Dex - An incredibly good indie game

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by CT Phipps, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    Guys, I really have to recommend the video game "Dex - The Enhanced Edition" which available for download on Xbox, Steam, GOG, and PS systems. It's an indie game which was created by Kickstarter but manages to transcend its origins to be something really special. The best way I can describe it is the game manages to combine Symphony of the Night and Deus Ex. There's some rough edges, which is to be expected with a budget of 60,000 Euros but it's easily more enjoyment than I've gotten out of a lot of triple A games.

    The premise is the blue haired cyberpunk Dex wakes up in her apartment one day to find a bunch of corporate goons are going to murder her. She manages to escape only to end up in the dirty cyberpunk dystopia of New Harbor City. Dex has to figure out who is after her and why then stop them but it's the sidequests were the game really shows itself off. There are lots of really good writing moments in this game. The voice acting is great in the game as well. It's not perfect nor could it be for being an indie game but I really endorse the purchase.

    Here's another review which largely agrees with me.

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  2. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    That looks absolutely gorgeous. Loving the style.
    I'll check it out.
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  3. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    Oh yeah, I'm enjoying it a great deal. I was surprised at how far I'd gone into it.
  4. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    I played the demo the other day, I got something off a Deus Ex vibe playing it so I may very well buy the full version. It's been out for a few years apparently.
  5. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    Yeah, I feel kind of stupid having missed on it. The Enhanced Edition fixed a lot of the original's bugs, though.
  6. YeeCop

    YeeCop Just a Sweet Irradiated Transvestite

    Jan 26, 2017
    Added to my wishlist. :-D
  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    I just finished the game and have to say there's only one flaw with this game and that's the shitty hacking minigame which you need to have maxed out your hacking stats in order to complete the game (because the game is intolerable otherwise). Whoeever thought to bank the game on this at the end with no other ways around it should really be drug out in the street and shot with EA. Thankfully, you can just brute force your way through every obstacle for the most part. Every guardian you destroy remains dead as long as you don't leave the area.

    I also appreciate the endings of the game where you can do the usual Deus Ex philosophical god choices or, in fact, just say, "Nah, I'm fine with the world the way as it is. All you would-be gods can shove it."
  8. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016

    One of the elements which often gets ignored in modern gaming is the indie game. With so much focus on the Triple A games being released every year, those created by smaller studio are impulse buys and "until I have something else to play" at best--at least for most gamers. That means some surprising gems have been overlooked. One of these gems is one I'm going to take a moment to talk about.

    The combat isn't too far from Double Dragon.

    Dex is a side-scrolling Metroidvania best described as "Symphony of the Night and Deus Ex." You play the role of Dex, a blue-haired cyberpunk heroine who is woken up one night by the world's worst assassins. Narrowly escaping them, Dex finds out she is a genetically engineered super-soldier who has a connection to one of the world's two artificial intelligences. This messianic destiny is far off and the majority of the game is trying to survive on the streets of Harbour Prime.

    Harbour Prime is a dirty graffiti covered hellhole inhabited by gangs, prostitutes, and thugs who wander the streets along with ordinary citizens. There's a lot of side-quests available for Dex to participate in from rescuing a young man from sex trafficking, robbing smugglers of cybernetic parts, and dealing with an attempt to patent food so to force independent restaurants out of business.

    I love Harbour Prime. It's a wonderful setting.

    The writing is the best part of Dex with a lot of lowlife criminal stories that are entertaining as hell. My favorite was an aging pop star dealing with a loony fan and both of them seeing the potential of cybernetic vocal chords to create a new career. These are the kind of things which Deux Ex: Mankind Divided tried and failed to create convincingly. Ironically, it's the main quest which is the weakest of the stories since choosing to side with the godlike A.I. or the evil corporation is just a repeat of the original Deus Ex (or Neuromancer for that matter).

    The art design for the world is extremely well done. Harbour Prime has all the feeling of a proper cyberpunk setting with horrific bombed out slums, a sleazy Red Light district, and a fantastic district for the super rich. It reminded me a bit of a much-better designed Final Fight and I appreciated the fact you could fast travel between all the districts at will. Despite being limited in graphic budget, the place is well-done with lots of hidden nooks and crannies to explore.

    Harbour Prime has a huge amount of personality.

    The voice acting for the game is top notch and there's numerous really well-done cutscenes which make use of art set pieces that give the game a nice comic book feel. All of the game's characters are well-realized from the Americana obsessed gun store owner to the somewhat disgusting cybernetics doctor who takes liberties with unconscious patients (sadly, you can't kill him for this). I was particularly interesting in the brothel madame Lilly who is a subversion of your typical human trafficker.

    The biggest flaws of the game are the fact combat is extremely basic and a broken boring hacking minigame. Even the developers commented the hacking minigame sucks. The RPG elements actually make both harder. For example, you can't kick until you upgrade your melee skill, for instance, and that's just ridiculous.

    The sleazy elements are perfectly well developed.

    The problem with this is the hacking mini-game is the least enjoyable part of the game and feels more like Space Invaders meets Gauntlet versus the rest of the game. It didn't become tolerable until I upgraded my Hacking stat to maximum. The game would have been massively improved by making the hacking game optional or giving some way of getting past them without having to do such a serious gameplay change.

    Dex, herself, is a great character and someone I wouldn't be unhappy to see become the star of a series of games. She doesn't speak much but what she does creates a mysterious and fascinating character. I admit to playing her as a professional thief, lover of prostitutes, and killer with a heart of gold. Others may go for a more heroic build. While a sequel is unlikely, I'm very glad the studio created her nd encourage more people to buy the game.