Dexed is an on-rails shooter that makes use of the PSVR hardware and comes to us from Ninja Theory (DmC, Heavenly Sword) and, simplifying it a little, is a cross between the locking on, floaty charms of Rez and colour-switching intricacy of Ikaruga.
The game tasks you with floating through different environments and shooting enemies. There are four levels (underwater, snowy etc) and a boss level as well as a separate arcade mode that acts more or less like a shooting gallery. None of these levels are very long, a couple of minutes at most for the main ones, and the boss level has a five minute time limit.
As you move through the levels, enemies come into play. They come in two colours, orange (fire) and blue (ice). You have two weapons (fire and ice also). What you have to do is hit orange enemies with your blue weapon and blue enemies with your orange one. Get it right and the enemy is destroyed. Mess it up and the consequence differs depending on the difficulty level – on hard you’ll take damage right away, on normal you’ll have time to react and put up your shield, on easy there is no damage taken).
As with Rez, you hold down the button to lock onto multiple targets and release it to fire. You can cancel it if you accidentally lock onto the wrong target but the enemies come at you pretty fast, which means you don’t really have time to faff about.
The key to doing well is to keep your combo going which means not messing up. It can be quite taking as often enemies are tightly bunched, making it hard to separate them. Hard in a skills way, rather than as a fault of design. Although on the harder difficulties, the game can be a bit savage in terms of keeping your combo going.
I did keep expecting to get confused by the controls, after all shooting the blue guy with the orange gun is a little counterintuitve, but actually it felt more natural that I had thought it would. Shot cancelling is something that I never seem to do though, so I’m probably not playing at an elite level, but it works well. The smart play is to use the Move controllers but Dexed plays well with the DualShock 4.
In terms of presentation, the game looks good with some lovely, immersive environments and it uses VR well and whole it doesn’t quite stack up to Rez Infinite‘s wonderful presentation, everything looks nice here. Likewise the sound is more than adequate but nothing to right home about.
The issue with the game is that it is pretty short and there’s not much variation. It does encourage replaying the game for leaderboard glory and trophy-grabbing but it doesn’t feel like you get much game here. That said, this is less than a tenner, where as pure dogshit like Firefighters – The Simulation goes for £25 so we’re not complaining.
As is often the case, this is a game where the VR tech carries it a bit. If this was a regular game with these mechanics, it’d be pretty much in the same camp as Entwined (another blue and orange rail thing). But the expansive environments are enjoyable to be in, and we’re fans of Move-controller gunslinging, so that definitely puts a point or two on the score. But this is also a good game. The short length stings a bit and it suffers in comparison to Rez Infinite but Dexed is a nice example of the genre.