Judge Dredd

Copyright: © 1997 Probe Entertainment
Genre: Arcade action

Arcade action

Judge Dredd
Despite being one of UK’s most popular “cult” comic books, Judge Dredd
never fared well when licensed to other media—the movie starring
Sylvester Stallone as the beefy judge is one of his worst, and the 1998
Activision game isn’t much better. Unfortunately, Acclaim’s Judge Dredd
the game is no exception to this norm. For those who are unfamiliar with
the comic book hero, Judge Dredd is one of future Earth’s law enforcement
officials who are part Judge Wapner, part Wyatt Earp, capable of meting
out justice (and executions) in a draconian manner without bothering with
Miranda rights. The game closely follows the movie’s plot: as Judge
Dredd, your goal is to fight your way through a horde of android troopers
to finally defeat a megaboss that just happens to be a former judge
himself. All the action takes place from first-person perspective,
similar to SEGA’s popular Virtua Cop. Unfortunately, the similarity ends
here. One feature that I really liked about Virtua Cop was the way in
which the game would build suspense by placing you in a room, pausing the
action for a moment, and then unleashing an army of criminals from all
corners of the room. Not so in this game. Judge Dredd places the
character on a continuously moving track, with enemies coming from
everywhere like an assembly line. If you do not hit them the first time,
no worries—they will simply disappear behind you. Apparently it is
impossible to be shot in the back in this game, something that real
policemen would find amusing. The graphics are quite good, but could have
been much better given the game’s recent age. The game promises a
"destructive world", meaning that there are objects on the screen that
can be shot and destroyed for special power-up bonuses. What is really
lame about this is the fact that there is constantly so much clutter on
the screen, from enemies to wall decorations, that you really cannot
figure out what you are supposed to shoot. This is especially so when the
enemies themselves tend to look like the background graphics. So, you
decide to play this game, and even with all of the crap flying around and
enemies coming out of the woodwork, you still manage to shoot relatively
on target and pass the first level. The second level gets a bit better,
but it’s just more of the same. The last level requires you to shoot
various flying things in some sort of hangar. I finished the game in less
than an hour—not much time at all, especially since I’m not even good at
this kind of games. Action game veterans will probably be able to finish
the game in half an hour, or even less. What is really disappointing
about Judge Dredd the game is that instead of creating something original
or well designed, the designers just took the easy route, hoping that the
novelty of the genre and the luster of its license would carry the game.
Essentially, there's too much to see, too much to shoot at, too much
repetition, and too little substance and play value. A Real Dog without a
doubt.
 

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