Dex is being developed by Dreadlocks Ltd. from the Czech Republic. The premise:
The main protagonist – a young woman leading an ordinary corporate life – is approached by a legendary hacker Raycast. She is asked to play her part in the events surrounding the enigmatic AI called Kether. The reason is her innate ability to move freely through the cyberspace, without a “jack” or any kind of implant. The whole story is a grinding stone between the heroine (Dex), the low-life and hackers (The Grid) and the corporations (The Complex) and the AI Kether struggling to reach the Singularity. The corporations want to rule Kether, the hackers want it to free itself and lead mankind onto a next evolutionary stage – but noone knows what would the real outcome will be.
This trailer shows off the game’s cyberpunk aesthetic, with some combat, stealth, and dialog to boot:
The developers state that Dex will feature multiple solutions to in-game problems, and–in a move that makes me think just a bit of Bloom: Memories–you’ll be able to visible “enter cyberspace” to interact with otherwise hidden features of the current area. As the developer puts it: “it takes place in two planes: physical reality and cyberspace. Cyberspace is omnipresent – you can go there anytime for an alternate take on things.”
According to the developer, you will always start the game as Dex, but you’ll be able to customize her by putting points into developing her skills in combat, stealth or hacking as you play.
As you progress through the game (XP rewards for missions, takedowns/kills, exploration etc.), you level up. This is very similar to Castlevania actually. The XP-driven advancement allows you to put skillpoints into skill lines (similar to Shadowrun Returns and Mass Effect). Plus you can purchase/unlock cybernetic implants, which alter the gameplay in some way – higher jumps (allowing to reach new places), silent movement, health regeneration, gas/EMP/projectile resistance etc.
Dex is currently on Kickstarter, where it’s having a bit of a slow start–head on over there if you want to help it along. (The developers assure me that development will continue if the campaign fails, but they’ll have to find an outside source of funding or else diminish the game’s scope and suite of planned features, with voice acting first onto the chopping block.)
Dex is planned for release on Windows, Linux, Mac and OUYA in June 2014.