Last Judgment Review
SEGA has started a glorious tradition of alternating games of the Yakuza series, which took a course on JRPG from the seventh part, and Judgment. The continuation of latter, Last Judgment, takes as a basis the original, but professes a slightly different approach, multiplying the ideas laid down.
This time, police officer Akihiro Ehara gets into the center of events, who is caught red — handed at the scene of a sexual harassment at a railway station. As it becomes known a little later, Ehara is not a fool and announces publicly about the hidden corpse of the teacher who mocked his late son. The decomposed body, shrouded in cadaverous parasites, floats out, but it turns out to be only the tip of the iceberg. The flywheel unwinds, and the main character Takayuki Yagami and a number of his friends fall into the epicenter of an intricate tangle of crimes that we have to unravel.
Structurally, the narrative of Lost Judgment is built on chapters, but the narrative tools and gameplay mechanics have changed. The story itself has become more saturated and rich in details. Having got rid of the need to give prefaces, the authors have enriched the story about the adventures of a private detective Yagami with appetizing details.
Takayuki now acts more openly and boldly, giving us a closer look at the various traits of his character. The same applies to almost all new characters and old acquaintances. The authors focus on the protagonist, but constantly allow everyone else to contribute, providing an opportunity to cover situations with a broader view. Thus, what is happening resembles a game of chess, where each of the pieces has its own agreed place, abilities and degree of influence on the overall course of actions. The motivation of the characters is revealed as the investigation progresses, giving you answers to questions directly in each story arc. It is noteworthy that the antagonists will also not leave you indifferent, since there is no unambiguous division into bad and good ones-everyone has their own truth.
The first part was more similar to Yakuza due to frequent meetings with groups in their spheres of influence, and in the continuation the emphasis is shifted towards civil and their pressing problems in society. But without bandits of various stripes, policemen, lawyers and even politicians, of course, it will not do. Although their role this time will be somewhat different, which contrasts with the previous Yagami adventure.
Exposing the dark sides of human personalities, the heroes bring to light what people prefer to shamefully ignore. The most great thing for the developers was to show how different the points of view of the characters who seem to be on the same side. Maturing not by word, but by deed, Takayuki and other key figures show their true face and their vision of justice. Although the legal system is imperfect, Takayuki believes that the power is in the truth, no matter how bitter it may be. Given the fact that he is still an active lawyer, the final point will be put in court, where the situation is heating up to the limit. In a sense, Yagami was responsible for the death of an innocent person...
Of course, the game is not always dark and cruel, the authors skillfully balance tin and humor. So, at one of the official meetings, you will dilute the atmosphere with a conversation about the delicate taste of Peking duck, at the next you will skillfully pretend to be another person, and at the third you will try on the role of a hostess. The latter — even with drunk colleagues, where you will have to dig into dirty laundry. There were also references to various works. The brightest homage, perhaps, was again the citation of the Ace Attorney. So, one of the fellow policemen Yagami is strikingly similar to Inspector Gamsha in his appearance, character and sloppy manners. Moreover, the term “gumshoe” is used by him in one of the dialogues in the later part of the game. In a word, you will not confuse the local atmosphere with anything. And of course, the secondary characters and quest givers are also endowed with personality and habits, which you will learn from brief sketches-adventures in quests. Each subtask is like a separate short episode in a drama. Here you are looking for a time capsule and encounter a childhood love, then you investigate a murder in a closed room because of an ancient relic, and then you can even find yourself on the set. Some odious personalities from Judgment will return in a new guise, so get ready to have fun!
The action takes place in two cities at once. Isezaki Izinte from Yokohama was added to our native Kamurote district in Tokyo. You heard right — the same one from where Ichiban and his friends from Yakuza: Like a Dragon came from. Apparently, I have touched on a future collaboration.
It is worth warning that the narrative initially unfolds very slowly, so give the game time to warm up. It seems to us that the authors should have brought the players up to speed more sharply. Episodes with acquaintances at school, as well as Yokohama gangs, feel drawn out. But then everything gets the proper pace and we are no longer afraid of learning various mechanics.
