Judgment (PlayStation 4) Preview

By Drew Hurley 10.06.2019

Review for Judgment on PlayStation 4

The Yakuza games have garnered themselves one hell of a fanbase, and with good reason. Here at Cubed3, they've racked up high score after high score thanks to their fantastic storytelling, addictive expansive world, and absolutely charming characters. Now the series is receiving an all-new spin-off tale, which sees an ex-lawyer taking on the dark side of the criminal underbelly of Kamurocho.

Innocent until proven guilty. Though in Japan, it seems that being proven guilty is a good deal more likely than in the rest of the world. 99% of trials result in a guilty verdict. This isn't something just from Judgement. It's a real world statistic. So when a lawyer pulls off a successful defence, and manages an acquittal, its headline-making news, and legend-making for a career. That's the case for young lawyer Yagami Takayuki, who is now in high demand despite being a junior member of a little firm in the familiar local of Kamurocho.

Calls are coming thick and fast requesting him after he managed a defence in a murder case. Until a call comes in that brings everything crashing down. The man Yagami got acquitted is in police custody again, after killing his girlfriend and burning down her home. This event destroys Yagami's faith in his ability as a lawyer, and after a title card transports the story to "3 years later", he's found himself a new career.

He has opened up his own Private Investigation office and is taking on cases from his old colleagues at the Genda law practice, while also taking on less legal work from his close connections to the Matsugane Yakuza clan. It's Yagami's relationships with these two entities which embroils him deeply in the first big case of the story. Rival Yakuza from Kansai have been turning up dead in Kamurocho, in a grizzly fashion. Three bodies have been found, all with their eyes gouged out. The latest of which just happened to take a beating from Matsugane Captain Kyohei Hamura.

Screenshot for Judgment on PlayStation 4

Yagami needs to work alongside his old colleagues to try and establish the true culprit, and this is used to establish the key elements of the game. As opposed to the Yakuza entries that came before, there's much more focus on investigation than just whooping ass. Though there's still plenty of the latter too! The actual investigation includes tailing suspects, ensuring they don't spot Yagami by blending with crowds and hiding behind objects, but still always staying close enough not to lose them.

When the tailing concludes, Yagami often has to examine a scene or chase down a subject. Chasing down suspects, means rushing after them through the crowded streets, and engaging in some QTEs to avoid obstacles, environmental, or coming from the suspect him/herself. As for examining a scene, this means switching into first-person view, and finding a suspect or selecting the right items in an environment.

The combat will be familiar to anyone who has played any of the other Yakuza instalments. A mash of quick attacks and heavy attacks, grabs, and throws, utilising items in the environment as weapons, then finishing off a fight with a coup de grâce. Like the Dragon before him, Yagami can switch up his styles, though just two for him and each coming from Kung Fu as opposed to the Japanese fighting styles of previous games. Yagami has Crane style for when he needs to bust the heads of large groups of enemies, able to land speedy blows and dodge every angle. Then he can switch to Tiger style when it's time for a one-on-one throwdown.

Screenshot for Judgment on PlayStation 4

Final Thoughts

Judgement feels filled with promise thus far. Feeling classic Yakuza, giving new life to the beloved Kamurocho, bringing back the expansive and addictive town with plenty of new side activities to fill players time - but also introducing tons of new gameplay elements to set it apart, and delivering a story from SEGA Japan CCO and gaming legend Toshihiro Nagoshi. Stay with us here at Cubed3, where we'll be delivering the full review on June 20th.

Developer

SEGA

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 25.06.2019   North America release date 25.06.2019   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date 25.06.2019   

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