Elex II • First Impressions

I don’t know what happened in the original ELEX game, but it seems like the main character, Jax, has been forced to return to the world of Magalan to save humanity from a war, roaming creatures and beasts, and invading aliens. Even though Jax is coming back to this familiar place he is starting with nothing (no equipment, no abilities). He’s like a big dumb baby who hasn’t learned how to do anything.

I’d imagine in the original ELEX Jax became all-powerful by the end of his adventure, but now he’s starting from zero — a classic video game sequel trope. Jax has been promised to regain his powers and knowledge quickly, along with plenty of new skills along the way. I’ve posted the THQ Nordic’s (publisher) game explainer video bellow.

ELEX II • Explainer Video (THQ Nordic)

Early Gameplay

Elex II is a third-person open world action RPG. What I learned early on is that every player will have a different experience with Jax on Magalan. Elex II reminds me of what I have always pictured The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to be. You go around talking to everyone, trying to figure out what’s going on in the world. I’ve never played any Skyrim, but this is sort of what I have always imagined it to be.

I started my journey incredibly lost in Elex II. Once I began to find some other humans (the friendly kind, not the rude ones or those trying to murder me), I became a bit more comfortable. I also started tracking quests using the mission log. I found this to be a very useful strategy, as I always do once I begin tracking quests and missions in games instead of aimlessly wandering through these giant open world maps.

ELEX II • Talking to strangers

Some of the characters, especially the rude bullies you come across feel like middle school bullies. Sure, they’re rude and mean, but I don’t really feel threatened by them. I came across this one dude who was trying to be sarcastic and sinister all at once. It wasn’t really working for him.

ELEX II • Silly Bully Video

There’s so much to discover and uncover in this game. It just takes so much time to discover these things. Within the gameplay menu you have the chance to level up Jax with different character attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence and Cunning). There’s also plenty of abilities to unlock. However, I’ve unlocked none of them. All I want is to become semi-proficient with melee weapons, but for some reason I have only been able to use the same rusty pipe for my entire playthrough thus far.

Jax is a scavenger, so I’ve been collecting every item, weapon, potion, snack and anything else I’ve come across. And I have come across some powerful weapons. The problem is, once again, my lack of abilities. I can’t put any of these items to use. I’m just hoarding them in my collection.

Although I’ve been playing the PlayStation 5 version of Elex II, this does not feel like a next-gen game. In fact, it plays very much like a PlayStation 4/Xbox One generation game. If you’re on a next-gen console and are looking for a big time RPG to play, then maybe look elsewhere.

The in-game combat could be better, but I feel like the feel of the combat is not really the point of these types of games. Also, my rusty pipe. When it comes to combat Jax has his attack and heavy attack, also a block/parry. Figuring out the timing on blocks and parries will take some time though.

I’ve enjoyed exploring the world of Magalan so far, but I’m already itching to move on to what’s next. The game may just be a bit too slow for me. I’m ok with slowly leveling up in games, but I need a few items and abilities to get me started. It was a bit strange how the game was like “Here’s a jetpack. Have fun!” with no real training. I would think it’s much simpler to swing a weapon than to learn how to travel by jetpack.

Still, I am happy I got to give Elex II some time over the past week. It’s not really a game for me, but I’ve been trying to get into more RPGs lately. I do appreciate this game, and if I had more time I would definitely give it another try.

Since I wasn’t really into this one, I thought I should add something else to my review, and that is a short journal entry from the life of Jax in Elex II.


Jax’s Journal

Uh, what’s that smell? Oh great, I’ve just woken up and I’m back in this hell hole they call Magalan. Things seem to have gotten worse, I barely remember this place or anything I learned the last time I was here. I feel so weak.

ELEX II • Jax and his rusty pipe

Well, at least I’ll get to see my son, Dex. I really hope he’s ok, and less annoying than I remember. I can’t wait to find that little bastard. I hope I don’t have to run into his mom. Found him.

ELEX II • My son, Dex

Damn, what are these nasty beasts? I remember coming across some ugly creatures, but nothing like these. Dinos, aliens, rock monsters. What is this? A monster turkey bird? What has happened to this place.

I’m such a kleptomaniac. Anything I come across I must take for myself, sure I can’t use it, but I could end up selling these items. I’m no thief though, I won’t steal from anyone’s home or camp, unless they are dead. And why are so many people so brutally murdered here.

After over a week of travel (10 days – in game or 3.5 hours of gameplay) I’ve learned very little. I have finally infiltrated one of the factions, The Fort. Still, I have learned no new abilities. Sure, I’m leveling up quickly and becoming proficient in different attributes, but still no abilities. Any time I run into an enemy, who isn’t a weakling, I just run.

ELEX II

Today, I got to see Billy Idol in concert. Can you believe it? How is this dude alive and rocking today, on Magalan of all places.

Billy Idol in concert in ELEX II

ELEX II is out tomorrow March 1, 2022 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows.

*myVGBC.com was provided with a review code from the publisher for ELEX II.

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