Dex, my friends, is done and dusted.
My playtime shows to be right at 15 hours. I’d say that is probably a little off. My own counter is closer to 12 hours. What would happen if the Matrix, Deus Ex, and Shadowrun had a clone baby using the DNA from Blade Runner? Yep, Dex is that offspring. A blue haired, feisty, Cyberpunk woman thrown into a world of intrigue and mystery, running for her life from shadowy organizations and ruthless corporations as they seek to track her down. What happens next will shape the woman Dex will become and perhaps change the fate of the entire world.
The story in Dex was pretty engaging with various twists and turns. As I mentioned in my intro, Dex is thrust into a turbulent world of shadowy organizations and ruthless corporations as she seeks to discover why she is being hunted. Along the way, she begins to learn more about who she really is, becoming more powerful on her way to some Earth shattering revelations. Dex herself is quite the likeable character. She is sassy when she wants to be but when it comes right down to it, she gets the job done….in a myriad of ways.
The way the story in Dex unfolds is through exploration and the completion of quests. Everything has a reason for existence in this game. Side quests serve to unlock new areas, flesh out the story and the world, and at times introduce you to characters that will factor into the main story. This was handled quite well in my opinion. No wasted space story-wise. Everything in the game had a role and this was reflected in the story being told.
The gameplay was reasonably seamless. I noticed a little lag and the game did freeze and crash occasionally (unrelated to the lag issue). Since there are both manual and automatic saves when you enter new game areas, this wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
The combat was decent. For melee, it was essentially a brawler with a couple of cool moves that could be unlocked as you level up. Ranged combat was handled as twin-stick shooting. You do have a small selection of weapons that unlock as you improve your combat skills. You will have to find these weapons (or purchase them). Ammo isnt exactly scarce, but it is far from plentiful, and you will need to manage this if you are playing a gun toting Dex. The variety of weapons, while relatively sparse, are all different enough for you to come to appreciate each one for its strengths and weaknesses.
The upgrade system is easy to use and efficient in Dex. You have a few primary ability categories and a couple secondary ability categories. All were useful and allow you to really choose how you want to play Dex, be it more stealth oriented, run and gun, pugilist, charismatic talker, and so on. Of course, combat is obligatory in a lot of situations, but how you handle it fairly well correlates with how you managed your upgrades as you leveled up. There is a lot of dialogue so the social upgrades find equal relevance in the game. At some points the social upgrades even allow you to avoid some difficult battles or at least give you another advantage once the battle begins.
In addition to the skill upgrading via leveling up in Dex, you also can buy augments. The amount of slots you have available relates to how you spend your skill upgrades, but even if you don’t increase that at all, you can still have a few augments which range in power from immunity to toxins, electricity, combat boosts, damage reduction, X-ray vision, and so on.
The other primary aspect to the gameplay in Dex is parkour. You will run, jump, and roll your way around the world and sometimes a leap of faith will reward you with hidden areas you can’t really see or find otherwise. This was also seamless in my playthrough of Dex. Easy to use, relatively easy to master Reasonably precise use of jumping and climbing added a lot of depth to this 2-D world.
There is fast travel accessed via the menu as well. There is a lot of backtracking in Dex; making use of the fast travel system will be something you want to do while playing. It will save you a lot of time.
The graphics in Dex look very nice and at times are simply stunning. Classic cyberpunk world. The level of detail in Dex was pretty awesome. While the gameplay is 2-D, the world itself is decidedly 3-D and really looks like an interesting place that I would like to visit in real life if were that possible. I feel it was loosely based on the close quarters nature of Hong Kong, where everything is packed in tight and as much happens in the alleyways and docks as happen on the main thoroughfares. Although in Dex, this is expanded to include the sewer system as well. What this did was create a vibrant, living world that you travel through on your journey as the intrepid Dex.
The sound was very similar to what you experience playing the Shadowun games. The soundtracks could easily be interchangeable. What that means is that in Dex, the music is sort of futuristic sounding, sometimes ominous, and always indicative of what was happening on screen. Additionally, the world itself is somewhat of a living breathing world and there are always the background noises of people going about their daily routines, the ambient sounds of random things on screen such as cars, dripping pipes, and so on. Dex always has something going on. That said, there arent enough tracks and effects to keep from hearing the same things over and over after a while. While it all sounded great, it also became a bit stale after a while.
Dex was a surprise gem for me personally. I kept an eye on it for a while and finally bought it during the 2016 Steam Summer sale. I then proceeded to play it exclusively from start to finish. Dex is an easy recommendation for me.
8.3 clones unknowingly released into the general population out of 10 possible (or more…..bwahahahahaha). How do you get 8.3 clones you ask? Unfortunately, we cant disclose that information at this point.