PCGamesN went to see Dredd 3D last night. And it was good. What we really liked was how close it hewed to gamer language - with slow-motion effects, co-op modes, cool guns and more. It got us thinking, Brit developer Rebellion own the comic brand 2000AD, which owns the Judge Dredd IP. They’ve got form in licensed and original games: they developed Aliens Vs Colonial Marines for Sega, Dredd vs Death and, most recently, Sniper Elite V2. We asked Rebellion's Jason Kingsley if now was the time for a Dredd reboot.
PCGN: Has the movie ignited interest from games publishers in the Dredd franchise?
Jason Kingsley: We’ve always had a ton of interest in the characters but Chris and I have always tried to be very careful who we work with. I think this major movie success will help build 2000 AD’s reputation back up.
PCGN: Could you apply the movie storyline to a Dredd game?
JK: You could, but movies are very different to games, and in a game you’d probably need a wider variety of locations and enemies to fight that they have in the compressed and claustrophobic movie setting. It might make a good level in a game though.
PCGN: What was it like working with Alex Garland (writer of Dredd)? He’s a keen gamer right?
JK: It's always great working with people who are talented, enthusiastic and get the subject matter, so it was brilliant. My involvement was mostly at the very beginning of the process, in part to do my best to check that it was at least heading in the right direction initially, which it was! His gaming side is not as important to me as his knowledge of the importance of the 2000 AD worlds and Dredd’s place in all of it.
PCGN: What would be the key factors for success in a Dredd game?
JK: You would need to consider the character from the perspective of both the fans and the uninitiated too. You might have to set up the world so player’s understood their place in it and why things are the way they are. Getting the humour and parody right is also a bit part of Mega City 1’s atmosphere, so that would need to be factored in too.
PCGN: Why do you think the Dredd character has such resonance?
JK: From my perspective in part because he ages over time. He ages with us the audience and we carry his previous adventures with us as we read about the next ones. I also think that there is a little bit of revenge fantasy there too, in that the bad get their comeuppance and don’t go unpunished.
PCGN: Do you think the Sniper Elite V2 engine would be able to cope with a Mega Block?
JK: It would be a very useful skill to have in a block war. Those really long shots would be perfect! The Justice dept has specialist snipers too though, and don’t forget the micro cams and mini missiles. There’d be a lot more technology for Karl Fairburne to get to grips with in Mega City one that in ww2 Europe. He might be best placed out in the Cursed Earth, working with Cursed Earth Coburn. Plenty of ruins and blasted landscapes to sneak about.
PCGN: What did you think of the original Judge Dredd movie? That was clearly not on Rebellion’s watch?
JK: The first 15 minutes roughly were great. Then another movie took over and, whilst is was a great action fest, it wasn’t Judge Dredd as I understood it as a fan, and yes it wasn’t on our watch...