Disclosure ‐ Thanks go out to Dreadlocks for providing us with a review copy of the game
The world is dark and dreary, neon lights shining down on the world below. People, on the whole, are mostly still flesh and blood. There is a rampant and strong criminal underground, an area that you find yourself quickly dragged down into. There are lots of quests, there are lots of faces and plenty of items. There are plenty of different skills for you to learn depending on the path that you wish to go down. This is the world of DEX.
The story first leads you first through a simple tutorial. You learn how to fight, dodge and use a couple of example weapons. From that point forward you are thrust straight into the main story line. Coming to the surface for the first time you meet up with a stranger who sends you on a quest, which leads you into another, and another… very quickly I had more quests than I know what to do with.
I think this was the first point where I considered my position on this game. I do not mind having a lot to do, but I think that the desire to add a lot of quests to the game made each one seem less important and less valuable. It feels like filler rather than content. Do you really need to hire someone to go to the store for you? Is my time worth so little? Why should I go and talk to your brother, surely it would be better if you just walked over there yourself… it is only 20 metres down the road?!
This shares one of the common errors that have been happening recently in open world games; stuff to do does not always equate to content. If I were presented these options in real life I would say no. Why, as an adult in a game, would I be treated any differently. In essence, things to do does not correlate to things worth doing. Throwing too much at a player too soon can easily overwhelm them and cause them to just give up. Which is important and which is not?
This was also made more difficult and frustrating by regular crashes the game experienced at different loading points. I would have loved to get through some rooms, but the game just seemed to say no. I cannot say whether these crashes are specific or not to the Vita version
These quests also seemed to direct players away from certain skills. I went straight into lock-picking, thinking that this would allow me to avoid combat in most areas (with some light stealth). I was wrong. able to just work my way through certain areas, and get to different combat. It is almost like there is a right order for choosing skills that you, the player, have not been privy to.
Apart from the running and punching (and occasional gunning) and light, directed, banter there was little other interaction with the people around you. Otherwise you can pick your way through doors and vaults, attempt to hack devices. I will have to be honest here, I never succeeded in hacking anything. I could never work out the controls and I could not keep my cursor on the circle for long enough to get through. The hacking mini game is technically a simple affair; you enter an arena where you have to keep your essence in a circle. While you are there blue shapes fly towards you. If you get hit my too many of them you die. You do have a peashooter which is technically an offensive weapon. It never seemed to be enough to keep me alive during the exercise though. Simple in premise, a pain in the arse to do. I also suspect that I could have just been bad at it.
Normally these are all things that grab me and pull me into a game. It should have been a match. No matter how hard I tried I could just not get into it, and I gave it a lot of time to try. The story, the amount of world crammed into such a small box is quite an achievement, but I think that it was just not for me.
It is not something that happens to me all that often, On the whole I get along with virtually all game genres. Unfortunately DEX is a title that does not quite sit right with me. I am a huge fan of the steampunk and low fantasy genres, a space which this game falls right into. However, there is something about this game has made me stumble a bit, and this is not to say that it is bad, but I feel that it might be something which suits some more than others. However, for the right person I have no doubt in my mind that Dex will really pull them in and lead them through on a fantastic journey.