DEXED is a stunning new VR title developed by the well known studio Ninja Theory. They worked on DMC: Devil May Cry, which is one of my all-time favorite arcadey non-VR games, as I love both its visual style and fantastic arcade gameplay. You can see hints of their stylized DMC in DEXED. It’s hard to nail down exactly why I feel this way, but I would say it’s a combination of the vibrant visuals and the fluid arcade gameplay mechanic. The art style of DEXED, in my opinion, is also somewhat reminiscent of Ori and the Blind Forest which won awards for its staggeringly beautiful, original artwork.
In DEXED, you are on a slow moving rail and have 2 crosshairs, one attached to each hand which you simply point at the enemy you wish to target while holding the trigger down. There are two variants of enemies, one being red and blue floating mysterious skulls and the second being sprout like red and blue worms that pop out from the walls throughout each level.
Enemies are either ice (blue) or fire (red). This is a crucial component of the targeting mechanic as you have to target opposite colors of the crosshair you are targeting with. It’s a bit confusing to explain, but once I got used to it, I really felt like I was playing a classic arcade game in that it feels “just right” and is very satisfying. Basically, you want to target the fire enemies with the ice crosshair, and the ice enemies with the fire crosshair. The key here is that you want to target as many enemies as possible at the same time to get a higher score. Simply hold down the trigger on either, or both controllers and you are in targeting mode. When you move a crosshair over an enemy a sound chimes and they are now targeted. Once you let go of the trigger, all targeted enemies will be fired upon and destroyed. If you target a fire enemy with the fire crosshair, they will reflect your attack and you will have to use the grip button to enable the shield to block but you do have the option to cancel your targets by clicking the trackpad on the controller you’ve targeted with (same goes for ice enemies). This is where the skill comes in, quickly trying to target opposite colored enemies, with both hands as they’re flying past and sprouting below you, all while steadily moving on a rail is the real challenge and core of Dexed’s gameplay.
As I said, it’s a bit difficult to really explain the mechanic, but once you get it, the gameplay is really quite satisfying. The level design really shines in this game, made with unreal Engine 4 but manages to be more visually pleasing than most other Unreal VR games I’ve played thus far, thanks to Ninja Theory’s sleek style and great optimization. DEXED has a very arcade feel and look. Simply point to a level/world you want to start, and you’ll be presented with global leader-boards and difficulty options for the selected level. Then upon selecting, your difficulty your game will start. No fuss, no muss.
In terms of settings/options, DEXED provides 4 different graphic settings along with a few other options. I would say most VR capable GPUs should be able to handle running DEXED with relative ease, as it seems to be very well optimized. I’ve been enjoying it on “Ultra” with my GTX 1080 with zero issues. Performance is really top notch, which makes the game that much more enjoyable.
DEXED was created at an internal game jam Ninja Theory organized earlier this year. It showed so much promise that they decided to polish it up and release it to the public. I am very glad they did as they’ve managed to create a clean, vibrant, surprisingly calming and especially satisfying arcade VR experience. I was happy to purchase as not only is it a solid, enjoyable VR title, but hopefully it will send a message to Ninja Theory and other developers that VR is real. It’s alive and well and growing every day.
ViveReport thanks Ninja Theory for taking the risk on VR and welcomes them to the Vive-mind™. Now, let’s get to work on some DMC: Devil May Cry VR ok? Alright!
Check it out for yourself over on Steam: DEXED $9.99