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Jydge Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . I like that Jydge is more than just a great playing shoot 'em up. Sure, you're still dodging bullets and running around a familiar futuristic world, but there's a lot more going on than you might initially expect. I'm a big fan of the way you can customize the action by rearranging perks and swapping out abilities. Unfortunately, there is some repetition and the levels start to blur together after a while, but the amount of customization helps to keep things fresh. Licensed or not, this is the best Judge Dredd game we'll ever get. Rating: 78%
Jydge
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  • Review Score:

  • B+
10tons is one of those studios not a lot of people are familiar with. Although they've released nearly fifty games since 2003, they're probably best known for downloadable iOS games like Tennis in the Face and Sparkle. I've reviewed a few of their games, such Crimsonland and Spellspire, but none of them have really stuck with me. That is, until now. Their newest action game is Jydge, and if they continue to release high-quality action games like this, then a whole lot of people are going to start remembering their name.

I'm going to be straight with you, this is a Judge Dredd game. I mean, 10tons didn't buy the license and the world is a little different, but for all intents and purposes, this basically hits all the same beats. You play a militarized judge in a dystopian future where police work and court work have blurred together to create a violent mess where the people who are supposed to be passing judgment are out on the streets fighting crime. Our hero is also masked and has very little to say, not unlike a certain comic book character that first got his start in the second issue of 2000 AD.


Regardless of the similarities, what we have here is an action-packed shoot 'em up with a surprising amount of depth. Each mission will have us going into a small, self-contained level where the goal will be to save hostages, take out gang leaders or grab the incriminating evidence. There are also two optional missions to complete in each stage, usually requiring you to loot all the crates, avoid taking damage or go the entire mission without being seen.

Completing these tasks isn't just satisfying, it's also the way you open up new stages and unlock upgrades, weapons and abilities. This all seems pretty straight-forward and simple early on, but it won't take long before the game adds another batch of missions to each level. And then even more. The game is designed to make you tackle these levels over and over again, but always in a slightly different way.

I'll be honest; this idea of replaying the stages multiple times could have easily gone wrong and become a repetitive nightmare. Thankfully, that doesn't happen with Jydge. Because you're always unlocking new weapons and abilities, the desire is already there to replay old stages and test out our new gear. The fact that you can do this while also completing tasks and opening up more treasure chests is simply a bonus.

The truth is, there's a lot of stuff to unlock and equip. Let's start with the Cyberware, which is a lot of different perks that you can pin to the judge. These upgrades can be everything from improving melee damage to adding more health all the way up to deploying attack drones and learning the ability to hack vulnerable computers. There are a lot of these perks to choose from and only four slots to fill, so it comes down to finding the right combination for the way you want to play. I like how simply rearranging these abilities can take me from the world's stealthiest spy to a high-powered badass that cannot be killed.

Jydge (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Moving over to our weapon, we're able to add upgrades and perks to the gavel gun. For example, I found it useful to automatically send out a spread shot every time I reloaded, but you might prefer to equip explosive bullets or ammo that heals the judge after every kill. There are also new types of firepower and secondary weapons to unlock, all of which you can upgrade if you have enough money. The fact that I was unlocking something new after completing every mission made me want to keep going just to see what was next.

But even if Jydge didn't have dozens of weapons, abilities and perks to equip, it still would have been a damn good shooter. Not only is the action intense and always fair, but the game is good about giving us plenty of ways to fight back. There are usually a bunch of different paths to take and rooms to hide in. And best of all, the judge will be able to literally destroy walls to create new paths. The amount of raw destruction that befalls each level is staggering, and also a little cathartic.

On the negative side, I do wish the levels were a little more varied. What you may not realize is that Jydge is a spin-off of another 10tons action game, Neon Chrome, so a lot of the world building had already been done for them. But even with that, it often felt like we were only seeing a small sampling of this city. The action always seems to go down at night and the interiors start to blur together after a while, but I do think the futuristic city has an interesting vibe. I just wish I could see more of the city.

Jydge (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Like I mentioned earlier in the review, you'll end up revisiting each level a bunch of times. While the general repetition didn't get to me, I do wish there were more types of enemies to avoid. I also think it takes a little while to get going, since they purposely hide a lot of the most interesting weapons and perks until late in the game. And on that note, I've never been a big fan of needing to replay past levels in order to unlock new ones. I still enjoyed going back and replaying the old missions in new ways, but I wish it wasn't a requirement to advance.

I like that Jydge is more than just a great playing shoot 'em up. Sure, you're still dodging bullets and running around a familiar futuristic world, but there's a lot more going on than you might initially expect. I'm a big fan of the way you can customize the action by rearranging perks and swapping out abilities. Unfortunately, there is some repetition and the levels start to blur together after a while, but the amount of customization helps to keep things fresh. Licensed or not, this is the best Judge Dredd game we'll ever get.
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