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Foolish Fancy: Judge Dredd Games

The Mega-City One games we need

I'll probably end up doing one of these for every geeky thing I loved as a kid. Last time it was Transformers, but currently I'm deep in a Judge Dredd phase (mostly thanks to this lovely new collection. I've subscribed, but every time I think about how much it's going to cost me if I go the distance I curl into a ball and start weeping uncontrollably). I'm still bitter about how underwhelming Dredd vs Death was, so I'll try to salve the wound by imaging how games could get Mega-City One's finest right.


I'm thinking something like Atom Zombie Smasher but side-on to a impossibly huge towerblock (or two, or three) that's descended into riotous chaos, with you playing the all-seeing satellite eye of the Justice Department, despatch Judges, air support, meatwagons, targeted missiles and more to try and deal with the violence as it spreads from level to level.


A roguelike set in the blasted Earth outside Mega-City One's walls, with Dredd trekking through a proc-gen wasteland trying to stay alive as he battles starvation, muties, radiation and, of course, sporadic appearances from the Angel Gang.


Following a trail of evidence and bodies in pursuit of serial killer and master of disguise PJ Maybe. Ideally set in an open-world with freeform Lawmaster driving/chases, more realistically Telltale-style but with actual puzzles/detective work. Call in Anderson for psychic assists with interrogating difficult suspects.


Only every single conversation option entails charging whoever you're talking to with various lengths of jail sentence, maiming or summary execution.


Management-style game in which the Judges must hold and rig elections to ensure only pathetic or powerless politicians win, and simultaneously lure out/arrest troublemaking liberals and protest groups. It's for the greater good.


Basically Devcon reskinned with Megacity One vs East Meg One.


Dredd must voyage around the globe, checking in with the Judges of every other Megacity and experiencing their strange customs and culture, but if he's not back in time then Chief Judge Cal goes bananas and stages a coup. Again.


Open world FPS in the vein of the apparently cancelled Prey 2, but starring the lawman of the future rather than a bounty hunter. It's just a day in the life of Dredd - take on missions (i.e. respond to crimes) of your choice, bust heads for kicks, run into random robot riots or mutie invasions, explore the Mega-City, grab 10 in the sleep machines whenever you're flagging.

Oh, I could go on, but basically, anything but the Dark Judges. I like 'em and all, but I much prefer the hard sci-fi of Dredd's dystopic Mega-City, rather than the mystical voodoo and dimension-hopping stuff Judge Death and chums bring to the table. Dredd is at its best when it's about politics - the terrible turn justice has taken in the name of preserving order and trying to keep a city with an impossible headcount stable. The futility of it, the brutality of it.

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Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death

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Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about video games.