Judgment: test of the exciting detective thriller!

Judgment: test of the exciting detective thriller!


As usual, the games by Ryu Ga Gotoku, the developers of the Yakuza series, come a little later in this country. This time, however, the waiting time was not that long. Judgment (buy now 39.99 €) was released in Japan in December and is now finally coming to European PS4 consoles only six months late. In Nippon, the title was also really well received, most of what you heard about Judgment in this country was the cocaine scandal surrounding the actor Pierre Taki, who gave a character in the game both appearance and voice. In Japan versions of the game were taken off the market and the appearance and voice of the character were also changed for the European release.

It would be a shame if Judgment were only reduced to this story, and you can only really hope that the old saying “There is no such thing as bad PR!” is actually true. Otherwise, many players might miss out on one of the best action adventure games of the year. Judgment turns out to be an exciting, well-staged detective thriller, which is playfully a successful mixture of Yakuza and L.A. Noire with a touch of Ace Attorney.

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Judgment in the test

Page 1 Judgment in the test: Exciting detective thriller by the Yakuza makers 1.1 No entry barrier 1.2 The depths of the underworld 1.3 Fighting like (e) in Yakuza 1.4 Investigator, lawyer, errand boy Page 2 Judgment in Test: Exciting detective thriller by the Yakuza makers 2.1 More work through good deeds 2.2 Everybody has quirks 2.3 Skyline with a podium 2.4 Opinion & evaluation Page 3 Image gallery for "Judgment: Test of the exciting detective thriller!" Unfold

No entry barrier

The story is great and always remains exciting, dark and mature. Little by little you will also learn spicy details from Yagami's past. Source: PC Games The basic structure of Judgment is that of the Yakuza series, but before many readers put the title in the same niche, it should be said that Judgment is far less bulky than the multi-part saga about Kazuma Kiryu. The story of Judgment is completely independent, a bit more straightforward and you are not thrown away with all sorts of Japanese names at the beginning. It is also particularly pleasing that the title not only offers Japanese voice output with English subtitles, as was common for years with the Yakuza series.

In addition to the Japanese original sound, Judgment offers an English soundtrack and even German subtitles as well German menus. The English language not only sounds more familiar to us Europeans, the committed speakers are also absolutely excellent and chosen to match the respective characters. The English voice output in Judgment is not just good and professional, it is so strong that even some triple-A blockbusters can take the title as an example.

The German subtitles, on the other hand, do not skilfully reproduce all puns , but do not falsify anything in terms of content, so that even players without knowledge of foreign languages ​​can immerse themselves fully in judgment. It is a bit of a shame, however, that only the main story is completely set to music. In secondary tasks you can only expect repetitive phrases and text boxes. That's a bit old-fashioned.

The depths of the underworld

Private detective Yagami and his partner Kaito get caught between the fronts of a war between hostile yakuza groups with their investigations. Source: PC Games But what is it actually about? You take on the role of former lawyer and current private detective Takayuki Yagami, who quit his old job three years before the events of Judgment after obtaining an acquittal in court for a client who later turned out to be a murderer. Since then he has been on the road as a private investigator and, together with his partner Kaito, an ex-Yakuza, also takes on smaller cases for the law firm where Yagami was previously employed.

This is how Kaito and Yagami-san get caught soon to a particularly spicy case: you are supposed to collect evidence of the innocence of a yakuza captain Hamura, who is accused of being the serial killer of Kamurocho. This killer is primarily after Yakuza and stabs his victims' eyes with an ice pick. Hamura seems innocent, but is hiding something about the real killer. In the course of their investigation, Yagami and Kaito not only get caught in the crossfire of a war between warring Yakuza clans, but also discover that various parties are putting obstacles in their way in the search for the murderer. So it is up to Yagami to bring the truth to light and ensure justice.

The story is not only long - if you only follow the story and do some side missions on the side, you should definitely plan 30 hours - , but also very versatile and remains exciting over the entire time. As in the Yakuza series, this is performed in very cinematic cutscenes and lots of very well-written dialogues. The cut scenes can take several minutes. During this time you are condemned to watch. Impatient players can click away most of the sequences, but then one would also miss important parts of the straightforward, but nevertheless complex story.

Judgment does not try to please a younger target group or the target group of modern, often more hectic genre representatives at. The keynote is calm, cool and - just like the theme of the story - very mature. Patience is assumed. Due to the realistic, unexcited narrative style, the sometimes very surprising and profound findings during Yagami's investigation are also much more powerful.

This is also due to the numerous absolutely well-written characters that carry the story. All relevant figures are complex, follow their own motives and are very understandable. Various character traits are never exaggerated or even define the whole character. Yagami is consciously cool, but is simply not let go of his past. Kaito, on the other hand, causes a few laughs with his direct and sometimes somewhat simple manner, but is still not just a rough chunk with a thug attitude, but has more on the box than you might initially think.

