Do the words “Drecker” or “Shodan” send shivers down your Internet-ready spine? Then you need to check out Kickstarter darling Dex. Already funded and Steam Greenlit, the game’s got about two days left to go before it heads to its steamy, cyberpunk hacker-heaven full production. And hey, nothing could be bad about a game that draws inspiration from Deus Ex, Splinter Cell, Castelvania, Metroid and Neuromancer
Dex is a 2D, side-scrolling RPG which brings to mind some of the best of the glamorized futuristic hacking lifestyle. Players will be able to choose from one of three different specializations, or mix them if they so choose, to approach problems.
And what will the world be like? Dark and dystopian for one. And with everyone wired up, there appears to be a collective “We” meta-mind force living within the net now. A living force that only needs one final “experience” to finish its transcendence—you. As an incomplete “biological”, your life separate and living a life of “ignorance and limited knowledge” against the powers of the We will somehow tie into the final, overarching storyline.
Developers Dreadlocks have promised that they will give you less, but more meaty, side-missions (or “runs”, which sends happy quivers down my Netrunner back) so players get deeper immersion into the world. To that end the game will be non-linear, allowing you to both choose how you’ll advance the story as well as the ways to do so. Any problem, the team says, will have multiple solutions—including hacking into the mainframe.
Hacking won’t be a mini-game, but an entirely possible solution to your problems. Players will be able to meld into their avatar, where time flows differently. From there, say the developers, players can do almost anything to those who stand before him – from frying out enemy chips to disabling and overloading sentries and door locks.
The hacking system is already pretty in-depth and looks to be a solid part of the game – with active defenses both in and around it as befits a cyberpunk world that’s gotten used to the idea that someone might just try to jack into your brain. From handling ICE to Trojans and more, Dex’s hacking looks, if nothing else, at least interesting in offering up the options you can play around with.
The game is supposed to be fully voiced acted by professional voice actors—part of what the Kickstarter’s for, apparently—as well as paying for services such as professional proofreading by Andy Wolfendon (writer at Blizzard Entertainment) since the team doesn’t actually speak English natively. There’s also to be music by Karel Antonin, who’s done work on Miner Wars and a bunch of films. The game will be finishing up alpha by approximately February 2014, so it’s not like you’re going into a completely new game here that hasn’t even had work started on it.
At press, the game’s about $3,000 short of its next stretch goal—to get on the Wii U—but does have just the last couple days left if you’re fast.