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What The Critics Are Saying About Lost Judgement

The "Yakuza" series has been on a roll lately. The "Yakuza Remastered Collection" and the latest sequel, "Yakuza: Like a Dragon," were both released in 2020, and spin-off game "Lost Judgement" is set to release on Sept. 24, 2021. So what do the reviews have to say about the latest return to the "Yakuza" universe?


Critics have been rather split on "Lost Judgement," but it still got an overall positive rating. Jordan Oloman from NME loved the game, saying that it "improved on the original" installment, 2019's "Judgement" However, that high praise directly contrasts with Digital Trend's Giovanni Colantonio's argument that the game feels like "a TV show that's gone on a few seasons too long."

There was one area that critics couldn't seem to agree on, and that was the actual story of the game and how it progresses. Specifically, many critics had an issue with the way that certain difficult topics in the game were handled.

Lost Judgement's plot can feel problematic

Without going into too much detail, the plot of "Lost Judgement" received a lot of criticism from critics. While the plot itself isn't necessarily bad, many had an issue with how the game handles sensitive topics like sexual assault and bullying. Of course, this is not the first time the "Yakuza" series has dealt with over-the-top, creepy things, but critics noted that these subjects are not handled very delicately in "Lost Judgement."


Kazuma Hashimoto from Polygon discussed the lack of sensitivity to these topics in the game. In particular, Hashimoto felt like the sexual assault depicted in the game way too graphic. It wasn't helpful that segments of the scene are replayed at various points throughout the rest of the game. Digital Trends called this aspect of the game "uncomfortable" and "grotesque."

This may not be a surprise for some. After all, the game's developers had mentioned previously that "the story came around after a lot of heated debate," but they expected that to turn into the best story in the series. Some critics felt that these risks paid off. For instance Gene Parks from The Washington Post said it was "possibly [the] best story" from the studio behind the games.


Beyond the problematic and occasionally insensitive story, critics generally found that the game was enjoyable.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Lost Judgement's action is better than ever

Andrew McMahon from Twinfinite argued that "Lost Judgement" made the solid mechanics from "Judgement" even better, but the new game overall feels much cleaner to play. Jordan Oloman pointed out that combat feels particularly amazing and that it's "easy to have fun with but tricky to master and rewards players who learn the combos and choose the right skills."


Digital Trends's Giovanni Colantonio felt the same way, writing that the game feels like a "polished" version of prior "Yakuza" games. According to Gene Parks, the level of detail included in the combat animations alone is spectacular. "Lost Judgement" also reigns in some of the more tedious aspects of the original, like stealth missions. Paired with the fresh combat, many critics were pleased by how much better the gameplay was in this sequel.

While "Lost Judgement" does have its flaws, the general consensus is that it's not a bad game. "Yakuza" players, especially ones who played the original "Judgement," should find a lot to enjoy here.