ELEX is a pretty bad game. For the first few hours, you will probably die a lot. But it gives you a jetpack, and just jetting around is so much fun that it might enable you to ignore the bad core experience of the game.
The difficulty curve is designed for the long-term fans of the studio (Piranha Bytes). Those long-term fans have some kind of tragic Stockholm Syndrome and enjoy being abused, apparently.
You can cheat. There is a trainer. Cheating will allow you to survive long enough to figure out most of the controls, such as the “F” key, which is required to cycle through the fire modes of ranged weapons, but is never explained.
Worse than cheating, however, is relying on maps and walkthroughs. This is the reasonable way to build a competent character, because the strongest weapons are always spawned in the same places, so you can consult a walkthrough and run past the annoying low-level combats as much as possible in an attempt to get a real weapon.
Most of the powers that seem appealing are controlled by “factions.” You start out with no faction, and you must join one. The game pads out its length by forcing you to do busywork to serve the factions. After you are allowed into a faction, you have the opportunity to train in the special, secret faction skills – and you realize that they are insignificant compared to the power of grabbing a legendary weapon early on.
There are some good elements to this game. It might keep you addicted for fifty hours. However, fifty hours is barely long enough to learn the quirks and to get a faction. At roughly that time period, the game might throw unskippable, stupid cutscenes at you, and some of these cutscenes may destroy your save file. Most glitches and bugs in ELEX can be ignored, but the cutscene bugs are gamewreckers. I will probably take a stab at playing the game a bit further – flying around over a ground-based battle and sniping people is loads of fun – but if the cutscene bugs persist I am going to give up on this game and cut my losses.