Judgment is a spinoff of the Yakuza series and has been permanently added to the PS NOW library. It is a third person action-adventure Japanese drama with plenty of fleshed out characters, crazy people everywhere and fist fights at every street corner. You play as a former celebrity lawyer Takayuki Yagami and you have been on a roll after winning a criminal case defending your client against outrageous allegations of murdering a senile hospital patient.
A month later your client is arrested, this time for killing his girlfriend. Your character gets depressed and is ashamed of himself and decided to quit the lawyer profession and open a private investigator business with Kaito a longtime friend and former Yakuza. 3 years later weird murders happen and Yagami makes it personal to find out who’s the culprit. I’ve played Judgment for a good while now and it’s a crazy good time. Judgment has awesome fights and the game plays like any other Yakuza it’s based on.
Fights are everywhere and people would rather try to kick your ass than answer a simple question about the weather. There is enough unlockable combos and character upgrades available for the game to feel like a Soul Calibur. You can attack with anything lying around like a flower pot, a bike or a random store sign. There’s also plenty of finisher moves in the game and it wouldn’t be a real Yakuza spin off without you having to fight an entire building of people from the lower floor to the penthouse suite.
The satisfaction of making it through those kinds of fights are just incredible. The main story is taken very seriously and from the beginning I felt like the game expected me to be interested in it which is a good thing because after the first 15 minutes I was hooked in. As soon as you learn about the murders or the acquittal of the serial killer you already understand that Judgment won’t mess around and the role of Yagami as a private investigator is put to use all along.
You will investigate, search for cameras, read through police reports, tail people and question potential witnesses. It feels like instead of just being a badass, you are just a regular guy with a job and the game will use that talent not as a way to kill everyone but as a way to make progress and give answers throughout the story. It made me feel like my actions were having an impact even if it’s completely scripted from start to finish. Judgment has plenty of stuff to do and it can be completed in about 30 – 50 hours.
The game has plenty of stuff to do outside the main story from side activities like dating, taking pictures of cats, playing darts, going to the arcades or playing VR. There’s also more quest like stuff like side cases that range from finding proof of a cheating husband to exposing a panty pervert trio. There is enough stuff to be completely lost for quite a long time and it serves as a refreshing contrast to the main story since most of the side content is very much comedic and funny to play through. It’s also an incredible source of revenue, crazy payouts, great items and a mountain of skill points to upgrade Yagami.
The side quests in Judgment are a must play if you want to be stronger than the bad guys running after you and believe me when I say there’s loads of them running after you. The characters in Judgment are believable and interesting. The characters’ expressions during cutscenes are great and by looking at their faces they’re completely silent but super expressive which is a great detail. Since the game takes the story seriously, the main characters and the side characters implicated in the main story are fully animated and believable.
The characters will match that style not only in action but in clothing and expression. When they need to be more light hearted they can be disguised as vampires or act like a mental patient escaped from a ward or simply go so grand and random that you can’t help but laugh when they talk. Taking the time to discover the craziness behind every character was actually a very enjoyable experience. Anyone that enjoys the Yakuza series or likes fleshed out characters and story should definitely try out this game.
Judgment has been permanently added to the PS NOW service.
The cast of characters are amazing and are fleshed out well, the story is intriguing and there's plenty of fun side activities to keep you busy for a long time. The combat is engaging and there's plenty of combos to make it feel varied.