Corey Hall
E3 2019: Judgment Preview
See Kamurocho from a different side very soon!
06.17.19 - 7:22 PM

The team at Ryu ga Gotoku Studio is renowned for its fantastic, over-the-top Yakuza series. After seven mainline entries, two fictionalized historical dramas, two handheld spin-offs, a zombie shooter title, and a cavalcade of other entries centering on the organized underground, Ryu ga Gotoku Studio is taking a small step away from the seedy underbelly of Japan.

Judgment doesn't remove itself entirely from the gritty, crime-driven world of the Yakuza series — it still takes place in the familiar fictional district of Tokyo known as Kamurocho — but it does offer a new spin on gameplay mechanics and narrative.

Takayuki Yagami springs into action in Judgment, coming to PlayStation 4 on June 25th.

Following lawyer-turned-detective Takayuki Yagami, players attempt to uncover the mystery behind a string of murders which involve victims having their eyes removed. With the occasional help of his friend and former Yakuza, Masaharu Kaito, Yagami takes to the streets to deal blow after blow of sweet justice. Fights move quickly, with Yagami switching between stances to unleash his full portfolio of martial arts abilities. Fans of the Yakuza series will feel right at home with this style of combat.

Using clues to identify a perpetrator in Sega's Judgment.></a><p>Unlike Yakuza, however, delivering a fist to the face of lawless criminals isn't the center of attention here, as Yagami takes on his detective duties with a bit more tact as needed. Featuring gameplay that has players tail criminals through bustling streets, ID perps, and utilize tools like disguises and drones to get the straight facts, Judgment isn't merely Ryu ga Gotoku meets Phoenix Wright. Indeed, it stands firmly as its own entity alongside the fabled series that spawned it.<p><a href=Takayuki Yagami and Masaharu Kaito take to the streets of Kamurocho in Judgment.

Judgment is the first Ryu ga Gotoku Studio title to receive an English voiceover since the original Yakuza release in 2006, but it also offers Japanese audio and a variety of subtitle options to best fit players' needs. During some hands-on time with the game, the English voice cast made a strong impression, though it was jarring at times to hear some ambient chatter in Japanese while making the rounds through the city. It's certainly not a deal-breaker by any means and doesn't shatter the immersive experience offered by Judgment, but the rapid change from English to Japanese can be a bit awkward if players aren't expecting it.

Drone races are just one of the many side activities available in Judgment, coming to PlayStation 4 on June 25th!

Outside of the main story, players can also enjoy side activities, such as drone races, virtual reality board games, and plenty of others. These diversions help bring the many locales around Kamurocho to life once again.

With Judgment releasing for PlayStation 4 on June 25th, players dying to uncover the story for themselves won't have to wait too much longer. Still on the fence? Be sure to check back soon for our official review!