Re(?)Considered: Gex: Deep Cover Gecko
Proof positive that Gex sells.
I shan't mince my words. Gex is a man-sized gecko who, in his PS1 second sequel Gex: Deep Cover Gecko, pursues a sexual relationship with a human woman. There is no way to sugarcoat this genuinely reprehensible information. Gex, a 3D rendered gecko, constantly hits on (to the point of overt harrassment) his live-action human woman partner Agent Xtra, joylessly performed by actress and Playmate, Marliece Andrada. There, it's been covered. Let's move on.
Gex, the man-sized gecko, has (to date) starred in three entire games, developed by Crystal Dynamics. The original Gex was a fairly banal side-scrolling platformer for PS1 and its competition, but the sequel (Gex: Enter the Gecko) was a fully 3D affair, with the lizard lothario scampering around myriad cartoonish levels. This thirdquel - Deep Cover Gecko - builds on its predecessor with bigger levels, better graphics and even lamer humour. Gex once again ventures into the "Media Dimension" to defeat his recurring arch-nemesis Rez, who has kidnapped human woman Agent Xtra. This story is as familiar as the game's structure; every stage hides a condensed open world environment packed with collectables. The aesthetic is nicely stylised and clear effort has gone into the environments. While it's never beautiful, it's definitely consistent, with everything from character designs to colour choices complementing the irreverent tone of the game.
There's a lot of variety - one moment you'll be shrinking down to the size of a flea and exploring the fibrous exterior of a taxidermied animal, the next you'll be tucked in a kangaroo's pouch climbing up cliffs and ringing bells. These frequent change-ups gel nicely with the whole ethos of freewheeling comic madness and result in a game that, while it conforms to the detrimental trend of its contemporaries' (Spyro 2, Donkey Kong 64, even Croc 2) frequent gameplay changes, does so with something approaching stylistic coherence. In short, Deep Cover Gecko is coherent in its incoherence.
This style I'm alluding to is mired in pop culture; every stage is based on a different genre of TV/movies, with the first level inspired by Rankin-Bass christmas specials, the second taking in Sherlock Holmes/mystery shows, progressing to stages themed on pirates, the military and even anime. And it's this needling of television that makes me wonder just why on earth Gex has never returned. It seems absolutely ripe for a revival, given how totally media-centric the universe seems to have become, and the enormous crossover of the gaming community with movie, TV and comic book fans. It's all ripe for parody. 3D platformers are back. Gex isn't. And I won't tolerate it any longer. In 2015, Square Enix announced a project that would allow developers to pitch game ideas for several of their properties. Gex was one of them. Assuming this project is still a thing, I present to the world my brilliant idea for Gex 4.
After twenty years away, Gex returns to his 3D platforming roots as he fights to dismantle the newly-transformed Media Dimension, which has been terraformed by Rez into something called - wait for it - Rezflix. You guessed it! Gex now battles through levels based on hilarious parodies of popular Netflix shows, such as a prison based on Orange is the New Black, or a spooky mansion "housing" a devastating roasting of The Haunting of Hill House. The possibilities are endless, this is a multi-million dollar idea, it's in print and it's mine. Keep your eyes out for Gex 4: Rezflix and Kill, coming to PS5, Xbox Two and Nintendo-brand smartphones in 2021.