Review: Yakuza 0 (PlayStation 4)

One night, Kiryu goes out on a simple job befitting of a fledgling yakuza: collect on an overdue debt on behalf of a loan shark in league with the Dojima Family. But when his mark turns up dead the next morning, Kazuma Kiryu finds that he has become a murder suspect. Unaware of the massive conspiracy he has been pulled into, Kiryu sets out to clear his name…


  • Graphics are some of the best not only for the Yakuza series, But the best on a PlayStation 4 game to date. Lose yourself in the wondrous world of 1988 Japan. From the reflections in the puddles to the detail of shops, Cafes and restaurants.
  • Options- Mini map on/off, Gore normal/mild, Summaries, Subtitles, Invert controls, Screen graduation, Brightness and also have the mini map rotate with you or stay static.
  • Online mode- Play Poker, Cee-Lo or Mahjong.
  • Two player local play- Bowling, Darts, Pool and Disco. Can use one or two controllers.
  • Online leader-boards.
  • Climax battles mode- Online score chaser event where you face off against enemies with restrictions or conditions.
  • Three story difficulties- Easy, Normal and Hard.
  • Get bonus items for playing other Yakuza games.
  • Free care packages will periodically be sent out in game. Think of it like free items etc..
  • Full Platinum trophy.
  • Opening tutorial with ongoing support when new actions unlock.
  • Compelling story covering the rise of the young Yakuza Kazuma Kiryu of the Dojima family. Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, Kiryu must find the culprit and bring them to justice but the path is a dangerous one and he must cross several lines to succeed.
  • Play as two characters Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima.
  • Take in the beauty of two cities Kamurocho and Sotenbori. Both are unique but wonderful living breathing cities offering many activities, shops and experiences.
  • Open world action game with RPG elements like player leveling and load-out management.
  • Free roam, You can take in all the cities have to offer without being forced to do the main story.
  • Optional side quests are found all over and to be honest are worth doing not only for EXP and items, But for how absurd and funny some of these missions are. I would say they are just as good if not better than the main story!
  • Japanese voice with English subtitles.
  • Fast loading times with no hard loading for fights including street encounters.
  • Perfect game for newcomers as its the most polished but also sets up the other games.
  • Random fights/encounters, You see the enemy and can run away but doing them triggers fights.
  • Fighting is a lot slicker, Chaining combos is easy and punching/kicking enemies cause them to drop money. Earn more money for combos and using Heat moves or using items.
  • All new Heat moves. Heat is something you build in fights and once the Heat bar is filled you glow blue and can do Jackie Chan levels of crazy finishing moves. Heat moves are not limited to punches and kicks either, Grab a bike/sign and go nuts…Think of the money!
  • CP (Completion Points) Earn points for completing the tasks in the CP list. A bit like achievements you get a tracker that shows progress. Use your CP at the CP shrines and exchange them for new buffs and abilities like more health or faster running etc. An example of CP tasks is something like do 5 heat moves or walk x amount of miles in game.
  • Save locations are phone boxes and they are all over the place.
  • Arcade- In game visit SEGA amusements and play classic games Space Harrier and Outrun or maybe chill out on the claw machine. Each game is a full screen rendition of the retro classics.
  • The soundtrack is simply superb.
  • Mr Shakedown-A NPC that walks the streets and will attack on sight. He will take all your money off you if he wins. Similarly if you win, You take his money but man he is tough.
  • Hidden collectibles. Every Yakuza game has them and this time its telephone cards of women.
  • Fighting styles-You can unlock upto 4 fighting styles for each character. This allows a varied approach to fights. From standard to crazy bat wielding styles, The choices mean no fight is ever the same.
  • Atmosphere is next level, Interact with strangers, People watching is just as engrossing and creepy as it is in real life.
  • Video theater-Here you can watch sexy videos of woman you have encountered in the world. Not much I can say really except the room has a box of tissues and a big screen TV.
  • Friendships-You can strike up friendships with NPC and increasing this will get you rewards.
  • Activities- Within the game world are many many activities for you to partake in. From bowling to fishing to karaoke to the awesome RC car racing circuit. Here you can buy new cars and even new parts and take part in tournaments. The activities have always been a staple in the Yakuza games and no expense has been spared here. You are well catered for.
  • Upgrade tree- Spend cash on upgrading your characters.
  • Load-out- You can setup your characters with weapons or items like health buffs or a tool that beeps when near collectibles.
  • Cut scenes are actually varied and add a lot to the game. Some cut scenes play out like a animated comic with narration whilst some are your typical all mouth and movement. Its all done in such a way you cant help but stay focused.
  • The overall performance of the game is on the whole a lot better.
  • You will constantly be left open jawed. You just cannot comprehend just how big this game is. From walking into a restaurant and ordering food to dancing your ass off in a dance off. Just….awesome.
  • Fighting is visceral and pleasing. You feel so bad ass dishing out the smack down with anything at hand.
  • Day/Night cycle.


  • Still has that annoying save thing where it saves then saves system data. Basically meaning you see the save screen a few times.
  • Still has pop in issues in built up areas.
  • Some animations are a bit janky.
  • Combat with multiple enemies in a small space can be frustrating as enemies hit you off screen.
  • No online RC car racing!
  • Strict streaming rules like not being able to stream until certain story parts are finished.
  • Some optional side quests are boring and slow.
  • Annoying invisible walls.


The Numbers
  • 10/10
    Graphics - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Sound - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Accessability - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Length - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Fun Factor - 10/10


Yakuza 0 is a Yakuza fans wet dream, I mean it just has everything you could want and looks amazing! I have played and enjoyed every Yakuza game and even imported 0 back in the day, To be able to play it in English does nothing but cement my belief that SEGA absolutely smashed the series right up! I mean the bar has been raised and man that feels so good. I feel jealous of new players as if this is their first taste of Yakuza then man what a way to start, Its like starting sex with climax then going back to foreplay…It just keeps satisfying you. In all seriousness though the world SEGA have created is superb, You can eat and fight to your hearts content. Was going to mention Shenmue in here but that wouldn’t be fair. Yakuza doesn’t need nostalgic name drops, It creates, Holds and owns its own place in gaming. You owe it to yourself to play this game.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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