Elements (PC) Preview

By Jenny Geist 14.09.2021

Review for Elements on PC

Apogee Entertainment's Elements is an open-air adventure game that wears a Breath of the Wild influence on its sleeve. That isn't a knock against the title in any way; tons of wonderful Zelda-inspired games have been released over the years, but it cannot be denied that this particular one shares many visual and mechanical similarities to Nintendo's recent critical darling. The core gameplay loop consists of running, climbing, and gliding through lush environments, which are flooded with frightening enemies, mysterious dungeons, and striking locales. Patricia Summerset, the voice of Zelda, even takes on the role of one of the main playable characters. While much of this package invites comparison to its iconic predecessor, there is so much more to Elements than meets the eye. Luckily, Cubed3's Jenny Geist was able to check out the title at PAX West 2021 to see these changes for herself.

Of course, most of the aforementioned elements that one would expect from a Breath of the Wild-like are present and accounted for. The cel-shaded art style is as gorgeous as ever, showcasing a world that players will have no issue spending dozens of hours in. Combat involves the gathering and crafting of useful weapons to to use against fierce foes, with swords, axes, hammers, and bows all being options in the demo. Towns contain NPCs where the player can purchase or craft items to gain new skills or abilities. Creatures in the overworld can be mounted for faster traversal, except instead of horses, it's dinosaurs! Yes, you can ride dinosaurs in this game. It's awesome.

Screenshot for Elements on PC

One of the first twists that Cubed3 discovered, however, was the inclusion of building mechanics. The world is not completely static like open-world titles of the past, as players can now build homesteads at any point in the world that can then act as fast-travel points. If you come across a cozy town full of useful NPCs, or reach the top of a mountain with a killer view, you can build a house or base to return to at any time. The building interface was a bit obtuse, requiring one to carefully aim a reticle at a point to place specific walls or objects, but this could easily be chalked up to the game's early status. According to the developers, they had only just begun working on the game full-time, and the final product will not come out until late 2022.

Screenshot for Elements on PC

With that in mind, it should also be noted that many advertised features were not yet implemented at all. The final product will have two-player simultaneous co-op, eight different biomes featuring eight different dungeons, a wide variety of offensive spells, and a world that is half as big as Breath of the Wild's Hyrule. Each of these ideas are extremely promising, but it is yet to be seen if they actually live up to their potential. Too much ambition for a smaller-scale project like this can often lead to troubles, with developers being unable to support the weight of their own plans. Fortunately, the team seems extremely passionate about the project and was open to any player feedback, so fans can hope that all of these ideas will be worth the while. With the release still being over a year away, this is likely a good sign.

Screenshot for Elements on PC

While most of this preview has focused on comparisons to other titles or not-yet-seen mechanics, Elements was still fun to play in its own right. Cubed3's time with it was brief, but the mixture of clever twists to a well-known formula and keen enthusiasm from the developers did show that this isn't just soulless rip-off of a popular game. In particular, the building mechanics added a fun twist that will add hours of additional enjoyment to the title. One won't just be gathering items for survival, they will also be gathering them for leisure, which has the potential to be a stand-out feature in an already well-made game.

Screenshot for Elements on PC

Final Thoughts

That wraps up Cubed3's sneak preview of Apogee Entertainment's Elements! PAX West 2021 may be over, but the coverage will not end just yet; stay tuned for a final few articles highlighting some other underrated indies of the show, and reviewing the convention as a whole.

Developer

Wreckit Games

Publisher

Apogee Entertainment

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 2022   North America release date 2022   Japan release date 2022   Australian release date 2022   

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