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So I Tried... Judgment

So I Tried... Judgment

In each edition of So I Tried… I will try a game that I have never played before. Will I find something new to love? Will I find something new to despise? I'll take a full half hour, no matter how bad it gets or how badly I do, to see if this is the game for me. This time I went for the PlayStation 5 version of Judgment.

Yagami standing up for the folk of Kamurocho

What I Thought It Was

I knew it was a spin-off to the mainline Yakuza/Like A Dragon games, with a focus on legal shenanigans rather than criminal fisticuffs. As a consequence of this, I thought it would involve a lot less fighting than those games and perhaps more detective work, examining the environment and interacting with more characters.

Of course it starts with a brawl!

What It Actually Is

Taking on the role of the Genda Law Office’s star lawyer, Takayuki Yagami, the game starts with general office gossip as it details how corrupt the legal system is, as 99.9% of all defendants are found guilty. Yagami somehow managed to get an acquittal in a murder case which has made him into a high-profile figure.

The client he aided, however, Shinpei Okubo, is arrested for another charge of murder, this time Okubo’s girlfriend, Emi. Okubo is sentenced to death which ultimately leads to Yagami’s reputation being ruined and him quitting before becoming a private investigator.
We meet Yagami’s partner, the ex-Yakuza Kaito, as they are both attempting to follow someone as the game introduces both its combat, which is very much like the traditional Yakuza experience, and the tailing mechanic, which involves keeping your distance and using cover to hide from view.

Tailing involved keeping distance and using cover effectively.

Once you are given control, you are immediately thrown into a tutorial fight where the Yakuza-style light and heavy attacks mixed with grabs and EX attacks come into play. It feels great with the EX moves being particularly over-the-top and physical, usually involving the environment in some way.

After the fight, you tail your prey to an alley where they are trying to partake in some illegal betting. It turns out you are trying to obtain a payment from this gentleman for your client, so Kaito introduces him to their rather large, chunky fists.

All in all, so far, it plays a lot more like a Yakuza game than I initially thought it would. The other activities seem like they’ll be more detective-themed, like scanning the environment for clues and the tailing mechanic itself.

The 30-minute limit of the So I Tried… format was just enough to finish this initial prologue mission and witness some of the next act’s intro cinematic, where three people have been murdered and had their eyes removed. If that’s not something I want to know the reasons behind, I don’t know what is!

Kaito is definitely the muscle.

Will I Keep Playing?

Absolutely! I really enjoyed my brief time with Judgment, Yagami is quite distinctive from the rugged wholesomeness of Kiryu (from the Yakuza titles), so it definitely has a unique feel to proceedings, and I want to know what happens.

I have a frustrating history with the Yakuza games in that I love them to bits but, for whatever reason, struggle to stick with them. Hopefully, playing Judgment will be the push I need to focus on those games too!

So I Tried
Simone Brown

Simone Brown

Staff Writer

Often reminiscing about the 'good old days'. Simone has almost perfected her plan to enter the Speed Force and alter the timeline.

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