Adventures in Judge Dredd Games - Part 4
By 1997 the Judge Dredd franchise had left the 16-bit era behind for a new start on the PlayStation. Of course they couldn't call this 'Judge Dredd 2', because that might make their new audience feel like they were missing out on a game. But they couldn't be bothered to come up with a subtitle either, so yeah this is the fifth game in the franchise with the same name. In a row.
Now I'm finally ready to play one of these games properly.
It's pretty well made too, featuring people who I can believe are actors dressed in outfits that look like they're from a high budget fan film. Not high enough to afford a set though, obviously.
Dredd's actor's got a bit of a resemblance to Karl Urban (at least from the mouth down), and sounds like Dirty Harry with laryngitis. He's not terrible in the role, but I wish he wouldn't whisper every line.
I think it's funny he's gone to all this trouble, when he's the first one to point out that you could get Dredd coming after you just by dropping a candy bar wrapper. It's not a challenge to get his attention.
Hang on, that's not the gun from the title screen. Not that I'm complaining, it looks great. At first I thought it was a prop from the Stallone movie, but nope. For all I know it's a toy they've painted over, but even if that's the case, they've chosen an excellent toy.
The camera pauses for a second, enemies teleport in, and I have to stand there in the open getting shot while I drag the cursor over to each enemy in turn. On the plus side, I'm able to soak up a bit of damage, so being a sitting duck for a while isn't going to kill me.
I've no clue who that guy on the screens is, but he keeps distracting me with his smug face. It's so weird to see a FMV clip playing on a pre-rendered background, with real-time low detail polygon enemies jumping in front of it, and the camera moving around the whole time. Nice effect though, and really well done.
ENTERING LEVEL 1-2...
Actually if there's a chance there's another health pack in there, then it may be the more sensible thing for me to shoot. I imagine I'd be doing a lot better if I got all the hidden pick ups along the way instead of just going straight for the enemies.
ENTERING LEVEL 1-3.
Though they're a little confused about how a genius like Bean with a good career could have ended up with life imprisonment.
Even Dredd wouldn't give a guy life for just viewing porn though. It turns out he killed a Judge while resisting arrest.
ENTERING LEVEL 1-4.
These levels are really tiny by the way, that one took under two minutes. Now I'm onto world 2.
ENTERING LEVEL 2-1.
I know I should be shooting away parts of the background for power ups, but I have no idea where. It's all concrete and corrugated metal on this level, with nothing obvious to fire at. The level's a bit rubbish really compared to the earlier ones.
Seriously Dredd, everyone knows you have only one tactic, and that's to slowly walk around the room, shooting everyone in your line of sight.
ENTERING LEVEL 2-2.
I mean aside from being game over. Man, just when I think I finally know what Judge Dredd is about, a big laughing skull comes up to show me that I still don't know shit.
I think out of the five Judge Dredd games I've played so far, this is the one I enjoyed the most, even without a lightgun. Probably because although it's incredibly basic,
I read up on the game afterwards, and it turns out that it's not just dressed up to look like an arcade game, it actually is a port of an arcade machine, and the two versions look basically identical. It really is exactly what you'd expect an arcade shooter to be; fast, short and bloody difficult. I'm not familiar enough with the genre to say if it's actually any good, but it at least gives the impression of being fairly well made.
And that's the end of Judge Dredd week. I bet mecha-neko would have shown up to show off Judge Dredd: Dread vs. Death for his FPS Friday thing tomorrow, but he's already played it, so he can't.
Like always, if you've got an opinion, feel free to leave a comment.