Perhaps the most welcome change was a drastic reduction in the number of missions with tracking people. To be precise, according to the plot, you will meet only two spies for thirteen chapters. The process itself is now less routine — you need to take photos more often at a certain moment, the goals are watching you more closely, and a special scale is spent on distracting suspicion of surveillance. In the chase, each of the participants has a health bar, the hero can throw objects, sometimes it is necessary to keep track of the goal and turn correctly at the intersection.
Stealth mechanics appeared, implying the need to hide behind shelters, run from one place to another and distract opponents. You can puzzle your enemies with a ringing coin or a smoke bomb thrown in time. Disoriented people can be stunned. If Takayuki enters into a direct confrontation, a gamer is waiting for you, so you should carefully move deeper into the den of the foes. Naturally, on the way there will be both closed doors that need to be hacked in the mini-game, and doors with a combination lock. In dead ends, another new mechanic comes to the rescue — parkour, made at an affordable level, so as not to strain, but also to pleasantly diversify the passage of stages. Sometimes you will have to try and pick up the acceleration speed for the jump to land or catch where it is necessary.
Of course, the gadgets have not gone anywhere. A local computer genius, Makoto Tsukumo, founded his own agency with a partner and began to help Yagami with information and devices. Among the novelties are a sound meter at a distance, an electronic signal detector and ... a dog. Yes, you heard right — a trained detective dog on a walk with you attracts incidents like a magnet, helps with their search and resolution. The” Twitter " of the local spill has also been improved — a keyword search with hashtags has appeared. They can be obtained by eavesdropping on conversations, or in the course of completing missions. Accordingly, there you will have to find the source of the problems, without direct instructions. We will have to read and act based on the situation and the available gadgets. The drone is now used exclusively in sub-tasks, but according to the storyline, comrades will sometimes help you out with it.
With such a variety of mechanics, it became possible to make the gameplay more spectacular, rather than presenting everything through videos and dialogues. For example, if you go undercover to get information, then the game will certainly give you control at the most important moments in order to present this or that event coolly. Usually this is a whole series of mechanics that smoothly follow each other and at the same time seem organically woven into the canvas of the narrative. During the entire passage, I never got tired of doing something or watching conversations. On the contrary, the developers managed to find a balance between all the gameplay tools and moments of respite in the cutscenes. By the way, speaking of dialogues, important negotiations are no longer just canvases of text, they include animated portraits of characters showing emotions. This applies to both plot scenes and sidequests with the participation of key actors.
Dating with beauties, twenty classic video games, virtual reality, biker battles, gambling mini-games, search for seals and many other types of activities known from the previous part have remained, having undergone some changes. But there were also additional ones. The biggest innovation, perhaps, is the prestigious Seire School. The fact is that this is actually another hub. A huge educational institution accommodates several interest clubs, where Yagami will be able to join as a mentor. And each of them, whether it's a robotics club, a boxing club, a dance club, or others, offers a whole chain of quests with their own heroes, a story with a choice of answer options and a type of gameplay. They are placed in a separate part of the interface, where you can conveniently track your progress and get information so as not to get lost. All activities include customization, their own types of challenges and rewards. Successfully overcoming the stages, the hero improves the unique characteristics and increases the trust of the students, which in a sense makes Lost Judgment related to the Persona series in terms of the system of social connections.
The continuation of Judgment in general can boast of a huge number of introduced amenities, and the main ones, perhaps, are related to transport. You need to move around a lot in the game, so the changes save a lot of time and make the gameplay more comfortable. First, now you can call a taxi via your smartphone almost at any time and in any place, except for school or certain plot locations. There is no need to look for a car, although, as before, no one will stop you from doing it. Secondly, after a couple of chapters, the hero will get a skateboard. You can ride it on any smooth surfaces, accelerate and twist feints. Skates are part of the equipment, so they can be collected and changed at will — each has its own advantages in terms of speed, acceleration and other parameters.
Eating in restaurants is now accompanied by bonuses-from increasing experience and speeding up the filling of the special reception scale to increasing the dropout of items and other useful properties.
