Dex is a 2D, side-scrolling, open-world cyberpunk RPG with a focus on exploration and non-linear gameplay.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (20 reviews) - 90% of the 20 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (608 reviews) - 84% of the 608 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 7, 2015

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Recent updates View all (43)

August 1

A smoother, more enjoyable Dex with Spanish localization



Hey!

We are happy to announce the release of a new update for Dex. Not only that it adds Spanish localization to the game, it also brings a number of gameplay tweaks and performance improvements that make Dex even more enjoyable.

Also, Dex has now its own Wikia page so make sure you check it out! We invite you to come together to co-work on this page to gather information about the game’s locations, factions, characters, and quests. Feel free to add anything that's missing or inaccurate and help others to discover every corner of the game. Big thanks to Rook001 who has built a core structure of the page with us.

Without further ado, here’s a list of all changes included:

  • Spanish language enabled for PC version
  • various AR optimizations
  • manual saves disabled while C4 countdown
  • dialog window layout and controls updated
  • fast travel disabled in AR
  • fast travel scene disabled after destroy
  • music and sounds volume control update
  • few animation glitches fixed
  • gamepad roll move fixed
  • fixed infinite XP, pausing pistons in AR
  • fix superquick punch with block
  • enemies will ignore you when talking
  • don't charge stealth when paused
  • when paused, don't count cloaking and jamming device
  • disable Richmond radio chatter at Tony's Hideout
  • disabled teeter on junction middle floor hole
  • mine persistence improved
  • disable using items with a jump button
  • fixed big guy getting stuck after double hack

Enjoy!

Your Dex team

25 comments Read more

May 9

Dex is coming to consoles and GoG!

Hey everyone!

As you may know, Dex has already been refused twice by GoG and it looked like that was, well, that. But we hate giving up, so we contacted GoG again and reopened negotiations. Successfully this time. So, it is with great joy that we announce Dex is set to become available on GoG in the coming months and will include support for achievements via GoG Galaxy.

Dex will be made available on GoG in its special edition, which includes the soundtrack, new art book and other bonus materials.

https://youtu.be/Qd3CIjKGKmw

We’d also like to take this opportunity to announce that Dex is coming out on consoles on 8th of July 2016. Under the wings of our publisher, Badland Games, Dex will be available for Xbox One as a digital version and for PS4 as both digital and physical versions.



We are still working on a version of Dex for PS Vita and Wii U. Stay tuned. We’ll announce those release dates as soon as we can.



And for those of you who haven't caught the tail of they hype – we are in the last few days of a Kickstarter campaign for our next game: Ghost Theory, a first person paranormal-investigation horror game where you solve real-world haunting cases. If you haven't backed us yet and would like to – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dreadlocks/ghost-theory-a-serious-take-on-paranormal-research.



Outpourings of thanks!

Your Dex team

26 comments Read more

Reviews

“Dex is great for a lot of reasons. It combines expressive 2D sprites and nostalgic platforming with some grade-A, modern action-RPG mechanics and does it generally well.”
8,5/10 – Arcade Sushi

“What we have here is a standout in multiple ways. Almost best in class, really.”
8/10 – Chalgyr's Game Room

“Dreadlocks has left no stone unturned in its quest to craft an authentic cyberpunk world.”
Strategy Informer

About This Game

Discover the truth behind an enigmatic AI striving to reach the Singularity, a theoretical “event horizon” in which artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence and all bets about the future will be off. How will you play your part in the story?

Explore the futuristic city of Harbor Prime and meet its many inhabitants, answer the challenges the city has to offer, roam the neon-lit streets, and augment your character with skills and implants.

