2000AD comics has had a tremendous impact on the world of popular culture, with its decade-long comic book series, to celebrate their upcoming 41st anniversary, I decided to look back at two of their licensed games.
Judge Dredd has you take on the role of the titular cop of Mega-City One, when a mysterious plague starts affecting the residents. The Psi-Judges forecast this plague as a precursor to the coming of something a lot more sinister… The Dark Judges.
The game nails the atmosphere of the comics, as you navigate through the grime soaked concrete tower blocks, neon billboards, holograms, and that screwed take on the futuristic dystopia that has befallen the earth. Thomas Bible provides a strong music score that mixes a superhero comic book tracks with Drum & Bass and Break-Beat instrumentals. Suffice to say that the amount of World-building is staggering, Perfectly setting the backdrop for the carnage you’d administer and protect the citizens against as Judge Dredd.
Equipped with his standard “Lawgiver” pistol, Dredd can fire a wide variety of ammo against whatever foe he faces. These weapons feel fun and with humorously graphic rag-doll physics makes firing them a joy to behold. Certain enemies have immunities to certain types of ammo, so you have to vary your approach to deal with the vagrants and citizens of the towering metropolis.
One of the unique selling points of this franchise is the ability to arrest citizens and judge them for their crimes, The heads-up display will update to show the crimes they have been accused of. A bystander I arrested said he was guilty of imprisoning a goldfish (while the game does penalise you for choosing to execute these criminals yourself). The comedy from comics is in fine form here. From the background text, audio, and the aforementioned arrested citizen’s reports, all feel like dialogue and text lifted straight from the comic books.
Outside of the story, there’s an arcade mode which provides a surprising amount of challenge and an adrenaline-pumping multiplayer mode. Giving a much-needed variety to the game but if that’s not enough, there’s an abundance of cheats that can be used to modify the physics of the game to make the power fantasy of being Judge Dredd even more tantalising.
Judge Dredd takes an interesting story, an interesting setting and a heck of a lot of warped-charm, help make Dredd’s journey through Mega-City One a treat. While as an original adaptation it blends what makes Judge Dredd such a unique franchise while looking at a new story. The game is a good adaptation if that’s anything to judge.
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