At E3 2016, I was fortunate enough to preview an early pre-alpha build and gameplay of the upcoming title, ELEX. This massive open-world role-playing game (RPG) is the biggest project that the team at Piranha Bytes has worked on, and they’ve developed the Gothic and Risen series. Set after the technologically advanced planet of Magalan was devastated by a meteor; the surviving civilizations were sent back to the middle ages. The meteor not only brought death and destruction but with it came an extraterrestrial element called the Elex. It doesn’t take long for the citizens of the planet to discover that Elex can be used to power up unique weapons and allow them to cast powerful magic. Whoever is in control of the Elex holds the power to either save or destroy the planet...what’s left of it.
Magalan is a massive world, and a major part of the game is exploration. To help players see most of the world, the developers came up with the idea of adding jetpacks allowing for vertical exploration. Combat in the game is more than just hacking your enemies to death. A stamina gauge limits your attacks, so players have to make proper decisions when going for the killing blow.
Delivering a satisfying narrative is a big focus for the developers, as they do not want it to be a linear experience. Giving the players a choice on how to affect the narrative, by playing the game as a simple shooter or consuming all of the Elex for themselves and turning into a soulless machine. There are different factions that you can join, each with their own interest into the Elex, and depending on which one you join, it will affect how the story plays out.
Piranha Bytes is currently aiming to release ELEX in Early 2017 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.