#85, September 30th 2020
Available on: PlayStation 4 & PlayStation 3
Yakuza 5 takes the familiar gameplay we come to expect from the series while delivering the most ambitious title in the series. Besides the standard combat, each character has specific side stories built around them typically in the form of a large mini game. Kiryu’s for example is taxi driver missions that will stressfully force you to follow the rules of the road in town, then once on the highway break loose into high speed races against a local gang. Upgrading characters has been overly simplified with only a few options to enhance each character. It is a nice change compared to earlier entries in the series that revolved around multiple confusing wheels, but it does come at the cost of building a character to your taste. All the normal mini games are back, Sega arcade, karaoke, batting cages and more, providing hours of entertainment.
The Yakuza series has always been known to have fantastic voice acting and 5 is no different. Returning characters feel right at home while newcomers offer valuable distinct voices. This is further shown during karaoke as each character’s take on the same song is vastly different in quality. The AI around town still consists of only a few characters but this has never been a large negative for me. The overall soundtrack of this game carries on the same vibes from previous entries with a few larger editions in the pop category.
The game is broken up into 5 acts across five characters and five cities. Each act is fairly deep in story and unique gameplay which is a positive and a negative in Yakuza 5. At times you don’t want it to end while others it drags. On multiple occasions I had forgotten what the overall story was about and who was really the “bad guy” while finishing all the side stories and missions unique to that character. SImilar to Yakuza 4, each character has their own personal struggle they are fighting against and in the end they all band together for a common goal. For fans of the series, act 3 will provide smiles all around in charm as it brings a key character of the series into center stage.
One thing that always impresses me about the Yakuza series is whoever they want to shine as a main character, they build an equally impressive side character to support them. With the amount of people in the Yakuza series, there is no quality shortage in this department.
With regular missions and a majority of the side stories I finished the game in 60 ½ hours. Like other Yakuza games you are getting your money’s worth in quality content. Even with a broken up story each act served 20+ hours of phenomenal individual stories and this game is an easy recommendation to any gamer. If you are new to the series I highly suggest playing them in order and starting with Yakuza 0 as the characters will have more meaning.
Time To Completion 60.5 Hours,