playstation homepage   Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review
PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews



Get your PSX games HERE!

Developer Gremlin Options
Distributer Activision 1-2 Player
Game Type Arcade Shoot-em-up Memory Card
Review Date March 1998 Light Gun & Standard Joypad
Screenshot No.1
Screenshot No.2
Screenshot No.3 
Setting the Scene
The 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 at home.

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 law.

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 him.

Take 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.

During 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 ablazing.

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.

Sounds and Effects
The 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.

There 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 simply gorgeous.

Value for Money
There 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.

GRAPHICS: Excellent Judge 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.
VALUE: Average
GRAPHICS: Brilliant The 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.
SOUND: Brilliant

Get your PSX games HERE!