Lost Judgment impressions: 15 wild hours in Yokohama

At a glance, Lost Judgment may seem intimidating to anyone who hasn’t graduated from Sega’s school of hard Yakuza knocks. To start, it’s a spinoff of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s long-running crime series, which is saddled with a truckload of backstory. On top of that, it’s a direct follow-up to 2019’s Judgment , the first game from that spinoff. Finally, the overwhelming, unadulterated immersion into modern Japan that Yakuza games are known for doesn’t really feel like anything else in video games.

With these eccentricities in mind, anyone not already intimately familiar with the broader Yakuza universe may feel too lost to know where to begin here, if they want to bother trying at all. Yet after spending roughly 15 hours over the past week playing through the first four chapters of this game, I can say Misplaced Judgment is absolutely worth your time, with a barrier to entry much lower than you’d expect. Stacked up against any recent high-production action games, it’s unlike other things you’ll play this year.

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