equipment. As usual, both skills and equipment have requirements for strength, toughness, dexterity, intelligence, or cunning.

ELEX II Overview

There are many children in the game and some of them help and others steal.

By the same tradition, the battles look a little awkward. In addition, there are holes in the combat system – you can, for example, hit with a powerful attack, reducing the stamina of the enemies, and they will run around without really striking and constantly falling to the ground. Enemies almost do not know how to attack all together. After joining a particular faction, spells unique to each faction are also unlocked – for example, Morcons can bleed themselves to go berserk. Add here the ability to improve weapons at workbenches (if the appropriate skills are learned) and encrust them with stones that give passive bonuses.

ELEX II Overview

To improve an item on a workbench, you need to meet many conditions.

And still survive in ELEX II difficult and interesting – especially at a difficult difficulty level. Enemies attack not only on the ground, but also in the air. Part of the solution is the ability to fight in the sky using a jetpack, although this is not implemented very conveniently. But there is always tension here, money and potions are needed, craft is in demand, and it makes sense to complete quests, even side quests, not only for show, but also for character development.

ELEX II Overview

We are fighting aliens.

As a result with ELEX II exactly the same thing happens as with all RPGs from Piranha Bytes, – it can be criticized, it is not ideal, poorly optimized, in places clumsy and old-fashioned, but it is still very difficult to break away from it – even if Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West are already installed. It is even difficult to explain from a rational point of view – in order to understand, it was necessary to play the first “Gothic” in 2002, and then all the other “Gothics”, “Rizens” and “Eleks”, absorbing the atmosphere that in ELEX II , no matter how trite it may sound, preserved and strengthened. That is, this is a great gift for “Gotomans”, but everyone else can try to join them. It’s not a fact that you’ll like it, but this attempt won’t become absolutely torture – after all, it’s really a role-playing game, which almost no one does now, except for “piranhas”, besides, it has become even more intense, complex and interesting.

Pros: the plot as a whole is standard, but it is interesting to follow it; there are bright, well-developed characters; non-linear and exciting quests; branded “gothic” gameplay and the same recognizable atmosphere; a rich world that is interesting to explore; sometimes beautiful landscapes; good work with music and voice acting.

Minuses: the gameplay is morally obsolete in places, as well as graphics, animation and staging of cut-scenes; clunky combat system that has holes in it.

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