To start off my review, I want to say that Dex is a really fun game and I would most certainly recommend it. However, there are a number of bugs and gameplay issues that can hinder the overall experience, and although I enjoyed the game, I can't help but to feel some disappointment in the final execution. To put it short, if you want a casual experience just to enjoy the story, this game might not be for you.
Now to break everything down. Dex takes place in a really cool cyberpunk setting. As a fan of sci-fi and cyberpunk, I think the game captures the cyberpunk feel perfectly. The art is truly superb. The character sprites look great, and the environments are very colourful and beautifully done. Dex proves to us that you don't need a game to be all grey and brown to show a gritty setting. This is complemented by a lovely musical score. Music playing in every area was fitting to the setting and memorable. Most notable one is the main theme, which has become one of my personal favourite main themes in gaming.
The story has its good points, but overall it's a pretty standard cyberpunk story. Hackers, gangsters, evil corporations, secret experiments - all this stuff makes an appearance. To me most issues come in the gameplay.
The gameplay consists of a mix of stealth, combat, and hacking in cyberspace. Hand-to-hand combat was really well done. The fighting was smooth and each impact was felt. By contrast, gun combat was done rather badly. For some odd reason, it's not possible to walk with your gun out. If you want to shoot, you have to stand absolutely still. If you make so much as a step, the character automatically holsters the gun. This can become extremely annoying during fight sequences, where each second can mean a difference between shooting the enemy and them taking off half of your healthbar.
The platforming aspects such as jumping and climbing were fine enough, although at times it was very hard to tell where you could jump onto and where you couldn't. At times it seemed like you could jump onto something, only to see your character fall through it and to their death. And because you cannot save when you want, this becomes annoying.
Hacking... ugh. I just didn't like it at all. It was nothing more than a basic pixel shooter and your sole job is to click, click, and click. What annoyed me more than the hacking mini-game itself is the fact how often the game forced you to play it. Most times there were no alternatives. Play the darn hacking mini-game or make no progress. I signed up for a cyberpunk sidescroller, not a cyberspace pixel shooter.
The game also had some balance issues. Like for example, there was no permanent cheap/free heal anywhere in the city. So if you were out of money and low on health, there's probably nothing you can do about it. Likewise, there was never any place where I could grind for money and/or experience.
The game had plenty of sidequests. Most were pretty interesting and I attempted to solve each one of them. However, quite a few of them I never managed to solve due to things not being clear. Maybe I just needed to do more exploration or simply to get lucky, but I think a bit more direction would've been nice. What was nice though is how some main quests and sidequests had nice multi-branched paths to accomplishing your goal and at times you had to make important decisions.
Finally to round it off, the ending was extremely disappointing and felt rushed. Without giving any spoilers, the game forces you to do your "final fight" in cyberspace. That's right. Hacking again. And the ending cutscene lasted a total of 10 seconds. I really wish there was more to the ending than what I've experienced.
I know this is a tonne of criticism, but I am glad to have played through this game, and it is a promising game. It's just, it's currently riddled with too many small issues, which pile up and hinder the enjoyment.