After watching the trailer for Dex, I was pretty excited to play the game. It looked like many of the other awesome, action-packed indie games I’ve played on the Switch. However, I was unaware that the original game had debuted five years ago in 2015. So while the trailer looked cool, I knew I would be dealing with some outdated mechanics. Still, the story of a mysterious blue-haired woman who can kick butt and take names in a colorful, cyberpunk open-world seemed pretty interesting.
Of course, the game begins with a vague setup, they must stay mysterious after all. You’re not given much information about Dex. But apparently, she is awesome, and some bad guys are after her because she’s so awesome, that’s all you really need to know. The player takes control after Dex falls into the sewers, where she meets some shady characters. To progress, Dex has to fight her way through this gross, sewer gang. So, your first fight is against three enemies, with no real tutorial or information. You can punch and kick, but good luck getting a hit in. These guys love to block your attacks. It’s like, a hobby for them or something. I was getting so annoyed with the first fight because of this one guy. He blocked almost every punch. I was only getting in like 1 out of every 10 hits.
There’s also the problem of how clunky and slow the fights felt. It just wasn’t a fun, flow, like I thought it would be. I imagined gameplay like the old arcade beat em ups. Alas, I was excited when I acquired my first gun. I thought, “this will be so much easier now,” but I was wrong. Those guns must be shooting pellets because my melee attacks seemed to do more damage than a bullet. It wasn’t until later that I started doing things differently and realized stealth was the way to go when taking down the bad guys. Dex can do a few different moves when it comes to the melee attacks; you just have to figure out what works best for you. Weapons are the obvious option, and Dex has a pretty good arsenal, but using your hacking skills combined with stealth attacks can be much more effective.
One more thing you need to know is that collecting credits is vital to your progression (By “vital” I mean it will make your experience a lot less frustrating). Collecting credits lets you purchase upgrades for Dex’s equipment and weapons. These can be hard to find sometimes, but well worth it.
I know it sounds like I’ve pointed out many more negatives than positives when it comes to Dex, but this game does have a lot to offer. Like the array of characters Dex meets. It’s honestly one of the best parts of the game. I feel like the characters have more depth and intrigue than the actual story. The voice-overs and dialogue are entertaining, and it seems like each NPC has their own personality. There are also different dialogues for the choices you make in-game, which I like. But I’m always conflicted about how it will affect the story. Which usually makes me want to replay the game, and that’s good, right?
Another pro is the environment that the game is set in. Cyberpunk games are always kind of fun, just because of the neat things you can interact with and the cool, sci-fi technology. But the world in Dex is pretty awesome to take in, in general. I really liked how each area I went to had so much to look at, and so much detail. I should also mention Dex is kind of a grimy game. Not in a bad way, but more of a “this game is for adults” way. There’s plenty of cuss words, questionable characters, and even… nudity. Full on, blocky, pixely flesh! It’s pretty funny, actually. Dex is a non-linear, open world game. You can do missions in whatever order you see fit and explore different routes. So each time you play, you might find something new or see something you didn’t notice the first time.
Dex lacks in some areas, but I think the overall experience was pretty enjoyable. And like I mentioned before it’s a game I want to go back and play again. Any game I keep downloaded on my Switch is usually one I recommend. Dex goes for $19.99 on the eShop, but it’s on sale this week for $17.99. So if you’re interested, now’s the time to snag it.