We return to the neighborhood of Kamurocho, but this time it is not to get into a family of Yakuzas, if not to put us in the shoes of Takayuki Yagami, a lawyer who after achieving a great success in a case, this will turn against him and must give a radical change to his life. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio brings us again an impeccable game, a crime thriller with an exciting pace that will hook us from the first moment and will not let us let go of the control until we discover all the secrets hidden by the inhabitants of this iconic neighborhood.
Back to the neighborhood
Judgment is very inspired by noir classics and accompanies a whole generation of Asian neo noir productions that are leaving so many good stories. After leaving the world of law, Yagami sets up a small detective agency in the neighborhood, where he survives with small assignments until we get involved in an investigation of a serial killer known as "The Mole".
All the main story is structured in a masterful way, with plot twists that will surprise us throughout the plot. In addition, the characters are very well built, with very marked personalities that will make us connect from the first moment with them. This makes the numerous cinematics do not make us anything heavy, if not quite the opposite, we will be eager to move forward in the plot to see how it evolves and where it takes us.
One more character
Any fan of the Yakuza saga will feel at home at the time of starting this adventure, at first we may think that this Judgment is a Yakuza more, but after the first stages of the game, it is clear that it has an identity and personality very overwhelming and also adds many new mechanics.
The map through which we will move may seem very scarce, especially when compared to other open world titles that have come to us lately, but once we start to walk around and discover everything that includes, the secondary activities, the characters that compose it or the extra cases that we can solve and that include really interesting stories. We can not fail to highlight the amount of arcade machines that there are, or the mini-games of darts or baseball or drone racing. The amount of extra and secondary content can take us, if we want to complete everything, another 35-40 hours without exaggeration, in addition to those that already lasts the main story.
Throughout the neighborhood we will be able to meet different characters thanks to the new Friends system, interacting with them, shopping in their stores or helping them with their problems. This will unlock new missions, upgrades and random events in the fights where we can count on some help from the people of the neighborhood. But not only will we have the opportunity to make friends, we will also be able to go on dates and get a girlfriend by unlocking more content.
Me against the neighborhood
If you have previously walked around Kamurocho you will know that it is not a very quiet neighborhood and while we walk we can assault thugs or yakuzas with whom we can unleash the martial arts expert Yagami hides inside.
The combat system is based on a button for the strong and slower attack and another weaker but faster, as usual. In addition, we will have a grip, a block and another to dodge. If we fill our energy bar by chaining combos we unlock special moves related to the environment, such as picking up a bike and throwing it into the air with a kick to send it against our enemies.
We have two styles of combat, well differentiated. The Crane style, much more effective when we face several enemies at once or the Tiger style, focused on a single opponent. As we gain skill points (PH) we can unlock new moves such as the spectacular "bounces" on the walls or the special mode in which we will wrap a kind of aura as if we were a Super Sayan and we will resist much better the blows and our defense will increase considerably.
All these aspects offer us a very complete combat system, complex when it comes to master it to perfection and that will make the clashes against gangs or bosses are much more spectacular and dynamic.
The best detective of Kamurocho
Now in our analysis of Judgment we are going to talk about the other great pillar of this game, the mechanics of investigation and tracking. When we get to an area where we have to look for evidence, we will go to a first person view and we will have to look for what we think is most relevant to the investigation, this has several aspects, such as when we have to recognize someone by a description we have or when we want to convince a witness to collaborate with us we will have to show him the right clues.
When we are in an interrogation or trying to get all the information we need we will also have to be attentive because if we choose the right options we will earn an extra bonus.
As for tracking suspects, we'll have to walk at a safe distance from our target, hiding at key moments, so we don't get caught but not getting too far away so we don't lose him. This brings us to the last mechanic, the chases. These are practically automatic, we simply direct Yagami left and right to avoid obstacles while Quick Time Events appear until the suspect escapes or we catch him.
All these mechanics lose prominence in the middle of the main story, giving more importance to combat. But if we want to continue developing our detective skills, we can dedicate ourselves to the secondary cases, which have a spectacular level of detail.
The Dragon Engine is back
The studio's usual engine, the Dragon Engine, returns more polished than ever, offering us a spectacular and full of life Kamurocho. As usual, the modeling of the main and secondary characters is brilliantly achieved, in the extras that we find in the neighborhood is a little loose but it is an unimportant detail. The lighting again stands out at a very high level, as the effects of destruction during the fights, although at times do something strange.
The sound section deserves a special mention. In addition to its careful soundtrack, quite extensive, which is adapted to what happens on screen with moments of electronic music or jazz dyes, to highlight two examples. All these songs can be enjoyed from our turntable, in our office.
The dubbing has its English version or with Japanese voices, we prefer the latter version to fully set us in the story and enjoy with our Kimera V2 to not miss any detail. The great novelty of this Judgment is that all texts are translated into Spanish, which indicates the big bet they are making with this adventure to be a success also in Europe.
In conclusion to our analysis of Judgment we can say that it is an outstanding game. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios and Koch Media bring us an impeccable story, with a very fast pace and a gameplay that accompanies and also knows how to offer a lot of extra content. The balance between research and combat is very well defined. Some aspects of the investigations can be somewhat tedious but it is something that is quickly forgotten considering the other strengths it presents.
- The story and the characters will hook you from the very first moment
- Kamurocho neighborhood full of life and activities
- The introduction of new research mechanics
- It comes with texts in English
Points to improve
- Thanks to its design, the neighborhood is too small and we wanted more
- The character development system is quite simple.
- This review has been made thanks to a copy provided by Koch Media for PS4