Dex Review

Dex was originally released on PC on the 7th of May 2015. At first glance Dex seems very basic and much like your usual 2D side scrolling action games, such as Shank or even the more recent Assassin's Creed: Chronicles games, but then you open up the in-game menu and find that it is packed full of RPG goodness. I have a bit of time with Dex and I really can't get enough of it.

You play as the protagonist Dex who knows just about as much of what is going on as the player does which is pretty much nothing. Information comes to Dex through a disembodied voice in Cyberspace, which warns her that corporate mercenaries are coming and intend to end her life. Our protagonist is thrown into a web of intrigue which leads her to question who or what she is. She does this with the help of three hacktivists; the mysterious Raycast, the protective Decker and the light-minded Tony. The player's choices determine the outcome in this Cyberpunk inspired work of art.

As I have mentioned, this game is played on a 2D side-scrolling plane and this kind of design fits the game play well. The saying "The simpler, the better" is applied well within this game. The side-scrolling aspect allows the hacking mini-games and the almost tactical combat and inventory management to shine bright like the diamond in the rough this game really is. RPG elements are as you would expect, your health items, weapons, character sheets and upgrade paths are all there and with their Cyberpunk look, feel and descriptions.

Controls are easy to get the hang of, left stick move, right stick dodge, X/A is Jump, O/B is crouch, Square/X is to strike your opponent and R2/RT is to block. They are just some of the basic controls on this game

Combat is fluid, fun and tactical. You face many different types of enemies, but you can lure guards away to fight them one on one rather than getting ganged up on. You can block, strike, dodge and even shoot your way through enemies in real-time to make your way to your many quest locations.

Hacking in this game is quite fun and well thought out. During the hacking, you are tasked with gaining access to a node, but in order to do so you must fight through enemies that take form of viruses and defences known as Firewalls. The way this is played out is very much similar to playing Geometry Wars on easy. Once both of these things have been destroyed, then and only then will you be able to activate something that will aid you in your quest to figure out who you are and what you are meant to do. It could be a turret guarding an entrance or even a malfunctioning implant in an enemy.

I've always loved retro looking games made with modern day tools. It's good to look fancy but sometimes you've got to be simple in order to be unique and memorable. I love the UI (user interface) in this game for its very user friendly and easily accessible design. The D-Pad controls the menus with left and right switching between weapons, health items and quest items to name a few. Up and down will move the the selection box over each of the items in the category you have selected, simple yet effective.

Dex is a great game at its core, but it does require a good amount of thinking in some areas due to there being multiple ways to achieve your goal. The part of Dex that I particularly enjoyed, that most other people might not, is the high difficulty early on. Although there are parts that I didn't like so much and that's the lack of direction whereas you are told to visit areas that you have no idea about. The map is split into sectors without a "You are here" arrow. Regardless of the shortfalls, I still enjoyed the game, however some of the voice acting is a little dodgy, but it is nowhere near as bad as the voice acting from Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum (Example in video below).

  • Controls are smooth and easily learned 
  • In depth story that makes the player want to know more 
  • Challenging which is positive for those who love challenging games 
  • Some voice acting can be a little over the top and borderline annoying 
  • Map is not very helpful 
SCORE: 7.5 out of 10

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita and Wii U
Genre: Cyberpunk Side-Scrolling RPG
Initial Release: May 7th 2015 on PC, And July 8th 2016 on consoles
Developer: Dreadlocks Ltd
Publisher: BadLand Indie

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