Are you one of those people who don't want to read a ♥♥♥♥-ton of text describing the mechanics of the game? Then i'll keep it simple.
Dex is great game that is hard to recommend despite it being so good.
It has so many issues, as well as some baffling basic design oversights, that it would easily turn off so many people from the very start.
However if you dig through the dirt, mud and other various amounts of filth, you'll find something that truly shines with a LOT of potential, especially in comparison to what's currently on Steam as of late.
The melee combat and shooting all packs a punch and is very enjoyable. The RPG mechanics are varied, robust and are tailored to how YOU want to play, as well as the story and world the devs created being extremely interesting and a unique take on the genre.
Thing is you'll have to dig a through a lot of ♥♥♥♥ to fully enjoy it. Dex is a bit like Alpha Protocol in that regard. Lot of potential, but is so bugged up the fudge hole that a person suffering from Crabs would cringe. It all depends on how much you can suffer through.
For those wanting a proper review there's more after the break...
Alright, time to go balls deep into Dex.
If i had to describe what Dex is to someone i'd say this:
Dex is a third-person, side scrolling RPG that has a large emphasis on a unique hacking premise with some shooting and brawling and even some basic stealth mixed in for good measure. The game is set in a original cyberpunk world where augmentations are all the rage and hacking is a good way to rack up some cash, this is all drawn and animated in astounding detail which creates a very interesting aesthetic.
It's a little like if the original Deus Ex got drunk one night and knocked up Shantae & The Pirate's Curse, nine months later this red headed, freckle faced mix of both games pops out as an indie game available on Steam for twenty bucks.
That Deus Ex comparison isn't unwarranted either. Dex is a full blown RPG with action elements, instead of an action RPG like Deus Ex Human Revolution. You suck at everything until you level that skill up, or get a specific augmentation to enhance it.
For example: Do you want to carry shotguns and SMGs into battle and fire them with pinpoint accuracy?
Better save up your skill points then!
Want to be able to lock pick almost every single locked door in the game not problem?
Grind your exp and then level the ♥♥♥♥ up!
Want to be able to coerce pimps into lending you their fanciest male hookers for a kinky bang-time at a discount?
Level up your charisma, pick the right choice during dialogue, and have fun you perverted freak!
Speaking of which, yes there's a dialogue system in Dex! Even if you have maxed out charisma you need to pick the way way of coercing someone at the time. Some people respond to threats, others respond to bribes, and others respond to flattery. Pick the wrong one, and you'd best reload a save and try again buddy!
It works well, and always keeps conversations tense as you need to always pay attention to what they say.
The writing itself is very well done and descriptive, kinda reminds me of the old cRPGs of yesteryear. The dialogue is also voice acted and...... here's where Dex starts to fall apart.
The voice actors aren't bad at all and always suit the character and role their playing, but the actual voice direction itself leaves something to be desired. It always seems like they took only one take for each line and it can sound extremely amateurish and awkward at times. You can turn voices off in the option screen of the main menu if you wish, but then during cutscenes they'll be completely silent except for the bombastic (and rather nice i might add) score blasting over stock still images.
While we're on the bad side of this i'll also add that some sound effects in general just seem to be completely ♥♥♥♥ing missing or non-existent! For example during the game you can sneak up on some unaware thugs and choke them to death, giving the same amount of exp for little to no effort as well as avoiding any possible injuries, but they make no sound! The chick you play as just dry humps them for a moment and they fall dead, again with absolutely no noise to accompany it, not even when the body falls down.
If i sneak up on someone and snap their bloody neck in a video game, i expect to hear a sickening *CRACK* to go along with the action, it's just plain unnerving when it doesn't.
Another thing wrong is the control scheme for both the controller and the keyboard and mouse. Some keys are just in a weird unnatural spot!
'Q' to dodge during melee??? Who was the pants on head ♥♥♥♥♥♥ who chose THAT brilliant key placement?
And i have never played a game, that had these few actual commands to input, that has forced me to use the '~' key.
Also the jumping has some weird form of gravity that drops if you don't hold in spacebar until you fully finish the jump. If you let go too earlier be prepared to drop like a sack of bricks.
Apparently the devs are going to patch the game in the future so that you can rebind keys, so props to them, but this should have been thought out more clearly from the start.
There are also a few visual glitches here and there, and some that really hinder the gameplay like the journal getting confused and ♥♥♥♥ing up.
I guess it sounds like i really hate the game, but it's the opposite. There is a brilliant game here buried underneath some confusing design choices.
While stealth is aggravatingly basic (walk behind someone and press a button to insta-kill) the actual melee combat is simple but satisfying and deep, with a basic one two punch combo, dodging, blocking, and special moves unlocked the more points you put into the fighting skill.
Plus if you don't feel like getting your hands dirty you can always pull out a great big ♥♥♥♥ing magnum revolver and empty it into someones cranium as fast as you can pull the trigger. Skill points in the guns skill also unlock more weapons that you able to use, as well as reducing accuracy, recoil and stuff like that.
Like previously mentioned there are other skills you can upgrade such as:
and a few more
Hacking plays a key role in the story of Dex, and as such, has it's own mini-game dedicated to it. Without going into it too much it's fun, encourages thoroughness and skill, and never gets tedious or unwelcome.
There is also an abundance of side-quests and the most that i have encountered are well done, with good writing, always worth the effort for the cash ( or other bonuses reward ), as well as having some various options of how exactly to complete them.
I won't go into the story as i generally believe that the story in a game can fall apart if you know too much beforehand. Believe me when i say it IS worth your time.
All in all, Dex is worth the time of any patient RPG fan. Especially those with a massive throbbing hard-on for cyberpunk such as myself, and ESPECIALLY those who are looking for something akin to the original Deus Ex. Even with all the problems i mentioned.
Is it perfect? No, Mia Khalifa isn't perfect either but you can bet that if she was willing i'd jump her bones like a starving hound!
Worth every penny.