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JYDGE (PC-Steam, PS4 and Xbox)

Developed by 10tons, JYDGE is available now on PC-Steam for £10.99 (£8.79 if you act quickly as it goes back to full price tomorrow, 11th October), PS4 for £11.99 and Xbox One for £11.99 (£9.59 currently)!

Set in a futuristic urban paradise called Edenbyrg, (also the same world as “Neon Chrome”), you build your own cybernetic law enforcement unit aka the JYDGE in order to wipe out the criminal underworld and all of the riff-raff who get in your way and the odd innocent bystander!

An angled top-down, twin-stick shooter (there is an upgrade to make it fully top-down), JYDGE is well designed, the levels are varied and although I did experience some stuttering early on, I haven’t noticed it recently. I do manage to get myself stuck around the map, for example, getting stuck against a wall or a door but its nothing you can’t just shoot your way through! Even when there are enemies surrounding you, gameplay feels smooth and the bullets flying towards you are seamless and will probably kill you.

I quite liked the music in JYDGE, it's all quiet and calm whilst in the menus but once you’re in the level its back to business, the music ramps back up, bodies start falling and cash drops everywhere! Sound effects are impressive from your own gunfire to the sounds of the electricity zapping nearby enemies.

There are 18 missions spread over 4 acts which you can unlock as you collect medals, which is done by fulfilling the 3 specific tasks for each level. The tasks are varied and can range from easy such as collecting all the loot containers, to the much harder, not taking any damage! Thankfully you don’t have to meet all of the requests in one go, you may repeat the level as many times as you need to in order to attain each of the medals.

Once you have completed Act 1 you unlock “Hardcore” mode so you can get an extra 3 medals per level (the same levels as before just slightly different positioned enemies) which helps towards unlocking more items! There are also “Grim” and “Nightmare” difficulties with even more medals to achieve! Of course, as you go through the levels they do get more complex which you’d expect but you do feel the benefits as you level up your gear which I like as there are too many games where you level up and feel just as weak as ever. There does come a point though when you need to have the majority of the medals achieved in order to access the next act's missions which is frustrating as no matter how many times you grind the same levels you start to feel like you've been locked out of the second half of the game.

Money drops when you kill an enemy and there are also containers located around the level for you to confiscate (with more money inside!) which, provided you make it out alive, all goes towards your upgrades. There are even hidden areas where you might find even more loot stashed away! There are different coloured keys around which have their own door that they will permanently unlock, sometimes revealing a boss to kill and going forward some bosses may not reappear once killed which I liked as it encourages you to repeat the level but also makes it slightly easier having an open door.

I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer volume of upgrades available and certainly gives JYDGE an RPG vibe. You can upgrade your JYDGE’s Cyberware to give special perks such as extra life or having a laser drone follow you around. You can also upgrade your Gavel which includes your special (using LT to fire, you can equip rockets, a spider or something else from a total of 15 options), equip up to 3 mods from a total of 25 available which could heal as you kill or stun enemies for example and finally your fire type of which there are 14 choices.

There is an incredible number of potential combinations for you to choose from in order to find the one that suits your play style the best. I am so happy that it is easy to earn money on JYDGE and there is a real reason to grind levels because ultimately you will be stronger for it because once you have purchased an upgrade/mod/fire type you can upgrade them individually, too!

There is a local co-op mode which was absolutely fantastic to play and made it so much easier to work on getting medals. I just wish there was an online co-op option as convincing the other half to play local co-op is rarely successful and my kids would not be much help!

Overall, JYDGE has been great fun to play and it was a huge surprise that there was so much more to the game than you would originally think at first glance! JYDGE is the type of game you will invest hours and hours in and still be hungry for more.  If I had to give it a score then it would be 9/10. Highly recommend getting it!

JYDGE has 15 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A fairly short achievement list but you will definitely be kept busy as there are achievements for finding all of the collectibles as well as getting all of the medals on grim/nightmare difficulty! If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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