In its latest edition, Yakuza has nullified the need to be familiar with its twisted story line. Yakuza 0 takes you back to the genesis of this heady world of crime with a gripping tale
Price: Rs 2,499
Yakuza is a long running series of videogames with a strong follower-base. Over time, it has developed a complicated storyline that you need to know. Yakuza 0, however, seems to be an attempt to nullify that prerequisite as it is a prequel to the previous games.
Yakuza 0 is set in 1988's Japan and is essentially the story of two characters Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima who get caught up in a war between rival clans. Japan is recreated in all its neon glory and narrow streets riddled with vending machines. The story is by far the best part of the game — be prepared to watch long cut scenes. Usually, we are against long cut scenes but these clips are very interesting to watch and they do propel the story forward. It's well-written and benefits greatly from excellent voice acting. But, it is completely in Japanese, and therefore, subtitles are a must.
Another great aspect of the game is the combat — it is just brutal, gory and in some cases hilariously gross. The fighting feels like a full-on street brawl, though not on the level of say, Arkham Knight, but good enough. You can also upgrade your moves, combos and health bonuses as you go along. The boss fights are something else altogether; you'd think being young, you could easily overthrow a mob boss, but it is seriously difficult.
Humour seems to be an underlining theme in Yakuza 0 and there are a lot of things that you might find incredulous. But it's all part and parcel of what makes it a great game. A lot of this interesting humour can be experienced during the side quests. There must be hundreds of side-quests in Yakuza. And we would recommend you try each one of them. Even though they are mostly fetch missions, the interactions with the characters in the game world, more than make up for the run-of-the-mill missions.
One can engage in a host of activities in this distorted world. You can play pool, darts, arcade games, gamble in both traditional and Western ways. They are all little games in themselves and you can spend hours in Yakuza 0 just playing this and nothing else. However, the main story line is compelling enough for you to want to finish it — mind you, it's almost 35 hours long. That said, the various options in side missions and games you can play within this game, will easily keep you engaged for at least a month, if not more.
So, what's wrong with it? Plenty. To begin with, the game doesn't look anywhere close to a modern PS4 game. Some buildings and props appear very last generation. Also, the game is also supposed to be open world, which it is nowhere close to. There are places that you see but cannot access because of invisible walls. And, while the map is vast, it's not as big as modern open world games like Watchdogs 2 or Mafia III. Often, you run into very similar looking objects and people.
The amount of sexploitation in the game is slightly alarming. Even though you're running a gentleman's club, where one could expect some extent of sexploitation. But, some bits in the game like the phone sex and collecting cards to watch some softcore porn, is frankly, not necessary. Needless to say, this is not a game for your kids to play. That said, Yakuza 0 is a must-have game for the PS4. Its flaws are forgivable because the story is just brilliant.