JYDGE (Xbox One) Review

By Gabriel Jones 02.10.2017

Review for JYDGE on Xbox One

In the megatropolis of Edenbyrg, crime is spiralling out of control. Not a day goes by without thousands of reported cases of robbery, assault, and even murder. Only the JYDGE is capable of saving society from itself. Armed with the latest military technology, this cyborg operates by his own law. Forget Miranda warnings and due process, criminal scum will receive nothing less than immediate and violent justice.

JYDGE describes itself as a "roguehate," a confusing term. Does it mean that the game is like a roguelike? Or that it dislikes roguelikes? Unfortunately, this top-down shooter can't be summarized in a single word. To keep it mercifully short, the player is tasked with completing numerous scenarios. In order to progress, they must be mindful of the task at hand. Problems are not solved simply by aiming a gun at them and pulling the trigger. Although there is more than a fair amount of bloodshed, success often requires a little thought and planning.

Let's consider one of the many situations that players will have to deal with. Three business executives are being held hostage in an office. There are nine criminals on the same floor as the hostages. A couple are watching over the executives, while the rest patrol the hallways. In either case, the hostages will be killed if they attempt to escape. The objective is simple, eliminate all of the thugs and lead the innocents to safety. However, there's also a reward for completing the mission without being spotted, and an additional prize for not breaking anything.

Screenshot for JYDGE on Xbox One

Sure, an armoured titan with enough ammunition to wipe out a small continent can quickly shoot through a few baddies. However, he's a little hard to miss, and could flatten a trashcan in a single step. This is where the loadout comes into play. Before every mission, the player is free to choose from potentially hundreds of thousands of cyberware and weapon combinations. For a stealth-based mission, there's a camouflage overlay, which allows the cyborg to hide from view, as long as he's standing still. In order to keep collateral damage to a minimum, a sniper rifle can be used.

As important as it is, preparation is still just one part of the game. The player also has to learn the layout of a stage, keeping in mind everything from enemy positions to possible shortcuts. Also, reflexes and careful aim are necessary to fall back on when things go south. Despite his intimidating appearance, the cyborg can't take much damage. Some weapons, such as missiles, will outright destroy him. Bullets aren't too hard to dodge, but they are plentiful, so try to avoid getting surrounded. Exploration tends to be very rewarding. Aside from the aforementioned shortcuts, there are caches of money stored everywhere. Unlocking the hero's full potential requires a lot of cash.

Screenshot for JYDGE on Xbox One

Not every objective has to be completed at the same time, so it helps to specialize as often as possible. In one mission, the JYDGE has to survive for several seconds against an overwhelming number of enemies. One of the objectives demands that he doesn't kill anyone. What's the other one? He can't take any damage himself. Suffice to say, there's no way he can do both at the same time. Therefore, in order to satisfy the "no kill" condition, the cyborg should equip anything makes him more durable. Conversely, there's a cyberware add-on that greatly enhances his damage output, but will also kill him if he takes any damage.

This game does a great job at communicating the importance of agency. All of the weapon and cyberware parts are useful in their own way. New equipment is constantly unlocked, so the player isn't lacking for toys to play around with. There's also a nice sandbox aspect to every mission. For example, most walls are thin enough to be destroyed, which makes for more dynamic routing. Also, hostages will always take the shortest path to the escape point, so it pays to create paths for them. Switching equipment around is quick and easy. If the player fails a mission, they can try a new loadout, without jumping back to the main menu. There are plenty of opportunities to experiment and get creative.

Screenshot for JYDGE on Xbox One

While the missions are relatively short, they can take several retries. Working out the perfect strategy can eat up quite a lot of minutes, never mind if something goes wrong. Numerous factors have to be considered for every objective. There's always the risk that a stray bullet will kill a hostage, or the player will not realize that they've just set off a mine. Thankfully, very little time is spent waiting for something to happen. The load times are short, and the maps are small enough so that there isn't any meaningless wandering.

The stealth mechanics are a bit aggravating. The cyborg can be spotted from very far away, even off-screen. Just to be on the safe side, shoot everyone when their back is turned. Also consider making use of assistants such as the drones or spider bots. They can freely engage the enemy while the player stays out of sight. No kill objectives can also be a pain. If an enemy blows themselves up with their own grenade, that counts against the player. Thankfully, this doesn't occur very often.

Screenshot for JYDGE on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

JYDGE is a strong entry in the twin-stick shooter genre. It employs a multitude of systems and features to create a fully customizable experience. Winning is not just a matter of building the ultimate killing machine. Each objective can require a different loadout, so there's reason enough to test a variety of weapons and gadgets. The bland yet serviceable visuals convey the action quite well. Aside from a few annoying objectives, this game is consistently enjoyable.

Developer

10tons

Publisher

10tons

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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