Some special attacks come directly from the last Yakuza parts, but since Yagami is more agile than Kiryu, he was also given new, spectacular EX attacks. Source: PC Games

Fight like (e) in Yakuza

While the title in its story dispenses with characters and elements from the Yakuza series, which even fans can confidently describe as cheesy can, the well-known series by Ryu Ga Gotoku represents the playful basis of Judgment. So you are again on the move in the small but fine open game world of Kamurocho, a district of Tokyo that is based on the real existing Kabukicho. Kamurocho may turn out to be quite small compared to the game worlds of other genre representatives, but the town is wonderfully detailed and yet varied with its various small districts. Anyone who has ever been to Tokyo or played part of the Yakuza series will immediately feel at home. In addition, the somewhat narrower game world also contributes to the atmosphere, as this fits in wonderfully with the very personal story about the protagonist.

If you want to beautiful your fists, you can beat all sorts of objects at villains. In any case, some of the brawls break a lot. Source: PC Games Just like in Yakuza, all sorts of gangsters are lurking on the streets this time, asking you to fight. Even in the missions themselves, action passages are mastered with fists and kicks. Unlike other action games, Judgment does not use firearms. Instead, you use two different fighting styles to crack the teeth of your opponents.

The crane style is best suited to compete against groups of opponents, since Yagami's attacks are faster here and he continues to thrash. In the Tiger style, on the other hand, Yagami's attacks are more focused and stronger and therefore perfect for individual stronger opponents or bosses. By pressing the lower button of the digi-cross you can switch between the two combat variants. On the other buttons of the Digi-Cross you can put healing potions, food or extracts that restore your health or briefly strengthen attacks.

You can switch between the crane and the tiger fighting style at any time. Cranes are most effective in groups, and tigers in individual opponents. Source: PC Games Speaking of strong: As with Yakuza, you charge your EX bar with successful attacks and can thus trigger particularly powerful special attacks. You can also use all kinds of objects such as baseball bats, steel pipes, traffic cones or even bicycles to decorate your opponents' chewing bar. These weapons can of course also be used to carry out EX attacks. The wall jumps are also particularly fun. If you run towards a wall in a fight, Yagami automatically pushes away from it and flies the opponents in combination with one of the two attack buttons or the handle button with a spectacular-looking jump attack.

But it doesn't matter which one Art you beat up the criminals, for every fight won and every checked quest you get skill points. You spend these - as the name suggests - on new skills. By pressing Start, Yagami pulls out his smartphone and you can select the skill menu, where you can use earned SP to buy new attacks, combos, an extension of the life bar or detective instincts.

Investigator, lawyer, Errand boy

After all, Yagami not only runs around and hits bad boys' teeth in the throats, he actually investigates his cases with classic detective work, which wonderfully enriches the usual Yakuza gameplay. For example, you have to shadow people in order to get to secret locations or to learn more about the respective target person. To do this, you have to keep an eye on the target, but also take cover behind objects so that you are not caught if the person turns around suspiciously. With the detective instincts already mentioned, you can, for example, acquire skills that lightly outline the target person or lengthen the period of time in which you can lose sight of them.

As a detective, of course, you also have to shadow people. Here you have to hide again and again and not lose sight of the goal. Source: PC Games In addition to classic shading, you can sometimes also unpack your drone to find targets in a building. But a private detective is of course not just a professional tensioner. Sometimes the job is quite action-packed. Certain suspects have so much mess on their hands that they run away as soon as they see Yagami. So you have to run after them and avoid numerous obstacles on the way (partly through Quicktime events). This is not particularly challenging in terms of play, but it is fun and the chases are beautifully staged on top of that.

You will also examine crime scenes, video recordings or photos of the victims for clues and thus obtain evidence that you can use to criminals of their deeds or witnesses can convict a false statement. Here you have to present the logical proof in conversation, just as you should ask the right questions when doing research. Judgment isn't as ruthless as an L.A. Noire here, though. In other words: Should you present the wrong proof or ask a question that is not expedient, you can still ask the question or just present the correct proof. Yagami will talk his way out of here. All you have to do is forego a small SP bonus if you're wrong.

If you ask the right questions during an investigation, you get a bonus.

The case doesn't fail even if you ask the wrong thing . Source: PC Games In general, the main case is very linear. You are allowed to iron out your mistakes in the investigation and you cannot complete an investigation if you have not found all the clues beforehand. So no innocent person ends up behind bars. However, you can also see that most of the decisions you have to make in the course of the game are pretty artificial. If you decide on an option that the game did not provide for the course of the story, either one of Yagami's comrades-in-arms contradicts this plan or Yagami himself questions this decision. Either way you end up in the selection menu again and have to choose the other option.

That Judgment tells a linear story is certainly not a point of criticism. The story is great, after all, and would work great as an HBO series too. But the decisions could have simply been left out. After all, they have no consequences and therefore ruin the immersion a little. But that's high-level grumbling.

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