A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Themes of collaboration, cooperation, even extending olive branches for greater good, though it all boils down to whether you'll give someone something they want or not.
Positive Role Models
Players take on the role of Jax, a military commander out for vengeance. Players can choose to make a clean start for themselves and others, or cut down enemies.
Ease of Play
With no tutorial, clunky controls, punishing challenge even on "easy," you'll need abundant patience and tolerance in learning ins and outs.
Violence & Scariness
Players use swords, clubs, crossbows, laser blasters to kill enemies. Battles are accompanied by screams of pain, impact sounds, large splashes of blood. Large blood stains also shown on floors, walls of some environments.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some suggestive dialogue related to sex. A club has a pole dancer performing on stage.
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"F--k," "s--t," "a--hole" frequently heard.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Elex is a downloadable open-world action role-playing game that takes place in a postapocalyptic setting. It features lots of bloody violence with lasers, swords, and other weapons, with lots of screams accompanying combat, and blood stains scattered across environments. It also packs lots of suggestive dialogue and content, like a pole dancer in a club, as well as profanity in almost every conversation you have. Some players can also be frustrated by the game controls and difficulty, regardless of its customized settings.
Is It Any Good?
You don't have to spend much time with this game before you start to realize things are slightly off. Characters walk through other characters while in town. You'll set up camp to get in from the rain, and when you wake up, find the controls completely unresponsive, so you can't get back up again and have to load an earlier save. The sluggish controls are so clunky and awkward that running from a fight is nearly impossible -- since you can't manually target enemies, you'll wind up dashing toward exactly what you're trying to escape. This list of grievances could go on and on, but Elex is simply weighed down -- almost crushed -- by undercooked elements that likely would have been caught, addressed, and fixed with more rigorous internal testing. As such, the final product feels anything but.
What's worse, Elex simply feels generic. It owes to better games and not only doesn't surpass them, but pales in comparison. It's another open-world game with a gravelly-voice protagonist who explores bleak landscapes and happens upon other characters who unspool exposition about warring factions and politics. No matter how much you listen, though, you will feel lost playing this game until you level up considerably -- an interesting, even commendable choice, is having the entire game world open to you from the get-go. Unfortunately, this backfires, as you'll wind up impossibly lost, ill-equipped, and unsure of your choices. The reality is, this is how you would feel after the apocalypse. But other games sharing this same setting make better choices that at least give you a better chance at finding your feet.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.