Dex Review

Dex is a story driven cyberpunk RPG that has you exploring a city completing quests, fighting various types of human enemies, and hacking both enemies and computer systems.

The world of Dex is composed of a large city and multiple outer areas that are all connected to each other. When you acquire the map, you are able to quickly travel between any areas that you have explored as long as you on the surface, as being in the sewer or other areas will prevent you from easily traveling. Most areas have multiple people to talk to that will give you a mission of some kind. Missions have a variety of objectives, such as clearing an area of enemies, simply talking to someone else, or hacking a computer systems. The length of missions can vary, and some can have tons of steps for you to do. Many are even connected to each other, and people will even acknowledge and talk about quests that you have already completed. A lot can be resolved in different ways, and not just good or bad results, as there can be multiple bad or good resolutions to just one quest.

Many of the outer areas and restricted areas will contain various types of human enemies. Though there is a good variety of enemies, there’s really only two types of them; melee and ranged. Melee enemies will just try to get close to you so they can attack, attacking with light and heavy punches, and sometimes blocking. Enemies with guns can be annoying, but getting close to them will pretty much prevent them from being able to attack at all. You start out just being able to punch, but later on you can buy or find guns to shoot, and unlock skills that let you do more than just punch.

Certain areas will have computer systems for you to hack, and every enemy that you run into can be hacked as well when you acquire the ability to do so. Computer system hacks will put you into a minigame sort of area, where you will be controlling a movable turret that needs to explore cyberspace and find whatever kind of data it is that you’re looking for. There will be enemies and obstacles to look out for in here, such as firewalls blocking your ways and spinning blades that try to suck you in. Every enemy that you run into in the world can be hacked to make combat with them easier, rather than just kill them outright. If you take too long to do a hack or “die” inside of a hack, your character will take a small amount of damage.

Dex doesn’t have much difficulty since the game is mostly about exploring the world and talking to people. There is combat and it can be a pain when fighting multiple enemies, but combat difficulty can be changed and it becomes extremely easy when you get a gun. The game automatically saves whenever you transition to a new area, and even though you can manually save from anywhere, this only saves the last checkpoint into a save slot, instead of saving where you currently are. The only thing that could be considered hard in the game is the combat, but this is only the case if you skip combat skills and level everything else up first. Even then, the combat itself isn’t exactly executed the best, and getting a gun just makes it all trivial anyways. There is about 10 hours of content to complete, which includes exploring everywhere and trying to complete every mission that you come across. Playing Dex a second time could be worth doing since there is a fair amount of choices that you could do differently from before.

Other than hopefully fixing the bugs in the game, there is no indication as to whether they will be adding stuff to the game. All of the standard options are available; volume settings, graphics, and controls. There are very few actual gameplay options, just combat difficulty and how you want guns to act in the game. The graphics have a colorful 2d cyberpunk look to them. It runs very well, but it will sometimes have continuous stutters which might only appear if you play the game for a long time without a break.

A good amount of sound effects and music exist in Dex. Most areas in the game have a unique song that plays. Voice acting exists for most characters, and it is fairly good quality. There are a fair amount of minor bugs throughout the whole game, but don’t stop you from advancing or enjoying the game. Some major bugs exist however, such as one at the very end where it prevents you from loading your game and instead puts you at the same point no matter which save you choose.

I liked Dex and it reminded me of a 2D version of Deus Ex. There are a few things wrong with the game, along with some odd choices of mechanics in the game. Combat is very simplistic and can be annoying, depending on how many enemies there are and if any of them have guns. You could put points into combat skills, but they make the pointless combat even easier, and will prevent you from seeing a lot of the game if you ignore the non combat skills. The game only saving at area transitions is somewhat of a good idea to prevent tons of reloading if something goes wrong, but it becomes a pain when the only way you can save after doing something is to run all the way back to the previous area, as manual saves only save the last checkpoint instead of your current status.

Gameplay other than the combat is still good though. There is a main quest for you to go after, but it is extremely short and you are pretty much required to explore the world and do almost every optional quest in order to gain the skills and equipment in order to actually take it on. Quests aren’t just random strangers wanting you to do something, and many are even connected to each other so it feels like the world and city are alive.

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