2016 is looking pretty good for our pastime of choice, Far Cry Primal, Crackdown 3, Star Fox Zeros and Uncharted 4 are all on their way this year, however, there is one franchise and specifically its iconic character I feel has been overlooked for some time in the game department, a character that hasn’t been given the attention he deserves – Judge Dredd.
For starters, the Judges’ weapon is pretty much the perfect shooter tool as it’s multiple guns all rolled into one. The Lawgiver could really help the flow of battles with its multi-fire modes negating the need for the frenzied cycling of weapons to deal with the different types of enemy in front of you. Rapid fire for cannon fodder, armour piercing for tougher enemies and high-ex for room clearing are just a few examples of what the multifaceted weapon could be used for.
On Xbox One, the Lawgiver could even be operated with (whisper it) Kinect. Ever since Microsoft started selling their consoles minus the peripheral it hasn’t seen much use in games today, but the much maligned peripheral could be put to excellent use in any Dredd game by allowing you to select your ammo of choice by calling out to your Lawgiver, much like the Judges themselves do. Using Kinect this way is an idea that’s already been touched upon before in other games such as Skyrim, when Bethesda allowed you to live out your Dragonborn fantasies by calling out the game’s ‘Shouts’ to activate them.
While warbling in an ancient dragon tongue might not be for some, who wouldn’t enjoy standing before a host of enemies and growling the words ‘Rapid Fire’ in their best Dredd impersonation and having the Lawgiver bleep back in response.
There’s also plenty of locations in Dredd’s universe that would all make excellent settings, but I would most like to see Mega City One, the vast and crime ridden home of humanity, brought to life.
During my search for a decent Dredd title to play from the past, I managed to pick up a copy of Judge Dredd: Dredd VS Death for the GameCube. What I played was fairly enjoyable, but limited in what it could achieve. The supposedly densely populated city looked a bit sparse and sprites were often repeated next to each other, shattering the illusion of a bustling metropolis.
While Rebellion (Sniper Elite, Aliens Vs Predator), the developers of that game, were of course limited by the capabilities of tech back in the early 2000’s, what today’s machines are capable of means that a decent sized, and well populated Mega City One could probably be achieved.
I’m not asking for an actual 1-1 replica of the city to be remade in which to explore, but we only have to look at GTA V, Arkham Knight, The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 4 to see that this generation of consoles and PCs could make a decent go at recreating a sizeable in game world.
There’s a wealth of characters and lore in place that could be used in game, with rival international Mega Cities, psychics, mutants, Cursed Earth, block wars, lunar bases...
Obviously the core aspect of any Dredd game would have to be action and taking the law to the lawless with a hefty dose of violence, and as Bezza points out, creating a large open world for the sake of it can be detrimental to a game, but a bit of exploration could go a long way to making you feel like an actual Judge patrolling the mean streets. A free to roam city could also make use of Dredd’s bike, the Lawmaster, and allow you to pick up side quests or stamp out crime where it’s found or by receiving optional missions on the fly over the comms.
As for the plot of any game, the world of the Judges is rich with potential storylines and even though it was a great story, it doesn’t have to be a run of the mill cop vs crime lord event the 2012 movie Dredd focused on.
The comics I’ve been flipping through have so far featured a vast array of sci-fi tales such as robot revolutions, a blackmail scheme run by maniacal surgeons cloning wealthy citizens and a Judge who was unaware he was carrying the homicidal conscious of a disgraced and believed dead former Judge deep within his own psyche. Certainly not something you’d expect to see on Midsummer Murders.
There’s a wealth of characters and lore in place that could be used in game, with rival international Mega Cities, psychics, mutants, Cursed Earth, block wars, lunar bases and even the supernatural stars of Dredd VS Death, the Dark Judges, who originally hailed from a parallel dimension. Not to mention the franchise cross-overs the series has seen during the past with both Alien and Predator making appearances in Dredd’s world, characters who happen to be the stars of Rebellion’s AVP games. Did someone say DLC?
At the moment Dredd seems to have been limited to making appearances on mobile games, with 2012’s Dredd Vs Zombies the latest title to feature the Judge, which seems a bit of a disservice to the character.
It would appear that the ball is firmly in Rebellion’s court with regards any future Judge Dredd game after they purchased the home of Dredd and the IP, 2000 AD comics, sixteen years ago. There were apparently plans in place to make a tie-in for the movie back in 2012, but due to commitments to other titles it never happened, unfortunately.
Seeing as that game never came about and it’s now been thirteen years since we last had a proper, fully fledged Judge Dredd gaming experience, I would say it’s certainly about time we had a drokking new one.
Do you agree that Judge Dredd deserves another taste of gaming glory? What would you like to see in any potential game? Are there any other characters or franchises that have been overlooked for too long that you would like to see brought to life on consoles and PC?
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