[SPOILER WARNING: First few hours of the game, if you want to know NOTHING then don’t read, though why are you even reading a thread at that point]
So, I’ve played about 4-5 hours of this thing these last few days.
I went in completely blind, not knowing anything after the initial E3 (?) trailer. Here are some impressions.
First and foremost, I was pretty surprised to see that this game takes place in Kamurocho. I haven’t played Yakuza 6 yet but compared to Kiwami 2 the map is extremely similar. You can see buildings that are still there that were part of the story in Yakuza games but aren’t accessible here. A little bit disappointing that this isn’t somewhere new, even a different part of Tokyo.
The gameplay is straight up just Kiwami 2. AFAIK it’s the same engine. Battles work the same way (seamless transitions in and out.)Yagami’s fighting style is pretty different to Kiryu’s, and the different styles make a return from 0/Kiwami 1 (though there are only two here), but it’s really more of the same if you’ve played any of the Yakuza games. Being able to run up a wall and hit someone is pretty cool tho.
The investigation aspect is pretty neat. Having to look around an area for a person that fits a description is pretty fun (especially when they throw in a bunch of really similar-looking people), and examining a photo for clues is also pretty fun. Unfortunately, I’ve only done these one time each. It feels like they’ve come up with a lot of different mechanics but haven’t really used them all that much yet. I hope there are other cases later so I can do more of this. I assume I will.
Tailing a suspect is a hassle, just like it is in any open world game. Having to stay far enough away but not too far has never really been enjoyable to me. No difference here. Taking cover behind stuff in goofy ways helps a little bit, though.
Unlike the Yakuza games, I’m about 5 hours in and haven’t seen a single sidequest. Generally the way I play those games is B-line through the opening until I can do some side stuff, and then complete everything before progressing in the main story. The short vingettes and mini games are what draws me to the series more than the overarching narrative. I really hope I get to that point soon, because this has felt super linear so far. The story is fine but I want something else to break it up. There is a new mechanic of building relationships with people (generally just shop workers), but they’re barely even objectives at all.
Anyway, I know most of this shit will likely get addressed when I play some more, but just wanted to get some thoughts out there somewhere. It seems like another good Yakuza game, but not really the ‘full 3D Phoenix Wright’ that some people were imagining.