world is changing rapidly. Violence on the streets has reached an
all time high. Governments are desperately trying to reduce the
number of weapons that are freely available from many back street
establishments. Through the power of the Playstation the message is
loud and clear - we must take these firearms from those crazies on
the streets.... and give them to the average kid so he can practice
Hot on the heels of Namco's Time Crisis comes another arcade
shoot-em-up where the object of the game is to settle back in the
comfort of your favorite armchair, draw your light gun from it's
holster and take pot shots at virtually everything that moves on the
TV screen. Unfortunately the weapon does not work on ordinary TV
programs, which is a shame because their are one or two celebrities
who would easily have made the top of my hit list. No, you must
connect your firearm to the Playstation games console and load up a
game such as Judge Dredd, from Gremlin Interactive. Now you are the
Little old earth is a dangerous place to live in the 22nd Century.
Danger lurks everywhere as aliens and mutants prowl within the vast
high rise cities. There is no protection as the police forces have
been disbanded and the trial by jury system has been abolished. In
place of these enforcements comes a selection of highly trained men
with the power to judge, sentence and execute. The Judge's word is
final. Their duties are to seek out the law breakers of society and
administer justice. The Judge is the law, the only law.
After escaping from the prison moon Titan, Tech Judge Bean is out to
reap revenge. Gathering together a group of androids and a mass of
deadly weapons he threatens the life of the city mayor and begins to
recklessly shoot innocent hostages. Sixteen judges have already been
taken down. He beckons Judge Dredd to go in and attempt to judge
on the mean streets of Mega City 1 as Joe Dredd in a first person
hyper action 3D blast fest. As Dredd you'll fight your way through
tunnels, plazas, escalators, lift shafts and mezzanine floors
through a frenzy of explosive action. Judge Dredd propels you
through 4 stages containing a total of 16 thunderous levels. The
game can be played with a standard joypad and is also light gun
compatible. The Judge's standard issue gun is a multi-faceted hand
weapon with manual, automatic focus and targeting. It has an
in-built computer that controls it's operating functions. Judge
Dredd may be played as a single player game or you can team up with
a mate and take out those baddies together.
the opening intro and between each level the story is explained via
some stunning FMV scenes that are of movie quality. The actors
portray their characters with style and enthusiasm although I often
felt that I was watching a scene from Dirty Harry because the actor
playing Judge Dredd takes off the Clint Eastwood character to a tee.
However it leaves you in no doubt which side of the law you would
prefer to be on.
The game itself is one cool looking piece of merchandise. The
backgrounds consist of gorgeous SGI graphics and not 3D polygons
which feature in other shooting games such as Time Crisis and Virtua
Cop. All of the scenery is smoothly textured and most of it may be
destroyed by a well timed shot revealing hidden power ups. All
around objects are moving back and forth creating a nervy experience
as you just don't know where danger lurks. Gun turrets open and
close needing a ultra quick reaction to take them out, elevators
raise up to a higher level before enemies leap out and lay siege on
your character while vehicles burst through barricades with guns
The polygon enemies have been motion captured and move around the
set at a remarkable speed. It would have been easy to clone a large
number of androids and then simply throw them at you from all
angles, but with Judge Dredd what you essentially get is a wide
variation of intelligent beings that mingle among the human hostages
making you pause for thought before you pull the trigger.
Explosion have are also been well represented with each incoming
shot producing a colorful mini explosion from the barrel of their
weapon. A direct hit sees their bodies produce a warm glow as their
health is reduced before their eventual demise when they fall to the
floor and disappear into a cloud of mist.
The game is viewed from a first person perspective with again moves
with pace and fluidity. There are no options to alter the viewing
angle but seeming as the action is non stop from start to finish I
doubt if you would find the time to make any adjustments.
background music is a futuristic techno rock soundtrack that can
barely be heard when the action gets underway. It is completely
smothered by the non stop racket of machine gun fire, exploding
bombs, shattering glass and dying screams of your intended victims.
are three difficulty settings which range from easy to hard.
Changing the difficulty setting will adjust the standard of
power-ups that can be collected during the game. In fact the harder
the setting - the less effect the power-up will have on the enemy.
On easy setting a few timely shots will dispose of the target but
when the difficulty is boosted they will just keep on getting back
up and attacking you.
If you prefer to play the game using a standard control pad their is
a helpful option which will allow you to adjust the speed that the
cross-hair moves over the screen. Set this too fast and the small
cross will whizz past your intended target leaving you taking a pot
shot at fresh air, set it too slow and you will probably kicking up
daisies before the end of the first level. There is a test screen to
try out your desired setting before you load up the first level.
Sadly the Analog control pad does not work with Judge Dredd but the
standard pad is quite playable. The directional buttons move the
cross hair around the screen, the X button fires a round, the
triangle launches a high explosive that clears all of the enemies on
screen and any of the four shoulder button will reload your gun.
Take care not to press the fire and reload buttons at the same time
as your gun will jam up for a few seconds costing valuable health.
To begin the game simply take a deep breath and click on the option
to 'hit the streets'.
Keeping an eye on the on screen information is as important as being
a crack shot. You begin with three credits that consist of three
lives and 100% health status. Each shot taken will reduce your life
by amount five percent but you can top up your health by finding and
shooting a small medi-kit. Also on screen is a display showing the
type of weapon currently in use and the amount of ammo currently
available. With all arcade shooters the idea is to clock up the
highest score possible and top the table which is shown at the end
of the game.
If you have never played this type of game before you will instantly
get the picture as soon as the level begins. Shoot everything thing
that moves and most things that don't, but avoid taking out innocent
civilians. They are easy enough to spot as they all wear bright
yellow suits and wave their hands frantically in your general
direction. Occasionally a red arrow will point out a section of
scenery, which if shot, will reveal one of the many power-ups.
Shooting it again will collect the item and add it to your
inventory. Power-ups include high explosive weapons, scatter shots
that fires eight shots in all directions, armor piercing bullets,
rapid fire automatic gun, heat seeking bullets, a shield to offer
temporary protection and the inevitable extra life.
There isn't a great deal to explain about the gameplay except that
it is lightening fast action that fails to ease until the level is
completed. The following levels turn up the pace to frightening
proportions, throwing tougher enemies in front of you in larger
numbers. Snipers hang around the galleries taking pot shots at your
character while android kick boxers leap out of nowhere to fill your
mouth full of leather sole. It's fast, it's frantic and it looks
are sixteen levels to Judge Dredd and with careful aiming they
should all be complete within a few attempts. However the replay
value provides continuous gameplay as you attempt to beat your best
score. The two player mode is great fun as you can take a mate along
and watch each others backs but beware as the lives are divided
between the two of you so don't go grabbing all of the power-ups for
yourself. All in all a competent arcade shooter that works well with
both light gun and control pad.
Dredd is not the type of game that I would purchase because I prefer
to inject a little thought into playing video games rather than
frantic trigger pulling in short bursts. If you love arcade games
such as Time Crisis or Virtua Cop then go for this game as I doubt
you will be disappointed with the content.
graphics and sound in this game will simply blow your mind.
The game is still playable using the standard Playstation joypads,
but much more fun when using a lightgun.
While I can't see you playing this one for months and months, you
will still have loads of fun while you do.