July 5, 2022

ELEA – Episode 1 – Xbox One Review

On a rather cold and dreary Tuesday evening, I decided to fire up the Xbox and browse through the store to see what (if anything) caught my eye. It was then when I saw a game that stood out for me, An episodic series called ‘ELEA’ where you play as a space scientist recovering your lost husband. How could I say no to this, before I knew it the download had begun. If you fancy finding out some more then keep on reading, trust me when I say it’s like nothing else out there.

As mentioned above, you take on the protagonist role of Elea and the situation isn’t good. Her husband Ethan joined a groundbreaking expedition to a habitable planet but things went horribly wrong, the ship he was on went into radio silence with all communications lost. No one knows what caused this or why it happened, 13 years have now passed and there are still no answers. Here’s where our journey of emotions, memories and experiences begins. It’s a hard-hitting mix of personal experiences, fragile memories and truly chaotic scenes that make this game so very good. In all my years of gaming, this really is one game I’ll never forget and this is only the first episode.

The aim of progression is quite an easy one in a sense, finish the tasks you are given and move on but it’s not that straightforward. You get no clues or hints at any point, it’s like the good old days where you have to figure it out for yourself. The level design does help out a lot as you can explore the beautiful environments without going too far off the beaten path, I recommend exploring everything and anything you can in order to discover the backstory of the characters and the history of the story. I also found the simplistic controller layout an absolute pleasure, the thumbsticks move you and make you look around and the shoulder buttons are for interactions with a plethora of objects you’ll encounter along the way. A tip of the hat to the developers for not overcomplicating this part, it’s nice to be able to just play a game without needing to learn overwhelming button configurations.

Now onto one of the best parts of the game in my opinion, the graphics and the sounds – they are truly magnificent. The sounds and music you experience will suck you into the digital world they’ve created but by no means are they overpowering. I also like the narrative parts which provide extra details in various areas of the past and present, my tip is to listen closely as there might be something important you’ll need later. As for the graphics and design, you’ll traverse across areas that have a gritty dark feel to them as well as other areas that will stretch the limits of your mind in a beautifully bizarre fashion. This is what made the game stick in my mind over all others, the sights and sounds are truly unique and are a pleasure to witness; take a look to see what I mean:

Please do bear in end though that this is an episodic story so each chapter will be short compared to full games, you will get a good couple of hours play if you blitz through it so maybe take your time and explore a little – the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. I’m also not that guy that gives away spoilers by explaining the end but it perfectly leads into the next episode, you feel accomplished when you complete it but also anticipated for the next. I did find myself playing through a couple of times so I could revisit areas I felt I had missed, we all know there’s always somewhere or something we forgot to visit the first time.

Now to finish up and summarise my view on Elea, I really enjoyed playing it from start to finish. My jaw hit the floor a few times with the amazing attention to detail, my eyes were also as wide as dinner plates when the psychedelic light shows were in full swing. I will label this as my diamond in the rough, I wasn’t too sure what to make of it to start with but ended up getting into the whole vibe and aura. If you’re still unsure, check out the trailer for some help:

Elea is available now on Xbox One and PC, please check your preferred supplier for pricing and details.


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  • 8/10
    Overall - 8/10
8/10

Summary

This has to be one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played, certain scenes will simply take your breath away. I think we may be onto a very addictive episodic series and recommend people to give it a try, the unexplained ending will leave you wanting more.

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