Jydge (Switch eShop) Review
I gotta admit, when I was first assigned this game for review, I was a little hesitant. It didn’t look like the kind of thing I’d want to play. Normally it wouldn’t even show up as a blip on my interest register, and no, that isn’t something I use to keep track of my credit card purchases. It’s my inner gamer voice that makes snap decisions and jydges a book by its cover. Well, not a book… You know what I mean. After spending my first five minutes playing Jydge, my mind was changed. The conviction was wrong. My interest register was overruled. I was to be held in contempt of court. The court of the streets!
Hopefully, by the clever use of the spelling of “judge” as “jydge” in the common idiom in the paragraph above, you’ve come to learn how to pronounce the title of the game in question. If you haven’t, please know now that it is indeed vocalised in the same manner as the word judge. No, it doesn’t rhyme with bridge. Nor does it sound like dyedge — or any other word I’ve made up in an attempt to prove something. Jydge = Judge.
Clearly, the game takes some heavy inspiration from that comic book dude we all know and/or possibly love, Judge Dredd. It borrows so much so, that developers 10tons Ltd could have indeed called it Dread. Or Dreddd. I like Dreddd better. That’s certainly fine though. The look, theming and narrative may be reminiscent of this copyrighted inspirational source, but it doesn’t need it to be a good game and you soon forget about that.
Jydge takes place in the neon-punk city of Edenbyrg. A city that is being overrun with crime. SO MUCH CRIME! Possibly even too much crime. It is. It is too much crime. Too much for the local law enforcement to wrangle in all by their lonesome. What exactly is a city to do? Should it just let Fat Mike/Tré Cool/Deryck Whibley-lookin’ thugs have free roam, causing havoc? Sure, maybe if it was any other city, but not Edenbyrg! Oh, heck no. A fine city as such implements The Jydge Initiative.
(Insert Law & order DUN DUUN noise here)
The Jydge Initiative is basically just sending the Jydge into the city. Based on the evidence I’ve gathered from information the developers have provided in online forums, I have come to the verdict that the Jydge is a cybernetic human-robot hybrid. Along with inspiration from Dredd, it’s also been said it was originally influenced by the likes of Robocop, Syndicate and even Inspector Gadget — all of which feature cyborgs. The Jydge is here to clean up the mess the local PD has been so incompetent at doing themselves. A one-man judge, jury and executioner.
He’s not Judge Judy and executioner!
If I had to categorise this title into a genre it would be action-puzzle. That might not be accurate but based on how I play the game it is. You fill the boots as the Jydge and it’s your job to go into each scenario and save the day. You might be tasked with rescuing hostages or there might be a riot that you need to subdue. Maybe even resolve a home invasion, moments away from going wrong. That sounds kind of silly. A home invasion going wrong. If a home has been invaded, something certainly isn’t right.
Each stage has a main objective you need to complete to trigger your vehicle to unlock its doors and allow you to fly off back to wherever it is you go when you’re not fighting crime. Actually, scratch that. Crime never rests. There’s always some punk to stop. My favourite part about Jydge is that it lets you play how you want to play. If you like you can go in all guns a-blazin’, shooting up the joint. Perhaps you’re more like me and like to take a slower, more stealth-like approach. You can case the joint. Actually casing a joint is what the crims do. As a part of the law what you do is called reconnaissance. Get the layout of the place and watch the patrol routes of those damned dirty punks. Either way, it’s up to you. My suggestion is to become familiar with both styles of play.
“Why should I be proficient in both action and stealth styles of play?” you might ask. “You literally just said the choice is mine!” Okay, settle down and let me explain. You see, it’s not just the main objective you need to focus on. There are secondary objectives too. Two of them in fact. For those playing at home, that is a total of three objectives on each stage. Let’s say, for example, the main objective is to rescue some hostages. It would be wise to play it all Solid Snake like and infiltrate the scene with as little notice as possible, taking out the punks one by one and triggering environmental events to lure them away from their post. It certainly makes it easier to not turn the hostages into collateral damage, therefore making the whole point of rescuing them in the first place moot. Plus, if you do that you die in an explodey manner, needing to start again.
Now, a secondary objective may be tasking you with the… umm… task, of exiting the scene in twenty seconds or less. That’s right, it’s time for a shoot fest! PEW PEW PEW! SPLAT! ‘SPLODE! SQUIRTY BLOOD! Remember: Do not shoot the hostages.
Ahh yes, noodle biscuit.
Sometimes you may start to find it rather difficult to complete all the objectives of which have been laid out before you. Don’t worry too much, as these objectives don’t all need to be completed in one go. I find it easier to go in and try to complete the stage and then come back and try and to meet the other requested tasks. At other times, however, you’re gonna come up against an assignment that is too hard and has resulted in many a ‘splodey death. This is where some strategy and loadout options come into play.
If you’re having trouble with some objectives, the first thing you should look at is the Jydge. As you play and earn cash, confiscated of course, you gain the ability to purchase up to four upgrade slots. Within each slot, you can assign a perk. Perks include such examples as armour upgrades, weapons, equipment or even civilian enhancements, to name a few. As you play you unlock more and more of these perks.
You will also need to make sure your weapon, called the Gavel, is up to snuff. And by snuff, I mean both to the required ability to help you complete your objective and also in the sense of snuffing out the enemy, like the flame of a candle, no longer having the ability to burn. Sure, it burned brightly, but not nearly as long as it should have. Remember kids, crime doesn’t pay. Where was I? Oh yes, the Gavel. Just like the Jydge, you have the ability to purchase additional enhancement slots, once again allowing you to assign perks that can help you with offence, defence and more. Your weapon also isn’t limited to plain old regular ammo either. The more you play, and the more experience you earn, brings along the unlocking of different ammo types, each with varying levels across five different attributes including damage, fire interval, reload time, effective range and clip size. Finally is your special attack, which depending on what you choose, can help you defeat all those to whom oppose you.
Order. I SAID ORDER!
Once you have become comfortable with the game and know the best way to approach different scenarios, hardcore mode becomes available. There are more punk-bastards, who are harder to kill, the objectives may differ and the location of certain things, namely hostages, can and do change.
I love the look of Jydge. It’s like The Sims and Blade Runner got together one night and decided it would be a good idea to combine their aesthetics into a joint venture of top-down/isometric and bleak futuristic stylings and then spiced it up with pops of neon. The soundtrack is pretty good too. You could say it’s like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get, until that one track kicks in that is as annoying as coming across a chocolate with a concealed almond inside. Not to worry, there are plenty of chocolates in the box and they are random any time you enter a stage. The music tracks that is, not the chocolates.
Rating: 5 / 5
- Enjoyable gameplay
- Good level of difficulty
- Looks and sounds great
- Learn about the judicial system
- I WANT MOAR!