Judgment is the brand new IP from the developers behind the Yakuza franchise. Although it's technically counted as a brand new series, the game does re-use some aspects of the Yakuza games, like the city map of Kamurocho. In this guide to the game, we'll be compiling all the details you need to know about Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios' new game, including the Judgment release date in the west, all the Judgment gameplay we've seen so far, and more.
Judgment Release Date
The Judgment release date is June 25, exclusively for the PS4. This is the western release date for both North America and Europe, although the game released earlier in Japan back in December 2018. This isn't anything out of the ordinary for games coming west out of Japan, with the likes of Persona 5, and past Yakuza games arriving in western markets months after launching in Japan.
Judgment English Dub
With Yakuza 0, Kiwami, Kiwami 2, and 6, there wasn't an option for an English dub, like there was in past Yakuza games. With Judgment, however, Ryu Ga Gotoku is opting back in for dual audio options. You'll be able to play Judgment from start to finish with either Japanese audio or English audio, with fully voice acted cutscenes.
With Judgment, the gameplay doesn't fall far from the Yakuza tree. Combat in Judgment plays very similarly to the later Yakuza games, being built on the same Dragon Engine that was used for Yakuza Kiwami 2 and Yakuza 6. There'll be mashing buttons, dodging, and some whacky power moves to finish off foes.
Judgment also features quick time events, perhaps a little more so then the Yakuza games. Since it's a detective-based action game, there's going to be instances like in the trailer above where you need to chase down suspects, dodging out of the way of projectiles thrown at you with a quick button tap.
You're going to spend a lot of Judgment looking around for clues. You can see a brief instance in the trailer of searching someone's apartment, and there's also going to be more instances of dialogue choice options than in the Yakuza games, which only featured them on a few occasions.
Earlier in 2019, there was a scandal in Japan involving Japanese actor Pierre Taki. The actor was arrested following a positive test for cocaine. In Japan, drug laws are incredibly strict, and the sale of Judgment in Japan was immediately halted. Taki was subsequently removed from the game, which led to his recasting.
Now, the antagonistic character of Kyohei Hamura will be played by another actor. Although Sega has released a look at the redesigned Hamura in Judgment, they haven't actually revealed who will be playing the character, now that Taki is gone.
Hamura often finds himself on Kamurocho PD's radar, but his influence usually keeps him from spending time behind bars.- RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) April 16, 2019
Look forward to learning more about Hamura and the Matsugane Family when Judgment launches on June 25.https://t.co/wAlKs3Jrm8 pic.twitter.com/JolZnzVLDC
But elsewhere, the protagonist of Judgment is Takayuki Yagami. An ex-lawyer turned private detective, Yagami became known as a bit of a fraud after a betrayal by one of his own clients. Now he's back to prove his innocence and repair his reputation.
A new protagonist walks the streets of Kamurocho.- RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) April 23, 2019
Takayuki Yagami is the skateboard kick-flipping, drone-operating, leather-donning private investigator the district needs during its darkest days.
Learn more about Yagami and his English voice actor, Greg Chun, later this week. pic.twitter.com/Jw5PevDqs9
Helping Yagami along the way is Ryuzo Genda. The former mentor of Yagami while he was working as a lawyer, Genda still mentors and looks out for our protagonist even now. Taking the role of Yagami's partner is Masaharu Kaito, a former member of a crime family, now working to solve legal cases in Judgment.
A true friend will always have your back with a flying kick... well at least that's what Kaito seems to go by.- RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) May 14, 2019
This ex-yakuza member rocks his unique taste in fashion while being a reliable colleague and friend to Yagami.https://t.co/wAlKs3Jrm8 pic.twitter.com/qqxUSL9vsK