Yakuza Review

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Gangster saga with some decent acting voice talent.

★★★★

Scripted by renowned japanese crime author Seishu Hase — and brought to life by Hollywood voice talent including Michael Rosenbaum, Michael Madsen and Mark Hamill — Yakuza coolly rises above the recent crop of gangster games, its brutal tale of vengeance and flawless presentation making for a gripping experience that will keep you focused until the end credits. In fact, the only detracting element is a strange attempt at a moral redemption plotline involving your gangland warrior bonding with an orphan girl.

The gangland saga’s set-up is familiar crime novel territory; you are a devout lieutenant who’s taken the rap and a ten-year jail term for his boss, only to be released into a full-scale power struggle. The main draw is its dazzling vision of Tokyo’s sprawling red-light Kabukicho district (although it’s a pity the game’s world doesn’t spread further). Throbbing with life and awash with garish neon, it provides a thoroughly convincing backdrop for the martial arts action, and the chance to earn points to develop your hero’s fighting skills means you’ll
soon become inextricably wound into this digital drama.