Designed as a tribute to the classic RPGs from the ‘90s, updated for a modern audience, Dex invites you to become part of a living, breathing cyberpunk universe as you decide which ultimate path you will embrace.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft Windows XP (SP2 or newer) / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: Intel Pentium/AMD, 2.0 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 1536 MB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 / ATI™ Radeon™ 2600 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse or Windows compatible gamepad
    Recommended:
    • OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 or newer
    • Processor: Intel i5, 2.4 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M / AMD™ Radeon™ HD 5770 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse or Windows compatible gamepad
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.8.5 or newer
    • Processor: Intel Pentium/AMD, 2.0 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 1536 MB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 / ATI™ Radeon™ 2600 or better
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse or Mac OS X compatible gamepad
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9.1 or newer
    • Processor: Intel i5, 2.4 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M / AMD™ Radeon™ HD 5770 or better
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse or Mac OS X compatible gamepad
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.04 or newer / SteamOS
    • Processor: Intel Pentium/AMD, 2.0 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 1536 MB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 / ATI™ Radeon™ 2600 or better
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse or Linux compatible gamepad
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.04 or newer / SteamOS
    • Processor: Intel i5, 2.4 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M / AMD™ Radeon™ HD 5770 or better
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse or Linux compatible gamepad
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (20 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (608 reviews)
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436 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
IanTheRed
13.3 hrs
Posted: September 26
Beautiful art direction. B- Story. Multiple ways to play the game, guns blazing, stealth. Morally gray quest lines and side quests give some meat to the game. Hacking mini game gets kinda stale fast. Felt better on a controller vs KBM. Some attempts at humor, to varieing degrees of success.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
vatos-loco
10.5 hrs
Posted: September 20
This is an awesome platformer rpg action adventure rogue like puzzle game (so I dont understant the negative reviews). I especially like the way you can play through it in different ways (hacker, thief, brawler, gunner)
Cool cyberpunk atmosphere. Great soundtrack. Good story. Not too short and not too long. Lots of replay value. Worth every penny. Buy It
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MortyMnemonic
17.6 hrs
Posted: September 19
Been wanting to check this one out for quite some time as I love games with cyberpunk/science fiction themes, I got this during a sale for 4,99€.


And all in all Dex was a pretty fun game! It's a nice little 2D rpg set in a classic cyberpunk vision of the future.
Exploration of the open world is one focus of the game and one it does well with gorgeous, atmospheric backgrounds and lots of secrets and quests to be found.
The compellingly-written world, quests and story missions usually can be approached in a variety of ways. I played as charming hacker, evading fights when possible until I got strong enough to confidently break a lot of bones with my electrical fists.

I started playing Dex with keyboard & mouse but switched to 360 controller soon after. I still found the controls to be a little bit iffy at one or two points but nothing game-breaking or overly frustrating. The option to manually save everywhere can alleviate that wee bit of frustration easily, though.
The voice-acting was mostly excellent and fitting but there were a few instances where it felt more 'miss' than 'hit' to me.

Small concerns, though, since overall I found Dex pretty great, a nice - probably overlooked - gem with a well-crafted world. I can wholeheartedly recommend it, especially when you're in the need to scratch that cyberpunk itch.

Would I recommend it for full price (19,99€)? Not necessarily. Depends on how badly you need a fine, little sci fi experience. For 5€ to 15€ I'd say 'go for it'.

Also, remember to download the free bonus content before playing. It adds another ongoing sidequest to the game that seems interesting (I noticed it too late unfortunately).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Palpz
27.7 hrs
Posted: September 17
A delightful cyberpunk romp.

The setting is decent; they do a reasonable job of making it seem like this is still a bustling city, even with the limitations of what areas they were able to put in. The art direction is top notch; the art itself also good.

The voice acting is pretty damned good. Decent effort from all involved, and it seems like quite a cast. Gameplay is fun, if perhaps a bit easy at times.

I think I would have liked to see a bit more of the actual interaction from the main character. She seems to be the only one in the game who mostly doesn't have a personality, aside from a few small cut scenes.

I don't think it'd have much in the way of replay value, so keep that in mind when making a purchase decision. I'm not sure exactly how much playtime I got out of it. Steam's telling me 27 hours, but I'm pretty sure a significant chunk of that was paused.

I don't think I'd pay full price, but I'm reasonably satisfied with what I got for what I did pay (CDN$ 5.49).

Controlled support was good, and I'd say highly recommended.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EdCapistrano
14.4 hrs
Posted: September 17
Excellent game.
The art is amazing.
Nailed the cyberpunk setting. The city feels alive with inhabitants and even animals coming and going.
The story is good, the characters are great, and the voice acting is AWESOME. I can't stress it enough, I couldn't skip any dialogue, as it was really good, and to hear the voices.
Lot's of stuff to do, and some choices in quests that have effect in the world.
And upgrades - you feel the character becoming stronger. The firearms could be more useful, as I went through the game firing really little, and mostly at cameras and ceiling turrets.
I love games which mix playing styles/modes, and this one has a great cyberspace which is integral to the game. It's well built, fun, albeit it could get more utilities.
Enemies could be more varied, real world and cyberspace.
Really hoping for a Dex 2, and/or more games like this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
the_immortal
16.4 hrs
Posted: September 17
I first tried it, when it was in early access. It was really mediocre then, and i forgot about it for a while. Then i found it again while scanning the depths of game library. And now it is completely different game! And it's really good. It has all the good stuff from DeusEx and games alike - persistent world, pretty nice exploration, non-linear paths, ability to increase character power, non-annoying traceback after gaining new abilities, etc. The biggest disadvantage is - the game is really small. And because it is interesting, i personally chew through it's content really fast.
But for the price - it is really good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AC
11.6 hrs
Posted: September 9
TL;DR:the main quest is pretty short,but a lot of side quest,still recommand for
one who love a nice story

Great voice acting,a little bit too slow in my opinion,love Decker voice best!
Two main core gameplay,hacking and combat,both will get a little repetitive.
Awesome sound track!
Story is great<--the main charm of the game
Many way to process the game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JMnITup
1.2 hrs
Posted: September 9
If the graphics were lower fidelity or the animation was better, I might have enjoyed this... as it was, the graphics are too polished to overlook the bad animation quality, so I couldn't play this like a retro game or like a current... if you dropped the gameplay and story into a more fluid sidescroller like Deadlight, Inside, Limbo, or even back to the original Prince of Persia, I may have really enjoyed (this game.
As it was, I get a little over an hour in before I just decided I wasn't having fun, and was working REALLY hard to try to like it, but it just didn't grab me.

If you can get past the poor animation and general game feel, the other reviews seem to imply there's a good game hiding underneath, but I can't say whether that is true or not. Had I gotten this directly from Steam, I likely would have refunded (which I've never done yet)... there are certainly worse games, though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mentalmeltdown
13.5 hrs
Posted: September 6
A good game you can finish in a weekend but not without its faults

Pros:
- Great artwork
- Very good voice acting (exceptional for an indie game)
- Interesting setting and characters
- Lots of exploration
- Decent RPG elements
- Length is just right
- Good Xbox controller support

Cons
- Combat is rather poor
- Character animation is frankly bad
- Protagonist could have been more developed
- Somewhat underwhelming ending

This game is definitely worth checking out if you like platformers and enjoy the cyberpunk futuristic setting. These developers did a phenomenal job with the characters and in particular the voice acting. The pace of the game is just right and never feels grindy or repetitive.

If you are looking for something a bit original in story, setting and NPCs and can forgive the game being a bit rough around the edges I would say check it out. If you are just looking for a pure action platformer with tight controls and combat there are much better choices out there.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
OVERVIEW
Dex is a two-dimensional game played from a side-on point of view, mixing elements of platformers, action beat-em-ups, adventure, and role-playing games, all founded in a great original cyberpunk setting.

It's the not-too-distant future. You play the titular Dex, a young woman thrust into an underground world of cyberspace hackers, violence, and retribution. Sounds good, hey?

Graphics
The graphics in Dex are, by and large, very good. From dank sewers, to dingy gang hideouts, to the apartment and bar interiors, the graphics do a great job of creating atmosphere. Busy locations are populated and areas are animated, so there's always something going on. The graphics really do portray the world well.

Characters are mostly well drawn and animated. Strangely, I found Dex herself to be the most disappointing character, graphically speaking, as some of her animations and animation blending just seem a bit wooden. There are a few other animation blending issues as well, such as when a rolling enemy is stunned and then one-hit killed by Dex, the animations don't finish properly, but these are very minor.

Graphic performance was very good on my five-year-old gaming laptop, with a predictable 2-3 second freeze when entering AR the first time, every time I played, as if the game was loading in resources. After that the game ran smoothly.

Sound
DEX is fully professionally voiced, with all interactions being both written and spoken. Most of the voices are very well done, too.

Music is good, if somewhat forgettable, and sound effects are mostly very good, too. I found Dex's jumping sound effect a bit loud and grating, though, which was a shame considering how often jumping was required.

Gameplay
At its core, Dex is a 2D action platformer. You control Dex directly, running, jumping, ducking, hiding, and fighting your way from being a hip girl without a clue to eventually becoming an augmented hacker bad-♥♥♥ with an attitude.

Where Dex comes into a league of its own, though, is by the addition of a great, if mostly linear, plot, a number of well-realised NPCs, and the addition of a number of role-playing game elements, such as character statistics and levels, experience points, inventory management, and a large number of side quests. The developers have elegantly ties all of this into the action platformer mould to create a game that's not quite like anything else I've played.

It has full controller support, and I'd recommend using a controller, since it's much easier than the keyboard controls. That said, the right stick control being used to roll I found very hard to get used to, and would have much preferred to use left-stick + B instead. I couldn't see a way to configure this. Thankfully, the combat was easy enough throughout the game that even forgetting the controls on a regular basis didn't stop me from completing the game.

After the introductory section, once the pace slows a little and your immediate goals become more complex than just "run away", the game falls into a rhythm of exploration, conversation, searching, combat, and completing side quests, as you build up your abilities and cash reserves, and eventually become augmented with cyberwear. After that point, although I continued to enjoy the story, I found that the game lost cohesion a bit: cyberspace became too easy and combat both too easy and rather tedious. But there was still definitely enough enjoyment to keep me going to the end.

Steam tells me I've played Dex for 15 hours, which sounds about right. I've completed all side quests except for one missable collectible (and thus an achievement that I'll never bother to get), and I've had a ball. I won't bother playing it again, though, as the story is essentially linear, I've completed all of the side quests, and I can't be bothered going back through it all again just to get that one annoyingly missable achievement. And I guess that's the saddest thing about Dex: it doesn't quite have the replayability that comes with a good role-playing game; rather it's a game that you experience once, and move on.

PROS AND CONS

Pros:
+ Great atmosphere, setting, and story
+ Very good writing
+ Very good graphics
+ Mostly very good voice acting

Cons:
- Cyberspace and combat are rather repetitive, especially in the second half of the game
- Basically no replayability, and missable Steam Achievements that make that extra frustrating
- A few small bugs remain (e.g. animation blending issues, text not fitting in the text window during NPC interactions)
- Game controls are not customisable enough, and I never got used to the default controller layout

CONCLUSION
Dex is a great action / adventure / platformer game with role-playing elements, and it simply oozes the cyberpunk atmosphere that I love. It has a few faults, but I strongly recommend it to anyone who loves a good Cyberpunk story.

I may not recommend it at full price, but it's regularly 50% and even 75% off, so pick it up on special and enjoy!

8/10
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
23.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
I make it short: Awesome cyberpunk RPG with great soundtrack. 8/10
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
139 of 154 people (90%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2015
I spent the evening playing the game. It is good. I initially thought that the game had buggy edge detection for grabbing ledges, but it turned out that I had just missed that you have to press the up key as well to grab on.

The game is difficult. Two enemies with guns can kill you easily. A gun + melee combo can also be a challenge. Towards the end of my session I came across a warehouse filled with enemies and turrets that seemed impossible to take on. I spent all my skill points unlocking persuasion and lockpicking, so I guess this was the game punishing me for not investing in aggressive hacking or combat skills. In this regard the game reminded me more of Alpha Protocol than Deus Ex - it takes your skill choices quite seriously and will gladly border stuff off if you come unprepared. There is also no quicksaving to manipulate conversations, although you can back up checkpoints as you enter new areas (just like AP).

The story has been okay so far. It is typical cyberpunk fare with hacking, ais, megacorporations, human augmentation and so on. After the short introduction, the main story seems to be on the backburner, leaving you to explore the city and do sidequests.

I recommend the game. Fans of Deus Ex, Alpha Protocol and VtM:Bloodlines will probably have a good time with the game.
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255 of 314 people (81%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 9, 2015
This game is a bit tricky to rate; If I could give it a "thumbs sideways" verdict, I would. It has a lot going for it, but the execution is far, far from polished and even the first hour of the game is more an exercise in frustration than pleasure.

First, the good:

1. The writing is very good. It's clear that someone with a lot of talent put a lot of heart into the script. Bad writing is one of the perennial, almost universal hallmarks of video games, but this game deftly avoids that pitfall.

2. The voice acting is phenomenal. Just like the writer(s), the voice actors portray their characters with passion and fluidity, and their performances are convincing, rather than "video game voice acting". There are AAA games with worse voice acting than this game.

3. The visual aesthetic, while nothing exceptional, is solid and convincing. The game looks good in screenshots.

4. The concept underpinning the game--2D action RPG brawler--gets my blood pumping. One of my favorite genres, and one that I think is underserved.

5. The game is fairly forgiving of mistakes and death. You always have the option of restarting from the beginning of the screen you died in, although this turns out to be a double-edged sword as well (see below).

And now for the bad:

1. Remember when I said "the game looks good in screenshots"? It does, but it looks awful in motion. The animations are stiff, with few to no transitional frames between sprites, which gives combat a jerky, unfinished quality that looks like it's still in the conceptual stage. Even simple movement gives the impression that the characters are skating or gliding rather than walking or running, as animations are not precisely keyed to movement speeds of characters.

The game also has almost no visual feedback for events, even ostensibly important ones. For instance, during the opening tutorial-like sequence, you are instructed to perform a task in AR to seal a door against men coming to kill you. Visually, the entire sequence is greatly underwhelming, almost no animations accompanied the task (destroying a firewall around the door controls), and initially I did not even know I had accomplished the task because there was no visual indicator that it had been finished aside from a portion of the AR node disappearing (not fading, not fizzling, not exploding, just pop, gone).

2. The audio is almost non-existent. What music there is is good, but there isn't much of it. There are very few audio cues for actions or events, which combined with the lack of visual feedback makes playing the game feel like you're an incorporeal ghost floating through the world. Walking through a jet of superheated steam inflicts damage to your character, but does not so much as elicit a hiss from the game. Enemies don't make noise as you fight them, and impacts in combat lack any sort of punch or weight because there is next to no audio feedback when they land. When you die, you fall over soundlessly.

3. It's a good thing that the game is forgiving of death, because the game punishes you severely for making even minor mistakes. There are many bottomless pits promising instant death, and I guarantee that you will fall into them sooner rather than later, because they are poorly demarcated and there is no good way to distinguish "pit that I'm not supposed to jump into" from "pit that I'm supposed to jump into". Environmental hazards are savage and even a few seconds in one is good enough to kill you in many cases. This would be more palatable if those same hazards were more clearly visually identified: steam jets are easy to see, but toxic gas is mostly identified by the fact that your character suddenly starts taking rapid damage.

4. But it's not all great that the game is forgiving of death. It's not only possible but very easy to place yourself into a situation where you die or take damage immediately upon entering a room, and if you die in that room, guess where you restart? That's right: at the beginning of the same room. I hope you had an earlier save. What's worse is that the game loads you from the beginning of the area (essentially loading an autosave), it doesn't keep track of environmental variables. That trap puzzle that you worked through to get to where you are? Turns out that's a one-way trip and you don't have a way back except to take massive damage. Oh, is your health too low? Hope you had an earlier save.

The last item in particular is what made me stop playing the game and what will probably prevent me from continuing to play it. I want to like the game, but it's clear that for all of the loving care placed into the script and acting, the game's GAME parts are untested and ill-conceived, leading to pretty egregious death loops and lost progress. Which might even be excusable if the combat had more weight and punch to it. As it is, the gameplay feels thin and hollow because the game makes it look and sound thin and hollow.

It's a good start, and I expect that the developers will be able to produce a sequel or remastered version that have more punch and more well-considered level design in due time. But I'll be waiting for that version instead of playing this one.
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282 of 368 people (77%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2015
I really want to like it. The world is immersive and large. There's a lot to do, lots of quests and dialogue, and the setting is cyberpunk at it's finest. The world really holds true to it's cyberpunk roots, and that's what drew me in initially. However, the game itself though is just too buggy.

First of all, saving the game doesn't save all of the information you'd assume it would, so you end up losing progress every time you re-load the game. Apparently there's a forum post on how the saving system works, but that just proves my point. Overall, the save system makes you feel unassured that your progress is safe, which was enough to drive me away from playing any more.

To add to that, there have been multiple instances where I've been in combat and entered a cinematic, but combat went on behind the cinematic and I died, while the cinematic was playing. There were also some abilities that I was able to activate, but I couldn't pinpoint how I was activating them. I later learned that these abilities were only supposed to be available after upgrading your stats upon level-up, which proved that the upgrade system was bugged and broken. Too many bugs.

Edit: I didn't realize so many people would be reading this review, so I've elaborated a bit!
Edit 2: I'll update the review once I've play the latest version.
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76 of 85 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
25.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 18, 2015
Review: Dex

Wake up Dex! The complex is after you! My name is Raycast, I hacked into your network to give you some guidance. What you see outside is Harbor Prime, a dystopian mega town, covered with darkness and smoke. But there is no time for you, use the cyberspace to disable the door and make your way out of there. Sneak through the sewers, get into Fixers Hope and find a man called Decker, he will surely help you.

If my introduction made you feel like Matrix met V for Vendetta and the main theme of the Shinra Corp. makes it’s way back into your head, you are in the right mood for this game. As you already noticed, Dex is your name and survival is your aim. A hacker called Raycast makes your sweet neckplate-wearing body move, right into the arms of some retired hacker and his over-cautious friend. They present you a story about a powerful AI, named Kether, that got created by The Complex, a Megacorp, in order to reach control of every network ever created. That may sound like a fairytale but doesn’t explain exactly why you were chased and what the famous hacker Raycast wants from you.

This is how you will get started in Dex, a Sidescrolling Steampunk Cyber RPG, presented with 2D-Graphics, that mixes Metroidvanian-platforming and open world experience with some heavy plot influences of Deus Ex. Let`s see whether developer Dreadlocks succeeded in combining this cocktail or left you getting lost in cyberspace. First, graphics are nice, with hand-drawn locations and 90`s style animations. It feels a bit like crossing old Beat em up stages if you move from one district to another. Characters are well drawn too but animations of enemies tend to look a bit clunky sometimes.

A big city like Harbor Prime needs music and sounds to paint the illusion of a living and breathing environment but Dex could use a bit of improvement here. The music is great and every district has it’s unique style like Chinatown, which got heavily influenced by traditional Asian instruments whereas the rich and industrial Highrise has a cold, more mechanical touch. You can hear some cars or even hot fat that boils in a frying pan when entering a restaurant. What is missing are the people. It feels like they are all quietly moving along. No beggar shouts for money, no hooker praises her legs, no child laughs..or cries.

What makes Dex shine are the dialogues. Every NPC you can interact with has a voice and well written dialogue. May it be an old sailor or a drug dealing kid on the streets, it feels like the developers invested a lot of time into the game’s story. And talking about story, we slowly approach the core of the game. You can strictly follow the main plot but doing so means you will miss lots of interesting side quests. Dex wants to be open-world and thus allows you to explore the whole city on your own. Have in mind that you might encounter situations or enemies you aren’t ready for, like a jump passage you can’t pass yet. You will die. You will curse this game. But you will come back for its great stories. There is much more in Harbor Prime than just The Complex. Digging under the surface allows a look in a society where hackers are gods, corporations fight each other in dirty ways and people who haven’t implemented a mechanical part into their body are considered outsiders.

All you need to know is how to solve and to survive. Every quest earns EXP and maybe Gold or other usefull stuff. Use EXP to level up Dex, unlock and upgrade skills, varying from Melee to Hacking and even Charisma, altering your playstyle and how you want to finish quests. Up for satisfying close combat? Become a Melee Expert! Talking your way out of trouble or get secrets while examining Others? Charisma may become your best friend. Gold is important to get medicine or weapons, even more important to get augmentations to make yourself a true cyber warrior with the ability to cloak yourself or get immunity against toxic gas.

Cyberspace, the last one on my checklist. Hacking and entering the network will save your life and provide you with necessary information. Dex can hack cameras, turrets and even other people to harm, kill or at least stun them. She can also enter the network and fight her way through it, offering you a game inside the game. Doing so you fight against viruses, trojans and firewalls, hopefully finding some useful e-mails or passwords to provide yourself with EXP, Gold and Satisfaction.

Big Text, Quick Facts:

Pro:
  • Retrolook Steampunk RPG with a heavy touch of 90`s games
  • Dex is great - blue hair, black humour,
  • Beautiful Backgrounds
  • Music sounds good and fits the setting
  • Interesting plot and Side-Quests
  • Well written dialogues and credible NPCs
  • Skill system: Find your own way of solving a problem - fighting, talking, hacking
  • Implement augmentations and upgrade Dex - jump higher, hit harder, act tougher

Con:
  • Trial and error gets hard sometimes - Open-World-Problems
  • Saves work like checkpoints - leave the district if you want to save your progress!
  • Description of items is too small
  • Strange Keybindings (like Guard on Shift but Dodge on Q) - can be reassigned
  • Quiet townfolk


Summary:

Dex earned many bad reviews after it got released too early. It suffered from game breaking bugs, corrupted save files and many other things that made it nearly unplayable right after the start. But the latest updates fixed most of the problems people were arguing about and I did not encounter any bug myself while playing. That said the community still rages about the save system that uses checkpoints instead of a real savefile. All I can say about that is: once you get used to it, you will be fine.

It took me some time to find into the game but right now, it totally satisfies. Once you got used to the controls, the town, the dying, you will start exploring and find quests, that offer great dialogues and a lot to think about in the “not so bright” future. It’s not like Dex is a perfect game but the cocktail tastes good and I definitely recommend this brew to steampunk lovers and RPG-fans, who like their Deus Ex turned into a sidescrolling 2D experience.

Personal Verdict: 8,5/10
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68 of 74 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 22, 2015
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.
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48 of 53 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2015
Dex is a 2D science fiction action roleplaying game that might seem linear at the first glance but is full of surprises and will eventually make you consider your choices, once you face the consequences. Needless to say, from the Storytelling perspective, it will punish you for mistaking this game as a sidescroller. It is, in fact, a roleplaying game and a proper one, I might add. - Oh boy, I have no idea where to start. This might take a while and a bit reading.

Dex combines many elements from different genres together and does it quite well. At least this is my opinion, since I've felt exactly like I'm playing a damn good, well put together, professionally written RPG. Therefore you get a set of interesting approaches to playing the game; while the character progression will allow you to improve your abilities, and they will actually improve how you play the game as you progress on different skills, your interaction with the environment will heavily be affected by the choices you made - not to mention that the implants you're going to get will seem optional but the game will continuously itch the urge to upgrade your augmentations and/or install new ones in order to avoid various obstacles that are not necessarily mandatory for the main progression. Yet you will run around for more quests, more experience and more money to get implants, buy softwares and progress on side stories, because you will be having your fun.

The main story, however, is relatively short. This is true if you take the side quests as optional activities. But, believe me, they are not. The progression you will have on side activities will greatly help on your main course and will actually affect the future steps of your progression. - For example, before going on a main mission, completing side activities and talking to people who you have done jobs for in the past and learning about your main quest will end up in several side quests that will not only make your main quest relatively easier, it will also end up with more experience and more money you earn in return. - This approach alone should tell you that Dex is not just another attempt to recreate what has been done in the past, but a product of the good perspective what we call "if it ain't broken, break it and build something better" - it is exactly what has been done in this project.

Now, it is to be expected from a cyberpunk theme that hacking should exist in such games. Dex's hacking is a minigame that is affected by your character progression. As you progress on your hacking skills, your minigame will become easier -of course, the damn black holes are there to torture our bloody souls- but there's always side progression to it; software upgrades can be bought and there are also usable items while in Augmented Reality. - This also is a huge help while in hand-in-hand combat, because you can just go into AR and hack into your enemies' implants and stun them for a while, which is also a part of the stealth system. - and, oh yeah, there is stealth. You can takedown your enemies from behind, you can get into cover, get invisible for a while. But there's also using enemy turrets against them and letting the tools do your dirty work.

Implants are a bit dull, unfortunately. Nothing actually that interesting there. But who cares, you can jump higher, regenerate health, become invisible, change your field of view, detect enemies etc. - Fun little things. They do greatly affect the gameplay, however. So It wouldn't be wise to say they aren't mandatory, but aside from the jumping the rest is pretty much optional; Things like an inhaler and immunity to electricity are quite the quality of life improvements.

Before getting into the story and the characters, I have to point out some notes. - There are some sound design flaws. Character Voices and Background Music sound levels have certain problems. However, I played the game on GNU/Linux, which shouldn't be a problem at all, but after experiencing some launch issues on almost every DE and hearing sounds overlapping, I had to guess that there are problems somewhere between ALSA drivers working poorly with the engine and unpolished state of the game. - Now, I have to point out the elephant in the room, Dex is an unpolished game. No, it is not an unfinished game, it is an unpolished game. I don't know why this is the case, but you will encounter some ugliness. But will this affect your gameplay? No. Not at all. In fact, you will easily forget about the problems like words overflowing the dialog screen, or pretty much every menu content running over the menu textures and things like inconsistent scrolling.

Again, these are minor problems. Doesn't affect the game in a great way. So, they didn't really bug me at all.

Voiceacting is outstanding. Actors did gave life to every single one of these characters - a professional approach of narrative. Infused with lovely, extremely good animated cutscenes and the well written lines describing the heavy atmosphere and the reactions of characters, the quality of the production does speak for itself. There's nothing more to say about this, really. I loved every bit of it. I listened every bit that characters had to offer and loved every line. Dex, truly is not a wasted potential. In fact, it's a perfect begining for an independent team.

Of course, you might not be into such artstyle. Which is completely understandable.

Karel Antonin did an amazing job with the Soundtrack. - and Dex's Soundtrack Album became one of the Soundtracks that I wanted badly. A good friend of mine acted way before me and gifted me the album, for that I am really, really thankful. Because make no mistakes folk, this is an extraordinary work for an Independent Game - actually, forget about the Independent label, Dex's Soundtrack is an artistically accurate approach to this game and I salute the people who put the time and effort to compose and release this piece of artwork. And, you know what, if anything; I highly recommend buying the soundtrack. It does worth the price. I, kid you, not.

Now the hard part, the Storyline. - Well, Dex takes place within a futuristic society and you play as Dex, a woman you hardly know anything about. Has absolutely no skills whatsoever, just trying to stay alive. At this point the narrative is so strong that while you're running away, the music, the background the jumps you have to make, in the very first ten minutes, the game makes you feel like you're living these moments from her perspective and you literally live for her. - and then, you find yourself on an elevator, going down, you see the logo with a beatifully composed theme. You are living in the movie, you are experiencing the game. - and believe me, as someone who has experience in the industry, this art direction, this story driven introduction is pure professionalism; it is idealism. For that, I very much so in love with everyone who's involved with this project.

From that point forward, Dex has to meet with a couple of others who has been driven into this corporate level series of conspiracies and she has to make vital decisions, with consequences. - Her character is in your very hands.

Dex is one of those well-written hidden gems with great design decisions and a product of sincere endeavour. If you are into science fiction; if you love cyberpunk theme, this piece of art is here, waiting in the shadows, glowing. All you need to do is to take a look. You will see the potential and you will see the artistic effort. - Support these people. Believe me, they will deliver more and they will deliver better.

Note - I wrote this review at 4 in the morning. So, I'm terribly sorry about the typos.
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76 of 102 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
The game tries to do a lot of things but doesn't really have much content.

Tries to be like Deus Ex but doesn't give enough utility to stealth or charisma and doesn't allow for nonlethal takedowns. Weapons are limited.

Tries to be a metroidvania, but has limited exploration.

The story is *incredibly* short for an RPG and very generic.

Looks pretty and handles well. I like how combat works for the most part. Would prefer a way to upgrade takedowns though.
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50 of 61 people (82%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 10, 2015
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.

The devs have patched the game 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:

Endurance
Hacking
Lockpicking
Charisma
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.
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