Lost Judgment review – all-out action hampered by ill-judged story

15 years in and the streets of Kamurocho and beyond have played host to so many different systems and stories. If last year’s new and giddily entertaining turn-based RPG direction for Yakuza Like a Dragon proved anything, it was how flexible this series could be, and how drastic changes could breathe fresh purpose into it all.

Following a first entry that sometimes struggled to find its own space in the series, the Judgment spin-off returns, this time with a greater sense of purpose. With the mainline series now seemingly staying on its turn-based RPG path, Lost Judgment carries the action torch alone, its backbone provided by back-breaking real-time combat, complemented by a dazzling selection of the series’ ever-expanding side activities.

And at this point in the series’ lifespan, an expansive thing it is indeed. If you judge an open world game by its distractions and this is easily Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s best, its take on Kamurocho and the Isezaki Ijincho stuffed with things to do. Like Yakuza: Like a Dragon before it, it’s the sprawling bustle of the Yokohama district that serves as the predominant backdrop, and once again it’s a peerless piece of digital tourism – something that feels more necessary now than ever before.

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