The world needs the law, and it’s time Judge Dredd got a new game. Here’s how a brand new Judge Dredd game could do the character justice.
Judge Dredd has become a comic book icon. With the original 2000 AD comic series and now two feature films, Judge Dredd’s futuristic world of crime and totalitarian government paints a dark picture of humanity’s future: a futuristic dystopia where one man, who is himself a representation of oppression, tries to fight back against criminals on the street and in the very institution he works for. With his iconic uniform, cool weaponry and permanent scowl, Dredd is pretty much made for video games.
However, despite being a property ripe for video game adaptation, Judge Dredd and 2000 AD have had a rocky series of releases over the years. With a library of mediocre sidescrollers, a light-gun game and mobile releases, the world of Judge Dredd has barely been realized as of yet.
With the popularity of comics growing in film through the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe and in the realm of video games with the massive success of Marvel’s Spider-Man and Miles Morales, now seems a perfect time for Judge Dredd to get a proper video game release.
A Judge Dredd featuring a third-person perspective and an open-world Mega-City One would be the perfect way to bring this franchise to modern video game form. Players could traverse the streets of the city, going on patrols on Dredd’s motorcycle. Players could also take calls from the Halls of Justice dispatchers on the fly as random crimes pop up on the map as emergent missions. The campaign could take Dredd into the Mega-Blocks, the massive high rise buildings that house thousands, and also explore the wastelands, bringing law and order to the lawless outside the city walls.
Whatever the mechanics turn out to be, the real allure of the Dredd franchise is the myriad of ways a developer can tell a Judge Dredd story. 2000 AD and Judge Dredd have over 30-years of history full of material ripe for a video game campaign. Over the years Judge Dredd has taken on clones, vampires, evil Judges, corrupt authority figures, mutants and even Batman.
Furthermore, Dredd himself was created as a vessel to tell a story about fascism. Dredd exists in a world where crime has become so rampant and all-encompassing that the only way for the government to fix things was to employ officers who have the power to be “judge, jury and executioner” right on the street. This mandate gives the judges massive amounts power that corrupts them and creates a totalitarian society that the comic show, time and time again, is not the saving grace it was meant to be.
Despite the government’s efforts, Dredd’s society is still just as bad, if not worse, than it was before. Automation has rendered most of the population jobless, desperate and prostrate under the proliferation of gangs and criminals. The system is still in ruins regardless of Dredd and the “street judges.” This setting has long been a way for writers to satirize and critique modern society, and a Judge Dredd game that did the same could be something really special.
Currently, the series as a whole is owned by Rebellion, the studio best known for the Sniper Elite and Zombie Army games. Rebellion owns the rights to both the comic and the films, and over the years, the studio has been rumored to be developing a new Judge Dredd television show, with Karl Urban ready to reprise his role as the titular anti-hero he so successfully portrayed in the 2012 film Dredd. Clearly, there is still interested in this property, so hopefully Rebellion will take note and give Judge Dredd a game that does him justice.
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