Piranha Bytes Show Off Nine Minutes Of Elex Gameplay

We haven’t heard much about Piranha Bytes self-proclaimed “xenial” open-world RPG Elex [official site]. The creators of Risen and Gothic did treat us to this nine minute gameplay video at Gamescom, though. It’s full of charming, awkward strafing animations, feathered velociraptor/bird hybrids, and jet packs. What’s not to like?

We get a closer glimpse of Elex’s most important piece of equipment, the jet pack, which is used in short bursts to dart out of reach of hungry monsters before swooping in for an attack. Two encounters with smelly troll-like monsters show off a wide range of weapons that will be available, including some sort of chainsaw sword, plasma rifles, and a blade that can set your enemies aflame.

Elex’s post-apocalyptic world blends sci-fi and fantasy. Following a meteor strike, people are scrambling for a rare element, the eponymous “Elex” that powers machines, grants magic abilities, and has the power to create new forms of life. Does that mean┬áthis Elex element is the key to the game’s Jurassic Park trappings? Who knows! It’s all in good fun, and the mix of medieval high fantasy with sci-fi high tech widgets is quite appealing.

Piranha are aiming for an early 2017 release, though nothing’s official just yet. Its Steam page is up, if you do that wishlisting thing.


  1. InternetBatman says:

    Looks cool. The swordfighting animations already look better than Risen. We’ll see if it holds up.

    I hope they remember to do that thing from Gothic where an unskilled character holds the sword like a cudgel.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I like Piranha Bites for the most part, but I’m so tired of the “unobtanium” trope in sci-fi. All devs working on sci-fi stories should be legally required to hire a half-decent science consultant.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      I get what you’re trying to say, but that webcomic is a really bad example of it. All of those things are fairly plausible, feasible applications of technology that allowed you to alter mass.

      The only one that isn’t is the infinite ammo thing, but that isn’t a lore thing, it’s gameplay. Lore wise the guns do not have infinite ammo, they just have a very large ammo supply, and you’re supposed to suspend your disbelief and assume they are reloading between missions.

      As for that last one? I mean come on. Real time translation is available right now, on your phone. You have trouble believing it will be marginally more sophisticated hundreds of years in the future?

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Way to ruin the joke.

      • nearly says:

        I seem to remember a pretty good crew member conversation you could overhear about how devastating it is to throw small objects faster than light. Realistically, the guns could just be full of very, very small particles that are being thrown very, very fast and thus can do the kind of damage that a modern bullet would (or worse).

        I actually liked that they went for it in the first Mass Effect and just told you to avoid overheating. It rubbed me the wrong way that you suddenly had to use thermal clips in ME2 because it just seems like there wouldn’t be any advantage to such a system. It could only reduce your sustained fire, and if anything, lowered the rounds per minute you could manage which is almost always going to be a negative in that kind of situation.

        • MetaSynapse says:

          “Realistically, the guns could just be full of very, very small particles that are being thrown very, very fast and thus can do the kind of damage that a modern bullet would (or worse).”

          From what I remember, that’s exactly how they work. The guns all have a block of metal in them, and each time it fires it shaves off a tiny amount and accelerates it to near-light speed.

  3. Psychomorph says:

    The character animations have this “German stiffness” in them.

    Zehr Goot.

    • Otterley says:

      It really goes to show how decent the animations in Gothic and Risen actually were. Now that they’re mo-capping real Germans it basically still looks the same.

      • Bjarne says:

        As a German dude, I find this genuinely amusing.

        • syndrome says:

          Are you really that stiff, nation-wide?
          It’s not fair, you can tell who’s German and who’s not.

  4. 2late2die says:

    The trouble with Piranha Bites games has always been in the execution – between poor animations, awkward mechanics and fiddly UI, the game’s story and action can only take you so far before you realize you’re not actually having any fun. With that said they do also often have a certain charm to them that many games from bigger developers don’t. Elex has an interesting setting and it looks like animations, while still far from the likes of Witcher 3, have improved. In any case, I’ll be keeping an eye on it and will be looking out for reviews when it comes out.

    • Scraphound says:

      I had tremendous fun with Gothic 1&2. They were immersive experiences that sucked me in. I was genuinely interested in the world PB had created.

      Honestly, I can’t really say the same for many other games. Even Witcher 3.

      I’ll take UI problems and weird animation any day in exchange for a feeling of wonder.

  5. fray_bentos says:

    The mechanics seem very PS2 era to me. The setting generic. I think we can all see where this is heading.

    • Catterbatter says:

      I guess he’s heading for some sort of Medieval castle with magical and future-tech features.

  6. gpown says:

    you have to be seriously bad at your job to do even placeholder animations this ugly after 15 years of making the same kind of game.

    • GWOP says:

      It’s that lack of arm sway while running, isn’t it?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I think people are greatly exaggerating the lack of quality in the animation. Could be better and transitions and layering are iffy but I’ve seen much much worse, including in much more popular mainstream games, not naming names.

  7. E_FD says:

    Sure, it looks terrible, but there’s something kinda charming about how they’re still recycling the exact same walking animations from Gothic 1 from fifteen years ago.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      What are you talking about? If you think this is the same running animation as the one in the original Gothic you are not good at recognizing animations. Is everyone repeating this line some kind of meme from a forum I’m not aware of?

  8. Bjarne says:

    That looks just as bad as always.

    • kament says:

      This. By the same token I’m gonna play the hell out of it.

      Although truth be told it doesn’t seem exciting in the least so far.

  9. zerosociety says:

    You had me at chainsword.

