Dexed review (PS VR)

The steady flow of Playstation VR titles continues with the release of Dexed, previously available on Steam.

Developer Ninja Theory is mostly known for their grand and polished action adventures like Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, but Dexed is something very different. The result of a game jam project, it’s a virtual reality shooter that uses a novel gameplay mechanic in terms of how to approach a dual wielding situation.

In Dexed, controlled with two move controllers, one hand controls fire while the other controls ice. Enemies that appear on screen are of the same variety, and of course you need to hit fire with ice and vice versa. Being an on-rails shooter, you don’t have to worry about moving around and you can focus on enemy patterns and shooting them down – something that becomes easier the more you play and remember.

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It’s fun to see how quickly you pick up this dynamic, even though you’ll initially mess up quite a few times when instinct (or should I say “your dominant hand”) takes over. There are penalties for messing up, so you can’t get away with mindlessly aiming all over the place. Shooting is done through a lock-on mechanism, where the risk versus reward dynamic comes from going for additional targets while risking the chance that you’ll target the wrong element.

Dexed is a very short game – its campaign is about half an hour long and aside from that you can choose from Arcade and Zen modes. Arcade allows you to aim for highscore before depleting your health bar, whereas Zen sees you gently cruising through the levels without worrying about any shooting. This gives you time to admire how well polished your virtual surroundings are – something you’ll easily miss while playing the actual game.

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When you look at the amount of content Dexed has to offer, its Game Jam roots clearly shine through. As is often the case with projects like this, an idea turns into an experiment and the resulting game has a relatively narrow scope. Luckily, Ninja Theory has put a matching price tag on the game – Dexed is one of the cheaper Playstation VR games you can buy today and very polished for a game in its price range.

VR was always bound to have quite a few shooters in its portfolio, and Rush of Blood is probably the on-rails title you want if that’s your genre. However, it’s quite a bit more expensive and Ninja Theory’s novel new approach pays off for just a fraction of the price. For under 10 dollars/euros, you can’t go wrong here if you want something new to enjoy on your Playstation VR.

Score: 7.1/10

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