(Not) a real detective. Judgment Review (Topic)

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(Not) a real detective. Judgment Review


The story of our favorite from the Yakuza series, Kazumu Kiryu, is now complete. Therefore, the next stage has come, and it's time to give way to new heroes. And this is where the spin-off of the series - Judgment comes into play, which we will review.

New wrapper - old middle

Judgment, whose title refers to Kiryu's beloved song, is essentially using well-honed Yakuza techniques and trying to dilute them with something new. For those who like to dig into everything in detail, here's a complete overview of the gameplay of the Yakuza series. In short, Yakuza consists of 40% dialogue, 40% fights, and 20% side activities and secondary tasks.

In the new game, this percentage has changed, and the game consists of 60% of dialogues and cut scenes, 30% of fights and 20% of other things. It also focuses on detectiveism. Why is that? All because of the plot, which was given a lot more time here.


We play as Yagami, a lawyer who has defended his accused of murder from prison. Moreover, the probability of winning the case was 1%. But before our hero had time to rejoice, his client came to his girlfriend, killed her and set her house on fire. That's all folks!

So, the just begun career of a brilliant lawyer came to an end, and Yagami began working on the streets as a private detective together with his partner, once a member of the Yakuza. But life in the city doesn't smell like a quiet one because of a serial killer who attacks criminals, kills them, and then rips out their eyes.


Our story begins with the fact that one Yakuza was framed and accused of these murders, since a scapegoat was needed. We need to get him out of jail, and then just a dizzying plot will follow.

Visual novel with combat elements

In order not to conceal, I will say right away that the plot is the main trump card of the game. He is really very interesting, although Yagami's personal drama is not the same as, for example, Kiryu's in previous games. The game has a lot of storylines, sub-branches that seem to be unrelated to nothing, but as a result, everything merges into one very large complex story about a conspiracy between criminals, businessmen and the government. Although the game based on the classics of Japanese gamedev is long, it's worth it. Even after 12 hours you start to get confused about who is who and why you need it. Fortunately, it all boils down to an adequate ending.


Enrages that they are trying to artificially stretch the already long game with strange stuffing like, go find a pervert who paws women on the ass. In addition, there are also more side quests, especially those related to friendship. In almost every establishment you go to to restore your XP, some quest awaits you from the owner of the establishment.

This is really cool because it encourages immersion. However, halfway through the game, you no longer know where to run from the next quest ala, help me become a good cook Yagami-san. Yes, you can skip them, but before that you need to proclaim tons of text. But I, as a person accustomed to accept all the challenges of the game, so as not to miss the very juice, I cannot miss the quest from the principle ...


The battles in the game were amazing, they remain so. As already mentioned - the game makes good use of all the proven elements of Yakuza and it succeeds. But the new ones ... Well, they tried.

Although we are told that we have a real detective, it is not. One feels that the developers tried to work out these elements, but at one point they were afraid that it would be too much.


Let's take LA Noire for comparison. It really feels the tension during dialogues and the search for evidence, since you can fail the case and go through it clumsily. There is no such thing in Judgment. The search for clues is primitive, and in order not to see objects you need to try, the pursuit is normal, but quickly bored, the pursuit on a quadcopter is essentially the same. If you make a mistake during interrogation, you will still find out valuable information later. And of course, where is there without a fucking surveillance mission! Yes, Judgment has a classic surveillance mission where you have to stupidly follow a slow NPC, who turns his head like a paranoid and hide.

If there is a hell for gamers, then until the end of time you will be replaying guardian angel missions, missions to escort a defenseless character and freaking surveillance missions, and open towers in between.


It's the same with mini-games. Racing drone or shooting in the 3D hall is fun but annoying. But our karaoke was taken away ... I won't forgive that.

Justice Triumphs

As a result, somehow it turns out that with everything that we have already seen, everything is in order. But something new works either crookedly or quickly gets bored. Although it seems purely visually that there are much more minuses in the game than pluses, I cannot say that it did not live up to expectations.

The entire Yakuza series is dizzying, and we know it inside and out. And of course, after 6 major games, each of which still managed to surprise us with familiar things, it is difficult to do something new, but at the same time similar to the old. And it's hard to get used to the hero only for the reason that we spent six mother games with Kiryu. It's like playing Connor in AC 3 after running Ezio three games in a row.


I think Judgment needs more time to become something more and impress us. At least from the point of view of the plot, she did it 100%. I would say that the game even looks like a big-budget feature film or a short story with character controls, and this is something more distinctive. The story is down-to-earth, with less pathos, and is presented in more serious tones [although typical Japanese style also happens]. It seems to me that now the main thing is not to stretch the narrative with ridiculous tasks in the future, and then everything will be fine.


It can also be seen that the developers wanted to make the game more accessible to the masses, and not as niche as the same Yakuza. From this we can conclude that mediocre detective mechanics are a bias in casualness. Anyway, I can give the game a solid 8 out of 10.

The Topic of Article: (Not) a real detective. Judgment Review.
Author: Jake Pinkman