  10. Kabukiman74 says:

    Uh, oh – Piranha Bytes. As with most if not all german games, better expect a game with a massive amount of bugs on release. With a planned 2017 release I predict a halfway playable game in 2019 (with community mods and inofficial patches)…

    • KwisatzHaderach says:

      Well, that’s just not fair. Risen 1 was one of the most polished games to come out in 2009 (on PC that is). The second was pretty bug free too and the third, considering it was a pretty big game, didn’t have any major bugs either. They only had to patch the terrible combat mechanics (they are still terrible though).

      Having said this, it grieves me to no end to see the studio that used to be one of my favorites thanks to Gothic 2 and the original Risen, riding the same schtick yet again… I thought they wanted to try out something new, instead this looks like any other game they made thus far, even down to the two backround npc’s “conversation” at the beginning of the video that consists of one of them dropping random lines of text every couple of seconds…

      I love PB’s games for great level design, environments and rich exploring (and for the awesome music up until risen 1), but seeing something so dull and formulaic I might give this a pass on release…

  11. kraftcheese says:

    There’s something about the design of this game that is beyond bland to me…it’s just like some combination of the animations, general design and color choices are the most boring looking thing I’ve ever seen.

  12. kraftcheese says:

    Maybe it’s the dinosaurs? I have an instant hatred for any game that shoehorns in dinosaurs.

    • GWOP says:

      For me it’s that limp gun.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Piranha Bytes games have always had dinosaurs.

      • kraftcheese says:

        Well, I’m not a big fan of the games of theirs that I’ve played, dinos or no; it’s just something about dinosaurs being slapped onto fantasy that makes me wanna scream!

        I’ll have to get around to Gothic one day though, because people say it’s good.

  13. keefybabe says:

    As with everything they’ve done, it’ll be wonky as hell but weirdly deep and compelling.

  14. kament says:

    Gothic meets Fallout, then. Fal… erm, Gothout?

    • Captain Narol says:

      No, Fallic !

    • Turkey says:

      I don’t think those games officially ever met as much as Piranha Bytes just pushed them into the Brundle Telepod and this thing crawled out on the other side.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    This looks…. sort of like a cross between Gothic and Mass Effect (only plus jet-packs and sans the cover-shooting)? Maybe that’s a stretch but if they can recapture the charm of their previous games colour me intrigued.

  16. KayAU says:

    Looks interesting, I hope this will turn out well. I will probably buy it near launch in any case.

    Piranha Bytes games are all about the exploration, character progression and immersion in the game world for me. They are rougher around the edges, and tend to be less critically acclaimed than the games of their competitors, but as far as I’m concerned, PB are the kings of the open world RPG. Their game worlds are just more interesting to explore to me, with a greater sense of discovery, danger and immersion.

    Having said that, the last PB game to really grip me, was Risen 1. Risen 2 was a merely okay, and a bit of a disappointing sequel. Risen 3 was much better, but far too easy to provide a real feeling of danger and accomplishment. You could just dodge roll out of anything.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Try Gothic 2 for danger, first half of the game you’re food for everyone outrunning one-hit-kill predators to snatch a piece of equipment from their nest.

      • KayAU says:

        Gothic 2 was the game which introduced me to Piranha Bytes, and I’ve probably completed it 5 times (only once without NotR). :) Yes, I loved the danger of that game, fondly remembering experiences like stumbling into a shadowbeast, dashing towards the castle in the Valley of Mines while surrounded by orcs, or that one time at low level when I climbed down a hill side, couldn’t get back up, and the only way back to safety was through an eerie forest full of skeletons. Good times. :)

        • Turkey says:

          Have you tried the Requiem mod for Skyrim? It basically de-auto-scales the entire games and makes it so the enemy stats and placements are static instead of them spawning in. It’s super brutal in the beginning, but it supposedly gets easier the more you level.

          I’ve only been messing with it for a few hours, but it definitely gives it more of a Gothic type feel. Barely made it out of the tutorial dungeon.

          • KayAU says:

            I hadn’t heard about that, thanks for the tip. :)

            I found Skyrim to be okay, certainly a significant improvement over Oblivion. But as it often happens with TES games, I play for a while, then loose interest long before completing the main quest. I’ll have a look at Requiem, perhaps it will reinvigorate the game for me.

  17. Chaoslord AJ says:

    In between Witchers and Bethesdas I enjoy some not too serious RPG with useless heroes, killing monsters for the sake of xp and looting every cave opening for stuff.
    Pretty sure they’ll deliver another handcrafted world with some ridiculous storyline and lots of places and weird skills to explore and thousands of healing herbs to collect. Yeah and some quests are broken from the start, save often.
    Maybe they’ll return to do some memorable characters like in Gothic. I’m in in any case.

  18. DanMan says:

    The boss at the end is standing in water, yet its feet are burning… Anyone else tired of these inconsistencies in general?

  19. Nibblet says:

    Guess this means that long awaited ice skating rink in hell is finally open, as this looks to be a PB game i would not even pick up at a steam sale.
    Their games have been getting consistently worse ever since the brilliant gothic 2, and this looks to be the culmination of that trajectory.
    A bland uninspired console game with 1 button combat, awful animations, dated graphics and tanky movement.
    Then again, perhaps it is just the worst promo video ever made and will not be representative of the final product in any way.

    • kament says:

      I don’t know. I played Gothic 2 to death at the time; still I’d argue Risen 3 is better. It takes all sorts I guess.

  20. Alistair says:

    There’s more gameplay over here:

    link to youtube.com

    It accompanies a long German interview with PB.