JYDGE brings a minimalistic touch to this twin-stick title that looks great from top to bottom. The game incorporates futuristic environment elements and a mix of vibrant colors that not only make the graphics stand out but at the same time resembles an 80s design. This interesting combination allows the player to discover a familiar, and also fun combat structure to promote law enforcement. In order to accomplish all the game goals, you may complete sets of tasks found in each stage. These tasks will give you the chance to accumulate special medals that unlock new upcoming levels. In addition, there are several options to customize and upgrade murderous tools that make JYDGE even more powerful. I love how they leave it up to the player to utilize weapons based on their own preferences. Also, the game structure and mechanics couldn’t be simpler, so the gaming experience can be enjoyable to basically all-level players.
JYDGE was developed by 10tons and is available for Xbox One for $14.99
The first thing that came to my mind when I got the game was the reference to the word “JUDGE”. In fact, the title lets you play as a futuristic android-like character that is responsible for bringing peace to the city of Edenbyrg, by ending a constant series of ongoing crimes. The game describes this action plan as the “JYDGE Initiative”, which focuses on bringing order and punishing all criminals while patrolling through dark environments in the city.
You start the game with a nice introduction on how violence and rampage have taken over the world you know. As expected, the first mission is quite simple. You begin with a basic gun and the instructions on how to kill all enemies around you. The initial mission was actually a great opportunity to get familiar with the mechanics and top-down view of the game. From there, you will notice that it is not hard to gather extra resources to improve your abilities and tools such as health and armor. As a result, you can perform even better when facing harder challenges. The reason why I bring that up as part of the story is because JYDGE gives you a set of challenges that will require your character stronger as you move on. It is not a bad idea to try the most effective combination of weapons and augments in order to get the job done.
With that being said, keep in mind that missions can involve brutal combats, which give you the option to earn medals and improve your law enforcement skills. Because of that, I would say that the combination of an engaging story and the possibility of extra challenging confronts, makes JYDGE one of those titles that will make you not want to put your controller down until you are really done with missions.
JYDGE’s gameplay is straightforward from all perspectives. Once you are done with the first level, you should be good to go. You also should know by then that your main goal is to bring justice to Endenbyrg and complete missions against local violence. Remember that you are responsible for collecting the highest number of medals and cash as you advance. To do so, you may pass missions that will give you credit for completing smaller objectives within the stage. These objectives represent a total of 3 simple goals that vary from rescuing an innocent person or literally killing all opponents in the area. The most important thing about acquiring medals is that these items will give you the chance to unlock new missions. However, one of my favorite features of the game is being able to use mission rewards on body augments, and weapon upgrades. For example, some of the upgrades give you the ability to run faster or become invisible to boost defense tactics. In the weapons department, you will find multiple options, including, lasers, rockets, and several firing modes. All of that will certainly put you in the best shape before facing a harder challenge in a city that is infested with crimes. In addition, it is really great to have those customization options available, since abilities can really come in handy when you have limited time, or during missions that require JYDGE to go unseen or to take no damage at all.
When it comes to game stages, there are four different main acts. Each one of them bring a set of missions that are broken down into smaller objectives. If you die during a mission, JYDGE will have to start over. Failing a mission can range from getting shot too many times and completely running out of health, or having an innocent person killed. However, the great news here is that any previously unlocked doors will remain open, so you don’t have to worry about repeating the exact same steps every time you return to the same level.
In addition to the destructive core mechanic of the game, you will notice that combats take place in different locations but have a similar structure. That is, criminals tend to gather in different areas of the buildings, where they can keep hostages trapped. Because of that, I would suggest always taking a general look over the entire stage and plan where to go first (this is definitely something not too complex to figure out). There are different ways to enter the buildings and surprise criminals with a special attack. For example, some levels allow you to punch down walls and break windows, other areas will simply have an open door. If you really want to successfully complete all missions, confiscate all available money and improve completion time, you will most likely need to replay the same stage multiple times. For that reason, I would say that the game feels a lot longer than it seems.
Overall, the entire gameplay experience was very enjoyable. However, one negative point observed in the game was found in the process of unlocking the next act. In order to complete all pending requirements, you must not only repeat the same level but also go through hardcore challenges within the same act. The problem here is the lack of a smooth transition between a very easy level and a challenge you might have extra trouble to complete.
AUDIO AND GRAPHICS
A well-chosen audio selection plays a major role in the gaming experience. What I really like about JYDGE is the good selection of music styles found on each of the missions. Players will also find a great variety of playlists that include rock and electronic beats. Such combination is a smart audio detail that definitely matches the atmosphere of the gameplay. On the other hand, I really wish they had added an option to better shuffle songs, or adjust preferences in the audio settings to improve music selection based on players' choices.
Visually speaking, JYDGE is very well-produced and contains a creative design that blends a traditional 80s look with a futuristic concept for the character and their purpose to defeat crime. Environments are extremely vibrant, filled with neon colors on every corner. Although the entire game is set in the city of Edenbyrg, there are plenty of different areas to explore, including big nightclubs, industrial zones, and warehouses.
JYDGE is clearly a simple game, filled with an amazing amount of depth from the missions and challenges. The game is not about randomly shooting and killing. Instead, JYDGE brings several great tactical elements that test your strategies and critical thinking to better execute a quick and effective law enforcement action.
The title is not perfect but does a good job on presenting a fun gameplay. The mission structure is certainly the down point in terms of difficulty development. Playing same levels over and over again can be annoying, especially when you are forced to do so.
For an isometric title that brings a simple set of levels in a easy-to-follow structure, I would say that JYDGE surpassed my expectations. It delivers a very engaging experience based on its creativity and nice array of customization for upgrade options.
|+ Beautiful vibrant colors||– Could have implemented additional audio settings|
|+ Great level of customization||– Customization misses better upgrade descriptions|
|+ Simple controls||– Lacks a smooth difficulty transition at the end of each act|
|+ Soundtrack blends well with game style|