When SEGA and Ryu ga Gotoku Studio announced the upcoming sequel to Judgment during the “Judgment Day” livestream event on May 7, 2021, fans were more than excited. Lost Judgment is the sequel to Judgment, a spinoff of the beloved Yakuza series. The original Judgment game was released in 2018. Due to its success, SEGA and Ryu ga Gotoku decided to follow up with a sequel, set to release on September 24.
Although the future of the Judgment franchise is uncertain, fans remain excited for its second game. The original title was a return to form for fans of the Yakuza series. Some fans were disheartened by the decision to change the game from standard action adventure to a JRPG with turn-based combat. The spinoff series Judgment, on the other hand, has been promised to stay true to Yakuza’s action roots. With the release of Lost Judgment nearing, the team at Mega Visions is excited to bring you all the details we know about the game so far.
Be sure to check back often as we continue to keep you updated on all the latest news about Lost Judgment.
The Initial Judgment
The Judgment series, developed by Ryu ga Gotoku Studio, began in 2018 as a spinoff to the Yakuza series. The title was successful and received a remaster for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this year. It’s also worth noting that Judgment received the coveted “Excellent” score in its review on Mega Visions.
Judgment saw players take on the role of Takayuki Yagami, a former defense attorney turned private detective after one of his clients murders his girlfriend one day after being found innocent. Along with his partner Masaharu Kaito, Yagami investigates a murder that leaves him caught in the middle of a war between the Yakuza and members of Japanese high society.
Although the Yakuza franchise is known for its over-the-top and humorous tones, Judgment offered players a more serious feeling, while still balancing some lighthearted moments throughout. The game also keeps players engaged in the story with its multiple twists and emotional story beats.
In terms of gameplay, Judgment managed to both retain elements from the Yakuza games and also add new mechanics to differentiate the spinoff. The combat, although more focused and slower in pace, used the same mechanics as in Yakuza. The mechanic of choosing different fighting styles was there, with strategy behind when to play with Crane Style and when to choose Tiger. Each was optimal for different combat scenarios, and kept the fighting fun throughout the game.
Because this spinoff title was a detective story, new gameplay mechanics were introduced. A stealth element was implemented for segments of the game in which the player needed to tail a suspect. In addition, two variations of crime scene investigations were added. One involved analyzing the crime scene from a first-person perspective and another involved the use of a drone.
When it was announced during the May 7 “Judgment Day” livestream event that a direct sequel was not only in the works, but set to release this year, fans became eager to dive into the latest detective story.
A new mystery to solve
The official announcement trailer unveiled the story for Ryu ga Gotoku Studio’s newest legal thriller. This time around, Takayuki Yagami will be investigating the murder of Hiro Mikoshiba, a bully who drove police officer Akihiro Ehara’s son to suicide. The problem is that Ehara, the prime suspect in the case, was just found guilty for a sexual harassment charge that occurred the same time as the corpse’s death. To solve the murder, Yagami will need to go undercover at a high school in Yokohama and take on the role of a club advisor for the Mystery Research Club.
A pattern discovered of abuse and bullying at the school leads Yagami down a rabbit hole of conspiracy with ties to some of the darkest parts of the Japanese underworld. As Yagami continues his investigation, he discovers the case to be riddled with gray-area between right and wrong. The official synopsis states that Yagami will be forced to make a difficult decision between defending the law and enacting justice.
The story promises to be an emotional rollercoaster for players. The announce trailer even suggests that someone very close to Yagami will die at some point through the game. Though the game appears to center around a dark and emotional story that leads the protagonist to question long-held values of the legal system and justice, Lost Judgment will also contain fun and lighthearted side quests and minigames to balance the tone. Some of these include boxing, dancing and playing with remote-controlled cars.
State of Play
The official trailer titled, “State of Play” provides some insight on some of the various gameplay mechanics Lost Judgment will employ. Both the Crane and Tiger fighting styles will return, along with the introduction of a new Snake style. The new style is more defensive and is especially useful for disarming enemies.
The “State of Play” trailer also showcases the return of the first-person investigation mechanics. The new game is set to further expand on the stealth and investigation segments of the game. The video titled “The Detective’s Toolkit” published by SEGA on YouTube elaborates on the gameplay. Introduced in the video are a variety tools that can be used during investigations. These include a noise amplifier to listen in on conversations and a signal detector that can be used to track down signals to their source.
A new mechanic introduced that has fans excited is a parkour element. The trailer shows off Yagami utilizing new traversal mechanics that implement parkour such as wall-running and climbing up pipes to scale a building. These mechanics will be used for traversal during investigations and chase sequences alike.
Another notable feature of this trailer is that of a furry new ally. a Shiba Inu known as the Detective Dog will assist Yagami in both combat and investigation. “The Detective’s Toolkit” also shines a light on some of the other lighthearted elements of the game. Some of the activities Yagami can participate in include racing, skateboarding, boxing and dancing. SEGA fans will be thrilled to hear the game even features a Sonic the Hedgehog minigame.
The final Judgment?
While fans are certainly excited about the new game, many are also worried this may be the last. This concern is due to a legal dispute between SEGA and talent agency Johnny’s. The disagreement centers around the potential PC release of Lost Judgment. Johnny’s, who represents lead actor Takuya Kimura, argues a PC release of the game would impact the talent management of their client’s likeness. On the other hand, SEGA insists that releasing Lost Judgment on PC is pivotal for the game’s success. If a deal cannot be reached between the two parties, it’s likely that Lost Judgment may become Last Judgment.
The uncertainty of the game’s future, however, does not detract from the anticipation of the new game. Lost Judgment is set to release on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One globally on September 24.
Pre-order Lost Judgment
A GameStop exclusive version of the game is also available to pre-order and comes with a collectible steelbook case along with the base game.