Yakuza Kiwami Review

Ten years ago, Sega introduced us to Kazuma Kiryu, a badass ex-Yakuza who keeps getting sucked back into the world of Japan’s underground organized crime. Yakuza Kiwami is a trip back to Kiryu’s first adventure, complete with all-new visuals, a restored Japanese dub, and gameplay enhancements that bring it nearly up to the level of more recent Yakuza games. While it’s a great way to re-experience how the Yakuza saga began, Yakuza Kiwami also showcases just how much the Yakuza series has improved since that original outing.

While the riveting crime drama story of Kazuma Kiryu emerging from a prison stint after taking the fall for a friend remains the same as the original Yakuza, the details on the character models and backgrounds have been completely reworked to look on par with other Yakuza games on the PS4. That gives Kiwami a cinematic feel that helped me get into the twists and turns of its betrayals and action. The graphical upgrade also helps Kamurocho feel more vibrant and alive as a recreation of a bustling Japanese nightlife area, Tokyo’s neon-lit Kamurocho, and is packed with attention to detail (including real-life brands and stores). The distinct feel of the Japanese setting is one of the most appealing parts of the Yakuza series, and Kiwami continues to nail it.

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