Yikes, what the heck happened here with Elex II! I have to admit, I thought that the original Elex was average at best. I dug the sci-fi story that it told and the world that they built, but the actual gameplay was way more frustrating than it was fun. With Elex II, it is like developer Piranha Bytes intentionally decided not to try and fix any of the things people had issues with the first time around!
How to Download Elex II
You can download the game for a platform of your choice by clicking the Download button at the end of the review. You will be able to choose PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S, or Windows.
The Game Review
Once again, I like the story that is being told here. Jax returns from the first game and now several years later, a new threat to Earth has come from the skies and Jax needs to try and unite the various factions to fight this threat. Add to this a story where he is looking for his son and you have a really cool sci-fi story that I was legit interested in.
As much as I like the premise of the story, the execution is lacking. The reason for this is that the voice acting in Elex II and the writing in general, are a real mixed bag. There are some good spots and the overall idea of the story is great, however, the execution is strange as some of the writing makes zero sense. You will have one character speak like they are voiced by a real pro and another sound like a random dude off the street.
The visual presentation of Elex II is not bad and this is one area where things are stepped up over the last game. I love the world-building here and the world of Magalan is awesome. However, pop-in issues, poor textures, and some strange character models can take you right out of the moment.
I still could have enjoyed Elex II even with less than a great presentation, as I said I liked the story and if the gameplay was good then we could still have a good game. The original Elex felt like it was a game from the early Xbox 360/PS3 era. It had very clunky controls, unfair enemies and it felt like it needed a bit more modern game design to make it something great.
I have to say that I actually think the gameplay here in Elex II is worse. The enemies at least have a skull on them if you are not powerful enough to fight them. However, the grind to get strong and make enough money to have a never-ending supply of potions (trust me you need them!) is just not fun.
Even the new big thing in the game, the jetpack is not as much fun as it should be due to the clunky controls. The idea of this game is that it is an open-world RPG, but there are just so many strange decisions that make the game no fun to play. One of the absolute worst things about the game is the stamina system which makes combat incredibly frustrating.
I really cannot recommend Elex II to anyone. I played the first game and thought that it was ok at best, but this game I would actually go a step further and say that it is a bad game. Your hard-earned money is much better spent elsewhere, perhaps this will get a huge patch one day, but I certainly would not count on it.
- I do like the idea of the story they are trying to tell here
- Some of the voice work is pretty decent
- I still like the sci-fi world that they have built here
- They have tried to expand the lore the first game established
- The game is a chore to play in pretty much every regard
- With poor character models, pop in, and strange textures, the presentation is not great at all