Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is jointly known for its action-filled story-rich Yazuka series. However, the developers shifted from their roots to deliver a new spinoff called Judgment in 2018, which was a huge success. As a follow-up, RGG produced a direct sequel called Lost Judgment in 2021 and ported it to PC in 2022.
While the Yazuka series focuses on crime syndicates and members, the Judgment series takes on the exact opposite. In Lost Judgment players take on the story as Takayuki Yagami, a Kamurocho-based Lawyer turned Detective who likes field work more.
When I first saw this concept, I was intrigued as I felt I was stepping into a new frontier. So without further ado, here is my experience with Lost Judgment.
Story: Diving into a darker narrative
Crime thrillers are one of my favorite genres when it comes to storytelling and Lost Judgment aces it. The game starts with a dead body that has been decayed to an inhuman level. At first glance, it was truly shocking for me as I wasn’t ready to see something dark in a video game.
Instead of making a mellow mystery, the game rather takes a serious path when it comes to storytelling. For a guy who loves dark stories, I was loving it. However, people who are sensitive to topics like assaults, and murders, might not find it so.
Other than the main storyline, Lost Judgment also provides cases surrounding high-school bullying and sensitive topics like suicide. All these things together make up the entire story into something much larger.
All of these small details add up to a grand story that Yagami and his assistant Masaharu Kaito go on to solve. The story also introduces the players to many types of characters that have their own persona which make them feel like a huge part.
Gameplay: Action or blend in? Your choice.
The gameplay of Lost Judgment has a close familiarity with RGG’s Yakuza games, however, it has more to it. Players have the option to explore heavily detailed Yokohama which is full of life. From functional shops to entertainment places, the game has it all and doesn’t feel like every other open-world game.
To traverse through the city, players do not have to rely on taxis or walking, but rather have the option to look cool while riding skateboards. Riding skateboards earn players points that they can spend to buy skills of their choice.
Other than the big world, the game also has a highly detailed school building called Seiryo High. This place has a separate storyline and players can explore it whenever they want. There are also many activities and mini-games here, which make it feel as good as the main world.
Lost Judgemnt has a game mechanic that allows Yagami to blend in with the crowd while tailing his targets. This allows the player to maintain a cover and not look suspicious. Additionally, players can take up disguises in situations to blend in different places.
The games require the players to get into fights at times and it also comes with a great combat system. Unlike Judgment, the sequel comes with three combat styles instead of two which makes the combat feel dynamic. All these styles can be used in different scenarios to make battles feel a bit easier.
Parkour is also a part of the game as investigations can push Yagami to enter places where he isn’t allowed or chase slippery targets. This addition is something I liked very much as titles like Mirror’s Edge and Assassin’s Creed are my favorites.
Graphics and performance: How does it feel?
In terms of visuals, Lost Judgment looks amazing even though most of the assets are taken from Yakuza games. However, that isn’t much of an issue as the city in the game is well-designed and complex in some ways.
Moreover, the game also manages to provide decent performance on the highest settings and that was impressive. The following are the specification of my test bench:
- CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
- GPU: Gigabyte RTX 2060S 8GB
- RAM: XPG D60G 16GB DDR4 @3200Mhz
- Motherboard: Aorus B450 Elite
The visuals of the game might not be at par with most tiple-A games, however, Lost Judgment has its own charm. The amount of detail put into the game is truly worth mentioning. Fights feel smooth and the overall roaming experience is also great with no jitter.
Now in comparison to the PlayStation version of the game, the PC version looks much better. Additionally, the port also has a lot of graphics adjustment features which the original game doesn’t also make the PC version slightly superior.
With a massive open world and grim story, Lost Judgment has managed to set itself as a unique detective game. Even though the action is pacifistic in nature, it still feels impacting and fun with great moves. The world is also well-detailed and walking through it doesn’t feel boring at any point.
While the main story is what players will come for, the high school investigation story is something every player should dive into. The side quest is equally as interesting as the main one and deserves praise.
Overall, Lost Judgment is a must-play for anyone who is into solving cases and detective games which deal with serious themes.
This review copy was provided by Sega.
With a massive open world and grim story, Lost Judgment has managed to set itself as a unique detective game. Even though the action is pacifistic in nature, it still feels impacting and fun with great moves. The world is also well-detailed and walking through it doesn't feel boring at any point.