Yakuza Kiwami: PS4 Review
Released by SEGA
The Yakuza game series may seem intimidating to those unaccustomed to the intricacies of the culture within.
But essentially, this riff on the Grand Theft Auto world cum JPRG brawler is a fairly simple sum of its parts.
You get to run around the streets of Kamurocho as Kazuma Kiryu, who's determined to find out what has happened to childhood chum Yumi and why the clan is on the warpath over missing money.
Throw in a mysterious young girl who everyone wants to get hold of, and there's plenty to do in this revamp of the original Yakuza game.
After Yakuza O, the bar was set pretty highly for the revamps of this series and the push to get more people into the franchise makes this one the most accessible of all.
With the PS4 grunt behind the game, the graphics are pretty good and the world of Kamurocho feels like it's a liveable breathing metropolis that seethes with underbellies and all forms of life.
Side quests and distractions are peppered through the game, as is a nemesis from the past who cleverly crops up along the way feeding into a long term storyline seeded elsewhere.
It's these touches which make SEGA's Yakuza go-around worth your time.
Occasionally, the desire for push button cut scenes can become a little tiresome and to start off with, they certainly punctuate a little too much of what's going on, preventing any kind of real flow from continuing.
But pacing through this helps to build some kind of atmosphere aimed at deepening the world.
And while the open world sometimes feels a little guided, the depth of detail into the seemingly steamy side of life manages to pull you back in.
Ultimately, Kazuma Kiryu proves to be a good person to spend some time with and even if the game's reliance on being a little guided seems a bit too much, the game's eventual pull and hidden depth prove to be fertile enough reward.