21 Minutes Of Judgment Gameplay Is Here Via PlayStation Underground

Featuring some new combat moves, as well as cats in your investigations.
A new combat trailer for Judgment has been released by SEGA.
A new combat trailer for Judgment has been released by SEGA. SEGA

June 25 will finally see the release of the highly-anticipated spinoff for the Yakuza series, Judgment. This PlayStation 4 title focuses on Takayuki Yagami, a former defense attorney who is now a private investigator, as he is thrust into the seedy underworld of the Japanese Yakuza.

Since we’ll be seeing the game in less than a week, PlayStation Underground has gone ahead and released 21 minutes of amazing gameplay footage for Judgment, which should give us a first impression on what the game has changed and what it kept from Yakuza. The commentary team is also joined by Yagami’s English voice actor, Greg Chun. Check out the footage below to see the incredibly flashy combat, amazing dialogue and cats.

The footage begins with a mission during the first half of Chapter 1, in which Yagami is investigating a suspect who is affiliated with the Yakuza. Right off the bat we get to see some major changes, including the way the map works. The map is now more modern, and looks something like a smartphone map. You can now also set your own waypoints on the map, which is extremely helpful for not getting lost in Kamurocho.

We then get to see the revamped combat, which is distinctly Yakuza, but also more streamlined. The combat flows in really nicely, and Yagami can now do special EX moves, which are very similar to Heat moves in Yakuza. Doing these will usually involve the environment in some way, and we see him pinning one guy against a wall to bash him in with his foot. It’s just more of the over-the-top ridiculousness we can expect from a series like Yakuza, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Yagami then meets with one of his contacts, an ex-Yakuza thug named Kaito, who provides him more information on the suspect he is investigating. At a rooftop, they then begin the investigation on the suspect, Murase. We then get to see some gameplay using a drone, which is one of the tools Yagami has at his disposal when it comes to investigating. Of course, in a move that’s typical of Yakuza, you can check out other side missions and activities while you’re investigating. Each investigation window has its own set of secrets, like a hidden cat that you can find for some extra points.

After some scoping around at a nearby building, Yagami decides that his next course of action is to sneak into the building where Murase is located by donning a disguise. Beforehand, there’s some dialog options which could provoke different responses from characters Yagami interacts with, some of which result in hilarious back-and-forth’s.

Yagami then crosses the block to destroy the heater unit in the building in which Murase is in, which forces Murase to call a repairman in order to fix it. Yagami then goes into one of the city’s most popular shops, and we get to see just how beautiful and detailed the world of Judgment is. It’s what drew me in to the Yakuza series, as well. Instead of making this huge open world map filled with basically nothing, Yakuza just makes these smaller, yet completely jam-packed maps filled with stuff to do at every turn.

After buying a repairman outfit, some instant noodles and loads of cat food for no reason at all, Yagami then sets off to the Yakuza building, which highlighted another investigation scene. After getting the key he needs to access a part of the building, he heads out and is intercepted by a Yakuza member, who asks him to repair one of the heaters.

Following one of the most hilarious QTE scenes I have witnessed in a video game, and a wrong dialogue option involving facial reconstruction surgery, we get another combat scene, this time showcasing Yagami and his ability to switch between two fighting styles: the crane-style, which is focused on area of effect at the cost of power, and the tiger-style, which is better for one versus one encounters.

The demo was absolutely amazing, and left a strong first impression. I’ve never been much for the underlying story of Yakuza, but I am quite the sucker for how it presents itself in such a way that you’re always entertained. Judgment looks to be picking up after its predecessors well, improving on aspects that need a make-over while keeping those that already work great.

Judgment will be released on the PlayStation 4 on June 25.

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