Jydge is a top-down shooter with RPG customization elements. Jydge was developed by 10Tons, the creators of Crimsonland, Tesla vs Cthulhu and Neon Chrome. Jydge being the prequel of Neon Chrome. Jydge takes the fun of a top-down shooters and bumps it up, giving you eighteen different levels to tackle with three objectives in each and four difficulties totalling to twelve objectives a mission. 10Tons took the rougelike style and spun it on it’s head to create a game that feels challenging, but rewarding by making the game based around tackling the missions the way you want too and how you want too. As the Jydge, you progress through the game killing criminals and destroying the place in a glorious hail of bullet hell and customizable fun.
The plot of Jydge goes along as follows: a gang has grown too big thus, now has a tight grip on the city of Edenbyrg that the police start the Jydge initiative, this is where you come in. You are the Jydge, going on to kill and take out the Cobra gang along with other criminals. The game consists of four acts, each with a broadcast from Channel Neon. If you’re looking for a deep storyline, you will not find one here.The story is not the main selling point of the game, the main selling point is the gameplay. Due to the lack of story you could put on a podcast and listen while you play. I would recommend keeping one ear open for the game because the sound design of Jydge is worth hearing..
The sound design of Jydge does an effective job of making you feel energetic and understand what is going on around you. The sound effects do a good job at giving you an understanding of what is going on; If you want to try and trigger a mine so it won’t be in your way latter you will here a audible click noise before it explodes. The guns, both yours and the enemies, have a distinct sound so you know when you’re in danger. The music fits in well with the game, being all electric sounding makes it fit the cyber-punk tones that the game has. The amount of music is also quite nice as there is a lot to go through. One cool thing Jydge does that most games don’t, is when a song starts to play the name of the song is posted for a couple seconds in the upper screen left hand side of the screen, and does not clutter the screen.
Jydge’s graphics are clean, detailed, readable and vibrant. Jydge has a good amount of detail in the art and level while still being simple and easy to read. Enemies are well distinguished as it is easy to determine what are the enemies and civilians. User Interface looks great, stays uncluttered and gives all the valuable info you need. The lighting is probably one of the best aspects of the game. Due to Jydge being set a cyber-punk style world it needs a fair bit of glowing and neon work. The lights from neon signs to the lights in a room or hologram dancer look bright, colorful, and beautiful making it a joy to explore all the levels.
Destructible environments lead to a great amount of fun as you decide how to tackle any given mission. To tackle a mission you may want to go through the front door or you may want to walk around to the side, break down the wall and go in that way to sneak up on enemies. Even in large battles with bullets flying everywhere and explosions going off the walls and furniture will break, giving you new paths to run and train the enemies. A great thing about the environment is that it holds a fair bit of secrets. As you progress through the game and gain augmentations you will be able to tackle each mission in a new way of letting you find some of the hidden collectibles.
Jydge has 15 collectibles and 10 hidden areas. Each collectible has a hint to help you find them, some being more vague while others can be pretty straight forward. The collectibles can do a lot for you. Giving you faster reload, or making all of the characters in the world look like crazy, arm waving, noodly, monsters, including you. While most collectible may not be practical they offer a fair bit of fun trying to gather all of them and seeing what they do.
Each mission has three medals. The medals being different objectives, the first one being the main mission. As you collect the medals it unlocks new missions so you can progress the story. As you progress the story new difficulties for each mission get unlocked for a total of four difficulties. Each one giving their own objectives, objective layout, and enemy layout. Making it fun to go through each mission multiple times to try and get all the medals and try new combination of the augmentations. A beautiful thing about each mission is that they can have bad guys that are tougher than others but once killed will not respawn in subsequent playthroughs. The same goes for doors opened with key cards found in each level. This also affects the chest found in the levels to a certain point. They will stay open on subsequent playthroughs but will let you open them again once you go and play a few other missions.
The game play of Jydge is solid, fun, and responsive. If you are like me, and not the best at coordination with top-down shooters, then you are in luck as Jydge has an aim assist to help. The aim assist is actually quite helpful and never feels like it is taking the fun away, but just helps enough to feel like you’re still in power. The aim assist can be toggled off and on in the options menu. It is a nice addition 10Tons made to help players get into top-down shooters.
Jydge’s biggest selling point is the customization. You can have up to four Augmentations for your Jydge, three for the Jydge’s Gavel (gun) along with a fire mode, and special fire mode. Each level has different objectives, some being so hard that you may want to get it on a different attempt on the mission. This is where the customization works so well. If you are struggling with accomplishing the objectives of staying unseen and killing every enemy then you can go through with a whole build based on stealth, leaving you weak but hard to notice. Once you get the objective done and get out you can change your load out to be higher damage output or more defensive and go in to kill all the enemies this time around. As long you accomplish the main mission each run you can do the other as you see fit. The customization is pretty deep and lets you make a fair but of different builds. There are augmentations that make you unnoticeable in the shadows, while standing still, unseen through glass, and an augmentation that lowers the light of the level. Other augmentation can change size, bring companions, give you a shield, more life, move faster, walk through walls. A multitude of different augmentations that make it fun to tackle each level a different way. This also helps when you get stuck on a pesky level you can keep trying new combinations till you find the one that works perfect for you on a given run, then practice the run. This helps from feeling stuck and punished for not being good enough but lets you change the balance and lets you tackle it your way. The fire modes are all different, some examples include a mini gun, auto shotgun, lasers, plasma orbs, snipers, and different variations of each. Along with special weapon styles such as shooting a rocket, dropping a turret, or shooting an injection that turns enemies to your side. Then you have the Gavel augmentations that help a lot, from reloading faster, to shooting out plasma as you reload, to dealing more melee damage, to bigger magazines, stunning enemies, and dealing more damage to stunned enemies. There is a lot of customization and I barely scratched the surface. The amount of customization leads you to make all kinds of cool and fun builds, making it fun to replay each level.
Jydge is a great top-down shooter. 10tons took their past games and upped the ante creating a gem among the boring and generic top-down shooters. While Jydge may not have much for story it sure does make up for great gameplay and customization. Making it easy to drop many hours into playing. If you are a completionist then this is another great game for you as each mission can be played so many ways to collect all the medals. This is one game no matter what platform you play on you should pick up. It’s great to play and listen to podcasts, or pick up and play for a quick session or even for many hours if you have the time.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.