Judgment is a spin off to the Yakuza series, taking on a life of its own. But how similar to the Yakuza storyline is it?

16:00, 21 Apr 2021

With Judgment finally coming to next-gen consoles, and with it introducing the Yakuza franchise to a whole new legion of players, it's time to answer the question - is Judgment like Yakuza?

The action-adventure game Judgment is a spinoff of the Yakuza series developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by Sega. Based on a story by producer Toshihiro Nagoshi, Judgment takes place in the same location as Yakuza 6 (Kamurocho, a fictional district of Tokyo).

Protagonist Takayuki Yagami is a lawyer-turned-detective, trying to solve a mysterious and dangerous case where corpses are appearing with their eyes removed thanks to a serial killer. Fighting gang members and thugs while searching for clues and carrying out stealthy side-missions is the name of the game, all while in a third-person perspective.

Is Judgement like Yakuza?

There are many similarities between Judgment and the Yakuza series of games, with series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi said that "the location and assets might be the same, but the gameplay and story here are drastically different".

The setting of Kamurocho is one of the main similarities, which includes the same streets of shops, and crime-filled alleys, giving a nostalgic feeling of connection to the setting while bringing a whole new story to the forefront.


With one review reporting they were tempted to describe Judgment as a Yakuza "reskin", they went on to reassure players that the new protagonist (private investigator Takayuki Yagami) makes Judgment "welcoming to anyone".

The same mechanics apply when it comes to fighting and moving, and the side-quests keep the gameplay fresh.

Although there is a decade and a half of Yakuza lore to explore, Judgment is the perfect jumping-off point to start familiarising yourself with the immersive storyline and world of Yakuza

Should I play Yakuza before Judgment?

Should I play Yakuza before Judgment?

The general consensus is that you can play Judgment without any prior experience of playing the Yakuza series of games, then feel free to dive into the many games it has to offer!




Judgment is releasing on the PS5, Stadia, and Xbox Series X/S on April 23.


Images via Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio | Sega

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