Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PlayStation 4) Preview

By Colin Beauchamp 20.08.2018

Review for Yakuza Kiwami 2 on PlayStation 4

Throughout the past couple of years, SEGA has been pushing to make its pseudo-open world brawler series known as Yakuza more easily accessible by porting them to PS4, as seen with Yakuza Kiwami, which remakes the original Yakuza, or the upcoming remasters of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5. Cubed3 got the chance to try the game pre-release, ready to share initial impressions of the upcoming Yakuza Kiwami 2, which attempts to revamp Yakuza 2, while adding some new content and various other changes.

The first thing that fans of the series will immediately notice is that Yakuza Kiwami 2 runs on the Dragon Engine introduced in Yaukza 6: The Song of Life. All the perks of that engine are included, like being able to walk into buildings without experiencing any loading times, being able to seamlessly transition into fights, as well as being able to experience gorgeous looking textures just in general, although all this does come at the cost of some frame drops, even when playing on a PS4 Pro (keep in mind it already only runs at 30 frames per second). The beat 'em up combat system is also mostly the same as in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, instead of using the one from Yakuza 2. Battles are still crunchy and satisfying to watch, so it's great to see that much has been retained, since it's part of what makes the combat in this series so invigorating.

Screenshot for Yakuza Kiwami 2 on PlayStation 4

Upon starting the main story, players briefly get to explore the district of Kamurocho, but very little is available at that time, and it's not long until they are directed to the other main area, which is the district of Sotenbori, something never seen on the Dragon Engine before… and it looks incredible. From here, you will be able to explore at leisure while participating in various activities. Expected staples of the Yakuza series are here, from the entertaining sub-stories to the large amount of mini-games. Many mini-games that weren't in the original Yakuza 2 have been added, such as karaoke and even the hostess club management from Yakuza 0. There's a ton to take in, and getting acquainted to just Sotenbori alone can be overwhelming - in a good way, that is. These side activities are still as addictive as ever so far and there appears to be no shortage of content.

All that said, it needs to be noted again that this feels extremely different from the actual Yakuza 2, due to the drastically changed combat, levelling mechanics, and so on. Players who have gone through the original are likely to feel that it's almost a completely new experience, although whether it's a superior one or not isn't easy to judge without finishing the rest of the main story first. It's more of its own beast, for better or worse, but it makes for an interesting time anyway. It's enjoyable enough so far, but whether the rest of the experience can stay as entertaining as its first few chapters (and also how it stacks up to the original Yakuza 2) will be something Cubed3 will cover in the full review, but so far it seems like it's going to be another solid instalment in this franchise.

Screenshot for Yakuza Kiwami 2 on PlayStation 4

Final Thoughts

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is shaping up to be more Yakuza goodness that everyone knows and loves. Places like Sotenbori look absolutely stunning in the Dragon Engine, feeling more alive and immersive than ever. Bringing back classic mini-games that were originally introduced in later entries is an appreciated gesture, and although the game as a whole seems to be leaning towards being a Yakuza 2 remix rather than a straight remake, with how different the Dragon Engine gameplay is compared to the original, one thing's for sure: it's a lot of fun.

Developer

SEGA

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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