The 2D side-scrolling RPG Dex is available for pre-order on Steam. The game, which began its life as a Kickstarter campaign run by independent studio Dreadlocks Ltd. based out of Prague, Czech Republic, is the second major release by its developer since its founding in 2011, having been preceded by mobile puzzle game Rune Legend.
Dex is a two-dimensional side-scroller set in a cyberpunk-inspired near-future metropolis known as Harbor Prime in which an artificial intelligence program is rapidly approaching a level of development referred to as “the Singularity,” at which point it will be capable of improving upon itself and expanding its knowledge infinitely beyond human control. The player is tasked with investigating this mysterious and ever-changing entity in order to assure that it poses no threat before it evolves beyond any potential human control.
In order to accomplish this, the player is given a variety of weapons and tools which can be used to solve puzzles in a variety of different ways, including transferring their consciousness into cyberspace in order to manipulate technology in the world around them. Dex is designed to be an open-world role-playing game driven primarily by exploration, and as such features a number of potential solutions to its puzzles and a variety of different tactics to defeat its bosses, each of which can lead the story in a new direction. As the story evolves, so too does the player character, gaining additional weapons, skills, and equipment designed to suit the tactics being employed by the player.
In addition to its nonlinear main story, Dex also seeks to make its side quests and optional objectives more impactful to the overall game than in a traditional role-playing game. While few in number, side quests in Dex have the potential to impact story and character development in much the same way as actions taken during the main campaign if the player succeeds in discovering and completing them.
Dex is currently available on Steam as an Early Access purchase for $16, although the game is offered at a 10% discount until August 20. The Early Access package grants access to the game’s current playable Alpha build, which includes a small subset of the game’s quests and two combat styles to utilize. Dex Early Access is currently available on Windows and Mac PCs, with plans to bring the game to Linux as well as the OUYA console in the near future. Dreadlocks has also expressed interest in releasing on the Wii U, although this is expected to come at a date well after the game’s official launch, which is currently slated for late 2014 or early 2015.
You can watch the official Early Access trailer for Dex below or on YouTube.