What is it?
Yakuza 6 is the seventh main entry in the Yakuza series. Once again, Kazuma Kiryu (the lead protagonist of every entry) returns and remains the only playable character in this open world action-adventure title. Get ready to dive into a wacky underworld of wacky characters, ridiculous missions and over-the-top arcade style gameplay.
Is it any good?
The only other Yakuza game I’ve played is Yakuza 0 (which was my introduction to the series) and after having a great first-time experience with it, I’m happy to report that Yakuza 6 ranks even higher in my books – least of all because it includes an automatic save system!
After getting a better idea of what to expect from Yakuza, I found myself surprisingly pumped for this latest iteration. Firstly, it looks great and despite the game featuring subtitles rather than being fully dubbed (something I wasn’t too fond of in Yakuza 0), I’ve grown to prefer the impressive Japanese voice acting and accompanying subtitles.
I’ve also began to appreciate its more ‘confined’ open world and unlike other titles, that tend to present vast spaces to explore filled with needless collectibles or dull ‘filler’ side-quests, Yakuza’s more concentrated spaces cater toward higher quality gameplay. There’s a ton of variation on-hand and its countless hours of gameplay aren’t stuffed with a boring selection of collectible trinkets. Amazingly, there are only two open areas to explore: Kamurocho and Hiroshima.
Outside of the main storyline there are a variety additional quests to partake in and, in typical Yakuza fashion, every single one offers a ridiculous premise. One quest involved me trying out a new chat service for lonely men, whilst another saw me trying to shutdown a rogue Siri-like phone assistant that threatened humanity. It’s had me in fits of laughter for the majority of the time and the equally silly combat partners up perfectly. There’s even the added Clan Creator that tasks you with managing your own gang via an real-time strategy combat system.
Overall, Yakuza 6 has increased my interest towards trying out older entries in the series and I look forward to more titles having a western port in the future (at the time of writing Yakuza Kiwami 2 has been announced – which is a remake of Yakuza 2 – so I’ll definitely be looking out for that).
Anything bad to report?
Not really, aside from one particular side-quest that can’t (currently) be completed if your controller doesn’t have motion control (it involves calming down a baby by swinging your joypad around). Here’s hoping it will be patched. Its reliance on subtitles, over fully-dubbed audio, might also turn a lot of people off.
Should you buy it?
Whether you’re a series veteran or a newcomer to the Yakuza series, The Song of Life is a brilliant entry – there is even a recap of each Yakuza title stored on the main menu. If you’ve been hesitant about trying this series out, I’d strongly suggest picking this up.