Game Review: Yakuza 6 is a fitting end to mafiosi Kazuma Kiryu's dangerous journey
Even without the story mode, the game is self-sufficient and you won't feel like you are missing something. It plays out like a melodramatic Japanese movie
Yakuza 6 is the final chapter in the Kazuma Kiryu saga and the debut of a new engine for the game. For those who have never played Yakuza before, there is a handy back story that you can read through complete with choice visuals from the previous game. Even without the story mode, the game is self-sufficient and you won't feel like you are missing something. It plays out like a melodramatic Japanese movie — there are lots of cut-scenes and it will be a while before you go around breaking bones and destroying property. Fortunately, the story is decent enough to keep you engaged, considering it is around 30 hours long.
For the uninitiated, you play Kazuma Kiryu, a yakuza, who is part of the Japanese mafiosi. The idea of the game is to go around completing the tasks assigned in the story mode. However, you are also in Japan, which means there are many fun distractions to while away time. In the past, these distractions have been many and made Yakuza a game that you could play forever. In Yakuza 6, however, the side activities are few, but they are well made. Some choices are playing mahjong, working out, playing baseball, visiting a hostess bar or a cat café.
The biggest addition to the side activities is the Clan Creator mini-game, where you direct gang members in a top down view of a brawl. You can add special characters to your clan, by defeating them in combat. This mini-game is a lot of fun, even though defeating your foes is often too easy. The overall combat in Yakuza is also super easy. Kiryu is capable of handling multiple thugs with just a few basic moves. You can pick up anything off the street and use it as a weapon. Building rage can trigger special moves, which is essentially just beating people senseless with whatever you have in your hand. The simplicity of combat makes it easy to learn, but it can get repetitive after a while.
Visually, the new engine shows off the cut-scenes and characters really shine through. The motion is seamless and once you are in an area, the game never stutters. Japan is recreated beautifully, it is like you are roaming the streets of the country. You can enter stores, narrow lanes and explore anything that is on the map. The game is a fitting end to the story of Kazuma Kiryu. The top-notch storytelling and the graphics more than do justice to the Yakuza series. More side activities and layered combat could have kept the game interesting beyond the main storyline, but despite all of this, Yakuza manages to entertain.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
Price: Rs 2,999
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