2 January 2020 | kluseba
It succeeds to be everything the GTA franchise failed to be
Judgment is the most immersive, detailed and creative action-adventure video game I have ever come across. It manages to be everything games such as Grand Theft Auto V attempted but ultimately failed to be. It features a fascinating limited open world environment in a fictional suburb of Tokyo where the protagonist can eat and drink in numerous restaurants, befriend cooks, hostesses and journalists, play baseball, darts and poker or participate in drone races to only mention a few elements.
The main plot revolves around a grisly series of murders when three thugs are found brutally assassinated and with their eyes taken out. Former attorney turned private detective Yagami Takayuki starts investigating with former colleague Shintani Masamichi to bail out Yakuza captain Hamura Kyohei. They are able to prove the captain's innocence but are trying to find the real murderer. The duo uncovers a web of lies and an abominable conspiracy involving scientists, politicians and the police. The closer they get to know the truth, the more resistance they face and have to deal with terrible consequences.
The game convinces on numerous levels. The protagonist is creative, empathic, tough and truly intriguing. The side characters such as the selfish captain, the disillusioned head of a Yakuza family and a crooked cop with a surprisingly intact moral compass are also very fascinating. The main plot is detailed, mysterious and surprising through thirteen intense chapters. The side stories are short and entertaining and involve unfaithful lovers, missing cats and criminals on the run. The game isn't always sinister and serious but also includes romantic and humorous elements. The protagonist can even date four different characters and make them his girlfriends including an optimistic but naive pop idol, a shy student tormented by perverts, a prosperous office worker with a difficult past and a worried clairvoyant who works for the Yakuza. The settings vary from abandoned love hotels over sophistiacted laboratories to hidden sewer tunnels. The powerful soundtrack always underlines the video game's atmosphere perfectly. The visual effects are stunning and make you feel as if you were in a movie. The controls are accurate and never too challenging to handle. The game has an elevated long-term fun factor as it takes about fifty hours just to get through the main plot but offers another thirty to fifty hours to complete all possible side quests. This game truly offers value for money without ever getting redundant.
There are obviously a few elements that could still be improved. The numerous fight sequences end up being slightly exhausting because they are slightly repetitive and simplistic. The investigative techniques could be more challenging, detailed and diversified. However, these are only minor complaints as Judgment is certainly the best game of its genre and in general one of the greatest video games ever created. If veteran company Sega ever released a sequel, I would buy it on the very first day of release at full price without any hesitation. This game is recommended to anyone who likes video games, regardless of age and experience.
Forget about Grand Theft Auto V and give Judgment a fair try. Once you have been immersed into its fascinating universe, you won't be able to escape it for weeks and months to come. This game offers diversified entertainment of the greatest kind.