A simple difficulty level has appeared-for those who do not want to worry about battles and various mechanics. In this mode, by analogy with Bayonetta, at the touch of a button, you can perform complex techniques with the help of an assistant for entering commands, whose options allow you to disable them separately in the menu if desired. And after the fights, you no longer need to feverishly collect loot — all the dropped belongings are automatically attracted to Yagami.
The combat system has expanded with an additional style of martial art — "snake". The new method of fighting is quite clever — it focuses on interceptions and other deceptive movements in order to deliver counterattacks. But no one forbids aggressive behavior - the developers allow you to snatch enemies from a running start or, bouncing off the wall, make a grab with a blow. With proper pumping in this style, you can generally hit non-stop for a long time, and if you accumulate a special reception scale, you will do combos and avoid opponents ' attacks. Not only the number of finishes has increased, but also attacks in the state of aura activation, which makes it sense to switch to the most pumped or appropriate style for the situation, since this happens at the touch of a button. We especially want to note that now the damage from hand-to-hand combat is no less high than from weapons. The more diverse you fight, the more experience points you will get for each fight. It summarizes the fulfillment of various conditions, such as carrying out certain techniques, finishing off and chains of attacks.
In Lost Judgment, it is possible to choose a Japanese or English version of the voice, but we still adhere to the opinion that the Japanese track sounds more appropriate. The point here is not only a real roller coaster in terms of illustrated emotions, but also in the local color. Various exclamations and stable Japanese expressions sound strange in English speech by ear. Moreover, the inherent meaning of acting is lost — for example, when Yagami is maliciously expressed, blurting out phrases with a tongue twister, and Tsukumo respectfully addresses Sensei. Tactfully smoothing out the corners, the English voice acting does not get worse, but it is less convincing — for sure.
At a cursory glance at the Lost Judgment in the versions for the new generation consoles, it may seem that it has not changed much compared to the first part, but this deceptive impression disappears as it passes. Of course, we are not facing "nextgen", but, for example, reflections from water, glasses, glasses, mirrors have become more voluminous, and this is mainly noticeable in moments where the heroes use them when calculating the enemy by silhouette. In the windows of all buildings, even closed to the public, you can see the internal situation, which makes the scenes more lively. The texture detail has greatly increased — fogged windows, uneven traces, scuffs and cracks on the doors and wallpaper are clearly visible.
Clothing also boasts excellent detailing — you can carefully see the stitches on the sweater, thick denim, leather and many other types of surfaces. The pores on the face, wrinkles, wrinkles, hair, stubble and other details are also carefully made. The authors often focus on this in scenes, bringing the camera as close as possible to the face or even to the eyes of the character in order to emphasize the tension of the situation or making it comical, depending on the context.
A favorite technique is dust particles settling in the premises, drops of sweat and rain. As the injuries are inflicted, Takayuki and all the characters are covered with cuts, bruises and bruises. Including on clothing, floor and walls, respectively. Of course, the whole fight is accompanied by mind-blowing animations of techniques. Yagami writes out such twisted pirouettes and sends enemies into such picturesque somersaults that you wonder how the authors have not yet started making fighting games. After all, the local protagonist is like three grandmasters of martial arts in one bottle. The laurels of action with the most elaborate choreography of fights definitely go to Lost Judgment. Watching the string of refined movements of Yagami is a real pleasure.
The project offers a choice of a mode with an emphasis on the quality of graphics in 4K and a stability mode with a focus on holding 60 frames per second. If you want to make a colorful screenshot on the river bank or in a scattering of neon signs, then set the graphics mode. At the same time, the drawing range with detail will be slightly higher in exchange for drawdowns in some places. If you just want a smooth picture or strive to get the most out of the battles - then choose 60 FPS.
Last Judgment takes the best from the Yakuza series and its predecessor, while managing not to lose its own face and be unique. This is a lot of work on mistakes, where the developers not only listened to the requests of gamers, but also were able to bring the game to a new quality level. The continuation of Judgment is packed to the brim with fascinating activities and a rich story — this is exactly what a modern detective thriller should be! Let's hope that in the next game we will be able to visit the other side of the barricades-on the side of the prosecution, not the defense, the authors have come up with very attractive prosecutors.