What I like: basically, all the standard pirahnabytes elements. Armor is hard to come by, weapons are gated by stats, quests have multiple solutions, all the factions are varying degrees of assholes, upgrading is meaningful etc.
What I don't like: Ironically, the game falls flat whenever it tries to bring in "modern bioware rpg" elements.
You have no control over what companions do in combat. You cannot tweak their AI in any way or set them to use certain weapons. This fucking sucks ass for characters like Ray whose AI is broken and who rarely aggro to enemies even when you are in the middle of combat. It takes Ray about five full seconds between when the first enemy hits the main character until he starts to swing at it. Other companions, like Arx, seem fine. Still others like Caja are "fine" but tend to bug out and flip between random animations/start walking in place while shooting.
There are too many fucking cutscenes in this game. I play a game like Elex because I want to play, not watch cutscenes or listen to shitty flashbacks. The in-game conversations can be alright, but the scripted sequences are very poorly written and acted.
The game is buggy as fuck. I've had so many instances of getting stuck, frozen in place, having menus bug out or npc behavior break completely. One npc went permanently hostile and forced me to kill him. He was supposed to duel me and then de-aggro, but he never de-aggro'd after losing the duel. The game then blamed me for "starting a fight" because the bugged npc attacked me.
The game has bosses and it shouldn't. This feels like another element stolen from "muh modern western rpgs" and they don't work.
I had a lot of fun with Elex when I was earning my first armor, doing faction-joining quests and cautiously exploring the dangerous world. But now I'm at the point where I'm forced to do main mission quests and they just fucking suck total ass. Converters are retarded too. Ever wanted to do a dungeon, except it's not a dungeon and is copypasted 5x with a random smattering of enemies inside?
The technical issues with Elex almost don't bear mentioning. The brightness/contrast is completely fucked. Default audio levels were fucked. Some areas are totally washed out and others are so pitch-black you can't see shit even with a torch. Music is loud as hell but the voiced dialogue increases in volume based on the camera's position, so it's often painfully quiet.
The combat is honestly not too bad. The hitboxes aren't great and enemies have some unreactable attacks, but it's not the worst. Complaints about Elex combat are overblown because people aren't used to the stiff difficulty wall of the early game. But the game does have a major issue with its combat, which is targeting. Fighting 2-3 opponents at melee range is nearly impossible due to the constant shifting of the auto-target. The end result is that hitting the enemy you want to hit in melee range is not easy to do. You can lock on manually, but this causes its own set of problems. Locking onto an enemy dramatically slows your movement, allowing groups of enemies to blob around you and start hammering you with blows. The game has a dodge roll but it does not confer i-frames.
As Sseth pointed out in his video, certain types of attacks can stunlock you (and enemies.) Such as flamethrowers and grenades. It's quite possible to go from 100% health down to nothing without any chance to input a command, due to the way the stagger stun works. Enemies with these weapons will spam them relentlessly. In general, I have found that ranged enemies do not miss. Even when you dodge, they will tend to hit you.
Another thing I do not like about Elex is the world size. The world is just too big. It is denser than your Skyrims and Oblivions, but there is still too much map here that has no content in it. A single herb is not "content." The size of the map makes map markers a necessity too, which is a fucking shame. I wish you could get by without using them, but there are certain quests where I just do not see how any person could be expected to locate the objective without using the map marker. It's the same problem as fucking Skyrim.
Between the fast-travel system and the map markers, there were times when I wondered if I was playing Elex or MorrowBlivionRim. The structure was almost exactly the same:
-get a quest
-warp to warp station closest to marker
-walk the rest of the way
And it just kept fucking happening.
Another haram element of Elex is enemies respawn *and* they have level scaling. Kinda sucks the fun out to know that there's an infinite amount of xp/drops/money in the game and it's pointless to clear out a zone.