Judge Dredd is the iconic character from the 2000AD comic, a futuristic Law Enforcer of Mega-City One that is Judge, Jury and Executioner. In Dredd vs Zombies he gets to go up against hordes of invading zombies. We slapped on the badge and Eagle-shoulder pad and armed with a Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 620 took justice to the streets.
Dredd vs Zombies taps into the imagery and world of Judge Dredd but rather than posing the character against armed foes, the designers deliberately wanted a game where there were hordes of enemies but without weapons – enter zombies!
In story terms this doesn’t sound as mad as it seems, as Dredd went up against the teaming dead in the The Judgement Day in 2000AD back in the 1990s. However, the game may use the setting of Mega-City One but there is no real storyline as this is very much an arcade shooter in the grand tradition of not letting a plot get in the way of the action.
What immediately stands out with Dredd vs Zombies are the graphics. In terms of visuals it’s one of the best looking and detailed games we’ve played in a while and it’s hard to believe this isn’t even a core Xbox title.
The game itself appears like a 3D-shooter but with it’s fixed angle camera this is something of an optical trick.You control the game using the fire button on the right-hand side and a virtual joystick on the left. This can often be a bit of a bind when playing some games but we found it worked exceedingly well with Dredd vs Zombies.
We’ve played Dredd vs Zombies on the Nokia Lumia 920, on which are review is based, and we’ve also checked it out on the brand new Nokia Lumia 620 to see how it handles with just 512MB of RAM and we saw no signs of lag or delay, which makes this an extremely energy efficient game as well as highlights how good the experience is on a so-called ‘budget’ smartphone.
Going up against one zombie is easy but in this respect, the game is unrelenting as the hordes soon start to gather and combining re-loading with staying clear of the undead takes skill. It’s not all great news, as the learning curve on the game is quite tough and many casual gamers may well find themselves abandoning the game in frustration at how quickly you can join the undead.
Dredd vs Zombies is a freemium game. This means you can download and play it for free without any limitations. The way the developers, Rebellion, aim to make their money is with onscreen adverts as well as allowing you buy power-ups and weapon upgrades both in-game and through the Xbox Live portal. In fairness, you can get a greta gaming experience from Dredd vs Zombies without paying anything at all as there are in-game powerups to be had but it can be a bit of a struggle at times.
Dredd vs Zombies sets something of a visual high for Windows Phone 8 that we’re hoping others will not only emulate but also try and surpass. The game itself delivers nothing new in terms of gameplay or variety but it’s an incredible ride that you’ll keep coming back to – we know we will.