Judgment, from the creator of the Yakuza series, Toshihiro Nagoshi, is a brand new title that sits alongside the cult classics. Much like the Yakuza series, the story takes place in Kamurocho, but instead of being on the wrong side of the law this time, players take to the shoes of Takayuki Yagami, a detective on a path to redemption.
For those unfamiliar with the Yakuza series, Judgment offers a fantastic entry point. It includes many of the features that made the previous titles so appealing, while also offering a more grounded story and experience. So let’s take to the streets of Kamurocho and discover what’s on offer.
One of the main features that immediately sets Judgment aside from Yakuza is the investigation mechanics. Players will need to tap into their sleuthing skills in order to uncover the mysteries of the ugly underbelly of the city. There are a lot of tools at your disposal, including a drone for remote surveillance, as well as an in-depth camera system.
This camera system is a stroke of genius. Each photo you take is graded based on a series of parameters. The better the shot, the better the evidence. The system takes into consideration whether the image clearly shows the location and whether or not you managed to capture the target’s face in the shot. Finding the right spot to snap the image and working out the exact right timing is going to take a skilled hand.
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You can also infiltrate areas using Hitman-like disguises. Become a cleaner and gain access to off-limit locations in order to collect evidence. And then, once you’ve got everything in order, take to the court! Players familiar with the Ace Attorney series will feel immediately at home as Tak grills defendants.
Beyond gathering evidence using tools, you will need to gather it using heart. There are dozens of people in the city and they could do with a little bit of help. Judgment allows you to befriend these people, which not only helps explore side quests, but also adds to how you solve cases.
Speaking of side quests, each of these little missions means something in Judgment. No matter how comedic or outlandish a quest may seem, it helps frame a larger picture. One fault of the Yakuza series, which has been addressed in Judgment, is that the side quests were often a bit too messy, which would hamper the overall narrative.
But you won’t just be using your detective skills in Judgment, you’ll also be using your fists. The fighting in the Yakuza series has always been top notch and that trend continues in Judgment. While Tak might not have the some fortitude as Kiryu, he can certainly hold his own in combat. You will be able to switch between various fighting modes, and each one shines in certain situations. One fighting style might be better suited for groups of enemies and another has better results when facing a single combatant.
Just because Judgment takes place from the perspective of a detective, doesn’t mean it’s all clean and proper. From the onset, there’s the sense that things aren’t always black and white. A lot of the narrative still dips into gangs and murders, which should please the long-time Yakuza fans.
Whether you’re a fan of the Yakuza series or someone just venturing into the grim world of Japanese gangs, Judgment has you covered. Fans of the series will feel right at home on the streets of Kamurocho fighting crime with brawn and brains. For newcomers, Judgment offers a great entry point into the series as it doesn’t demand you know the deep lore of the previous titles.
Will you be venturing into Judgment to put your detective skills to the test? Let us know in the comments what you think of Toshihiro Nagoshi’s latest creation!
The first weekend of E3 2019 was full of game announcements from some of the biggest publishers and developers. And Keanu too, of course.