The game Judgment was released in 2019 in North America and I picked it up about two weeks ago. The game is a spin off of the Yakuza series and twists the formula that those games established. Though there was some controversy right before it got released, due to one of the actors getting arrested on drug possession charges, it still managed to come out with overall positive reception.
The game is about an ex-lawyer turned detective named Yagami attempting to solve a mysterious string of murders, all perpetrated by the man he dubs “The Mole.” The game’s story is divided into multiple chapters that all work to tell a captivating detective/legal drama that are filled with themes of government corruption, the life of a gangster, familial ties, and if working towards the “greater good” really is the most moral option.
Though the main story is a fairly serious mystery, with light elements of humor to balance out the tone, it would be false to say that that is all there is to the story of this game.
Since Yagami is a detective, he naturally takes in less pressing cases that may catch his eye. These storylines have little to no bearing on the main story, but are a fantastic way to flesh out the world and is a fantastic distraction from the main story. These side cases are quite varied and offer diverse stories that include but are not limited to, fixing a broken home life, hunting down the correct wig so that a celebrity can gain back his confidence, dressing up as a vampire while doing community service, etc. The side quests have also grant reward that can be useful to traversing the world of Judgment. This world being the fictional, yet realistic, city of Kamurocho. This is the place where the game is set, and contains almost everything that Judgement has to offer.
There are a myriad of side activities that players can pursue, such as eating at local restaurants, drone racing, VR mini-games, and much more. Whenever the player needs to take a break from the main story, they can always return to the recreational activities that Kamurocho has. Though, even walking from one building to another can be potentially dangerous.
Kamurocho is a place that is filled with many people, but not all of them are friendly. The player will encounter many gang members on the streets that have a personal vendetta against Yagami, and it is the player’s job to fight back. Yagami is trained in an unspecified martial art that he uses to defend himself against enemies. The combat in this game is a further refined version of the combat in Yakuza. Press square to use a light attack that starts a combo, and press triangle to perform a finisher or heavy attack.
There is also the option to block attacks with L1 and dodge with the X button. When a prompt pops up, the player can press triangle to perform a special attack. The game’s combat is wonderful, and excels at making the player feel like they actually performed those actions.
So, what will your Judgment be?