Piranha Bytes, the developers of classic RPGs Gothic and Risen are back with a follow-up to their 2017 cult hit ELEX. This open-world RPG returns to the science-fantasy world of Magalan, which has been embroiled in a conflict between its six fearsome factions.
Taking its cues from acclaimed western RPGs like Fallout and The Witcher, the ELEX series fuses post-apocalyptic science-fiction with medieval fantasy in a charming and surprisingly deep narrative that has earned it a cult following. Now, ELEX II is getting ready to launch, continuing the story from a fresh starting point that is welcoming to newcomers. Several years have passed since protagonist Jax fought off forces seeking to exploit the power of the mysterious substance known as ELEX and in that time the world of Magalan has gotten bigger – and more dangerous.
The open-world RPG sees you traversing a post-apocalyptic landscape as you fight to bring peace to the various factions that are locked in perpetual war. There are now six major powers that dominate Magalan – the Albs, Clerics, Berserkers, Morkons, Outlaws, and the new alien threat, the Skyands. To save the world, you'll need to decide which faction to align yourself with, and which to condemn. Players must tread carefully however, as joining one faction may anger another, and Jax will need to bring all of the human factions together to defeat the unknowable threat of the Skyands and save his son Dex.
Today we’re going to be taking a closer look at the first two factions – the Albs, Jax’s former allies-turned-enemies and the Clerics, devout acolytes known for their love of technology and invention.
Those who’ve played the first ELEX games will surely remember the Albs – the faction of white-skinned warriors from the north known for their excessive consumption of ELEX. In the first game, this faction of ex-Clerics became the main antagonists due to losing their emotions to the powerful drug, using powerful technology to serve the Hybrid, an ancient being bent on gathering all the ELEX on the planet to accelerate the evolution of the faction.
In the first game, Alb Commander Jax turned against his faction, joining with the Free People to stop their destructive quest. This was mainly due to their ruthless methods, which saw them hunting down and murdering Free People of Magalan with cold precision – all to harvest their ELEX and feed their addiction.
But nothing stays static in Magalan for long, and in ELEX II we find the Albs revitalised under new leadership, having reduced their intake of ELEX to allow emotions to return to their people. With the Hybrid defeated, players will have the choice to rejoin the Albs – and certainly, their combat prowess and technological advancements make them an attractive choice. But can they really be trusted to have Magalan’s best interests at heart?
Following the almighty conflict in the first game, it’s likely that the Albs still have beef with their religious rivals in the Cleric faction, so beware that siding with the Albs might put you in their bad books.
Despite the dogmatic connotations of their name, the Clerics are one of the most forward-thinking clans in the world of ELEX II – but that’s not to say that they are pursuing purely noble ends. Clerics are renowned for their love of engineering, crafting powerful combat robots powered by ELEX. Worshipping the god Calaan, Clerics believe that through technological innovation, they can bring a new era of prosperity to Magalan.
The Clerics made their home in Ignadon, a fiery crater where the meteor that brought ELEX to the planet crashed so long ago. Here, the Clerics laid the foundation of their society on the ashes of an ancient civilization. Their mission is to cleanse the world of corruption in the purifying fire of Calaan. Their fusion of industry with religious dogma is a potent combination, making them one of the least trusted factions around.
In ELEX II, we find the Clerics ravaged by their war against the Albs, having lost their home in Ignadon and many lives lost in the battles. It’s clear that Clerics have a strong moral compass and value helping others above personal gain – but can the leaders of this powerful faction be relied upon to hold up these values?
Furthermore, Clerics have extreme power in battle, with a knack for crafting deadly weapons of the plasma variety. While they may be the smallest of Magalan’s factions, they are certainly still one of the most dangerous. Cross them at your peril, and due to their tumultuous history, siding with the Albs might just put you in their crosshairs.
You can explore all of the factions in the vast and treacherous world of Magalan when ELEX II launches on 1 March on PC via Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox.