Dex is a 2D, side-scrolling, open-world cyberpunk RPG with a focus on exploration and non-linear gameplay.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (265 reviews)
Release Date: May 7, 2015

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"Showed at Gamescom 2014 - The world needs more cyberpunk RPGs."
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Recent updates View all (26)

August 31

Latest News

Hello everyone!

We’re happy to announce that a huge update is coming soon for Dex!

It will be available at the end of September, as we are currently in the process of polishing and ironing out the remaining bugs.

Here’s a list of the new features and improvements you can expect:

  • Manual saves.
  • Revamped AR / Cyberspace.
  • New user interface / menus.
  • Improved enemy AI / melee combat.
  • Ability to shoot while moving.
  • New outfits for Dex, including a quest to acquire them.
  • Steam Achievements / Trading Cards / Badges.
  • Full localization: French / German / Czech / Hungarian.
  • Improved / additional sound effects.
  • Multiple bug fixes / visual improvements.

We hope all these additions will make Dex even more enjoyable for all of you!

Your Dex team

7 comments Read more

August 6

French translation

Hi everyone! Bonjour tout le monde !

We have good news for our French-speaking fans out there; we have completed the French localization of Dex!

But we want to make sure it is as polished as possible, and despite our efforts there may still be a few typos and mistakes here and there. So we would like to ask if some of you would kindly try it out for themselves, and give us feedback on it!

We will make the French version available on a private beta branch on Steam, and should you want to participate in the testing, please send us an email at localization@dreadlocks.cz.

After we get your feedback and fix whatever is necessary, we will release an official update, making the final French translation available to everyone!

As for German, it will follow soon.

Merci,

Your Dex team

10 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse or Linux compatible gamepad
Helpful customer reviews
99 of 111 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
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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168 of 211 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
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!
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130 of 166 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
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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50 of 54 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
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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49 of 54 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
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 then 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.

8/10

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