Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nindie Preview: JYDGE

Though, at a glance, JYDGE looks a lot like Neon Chrome (since it is based on the same core engine that shouldn’t be surprising) when you play the two games for a while the differences jump out very quickly. Where the emphasis in Neon Chrome is working your way through floors of enemies accepting the roguelike path and choices you’re given, being expected to make the most of them, JYDGE is all about customizing to meet specific challenges.

While the popular Hotline Miami was a very different animal, the way JYDGE currently plays out (it is still in beta, and still being tweaked before final release) feels a bit similar depending on the task you’re trying to complete. In each scenario you’ll be given 3 distinct objectives, and most of the time these have a tendency to be mutually exclusive. One will typically be to complete some master goal, like kill a specific crime boss, while the other two will be more specialized.

Whether you’re looking to rescue hostages, complete the mission without being detected, or finish everything within a brief period of time (there are others as well) these other objectives often will require you to play and gear yourself very differently. This is where the game customization and unlockable skills come heavily into play. On some missions you may want to use a Chameleon skill to help you blend in, while in others you’ll want to armor up to be able to absorb more damage as you try to plow through quickly. For additional challenge there are also missions that will require you to only use your melee attack. Thankfully there are absolutely lethal enhancements to choose that will aid you in that as well.

It is this major difference that seems set to allow Neon Chrome and JYDGE to live in very separate spaces, and perhaps even be enjoyed by different people (though both are engaging in their own way). In some ways JYDGE plays out like a puzzle strategy game layered on top of a twin-stick shooter. Execution is still certainly vital but you’ll need to carefully plan your enhancements to maximize your chances for success and to progress further into the game.

This preview is based on the current PC build of JYDGE on the PC platform. At this point it is still possible substantial changes may be made to certain aspects of the game but the overall gameplay and setup should be representative. JYDGE is intended to launch on all major platforms sometime later this year.