Judgment impressed many when it released in 2019, and now we have its sequel, Lost Judgment. Familiar faces, familiar locations and a fresh new story from developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio promise an exciting sequel, but is it just more the same? Would that really be that bad? Find out in our Lost Judgment PS5 test.
Lost Judgment PS5 Review – Great looks, decent length
Lost Judgment looks great with the custom built Dragon Engine that can reproduce the cities of Kamurocho and Ijincho in exquisite detail. Dozens of citizens walk around the city in each area while vehicles line the streets and happily meet you if you take to the streets without looking. Although ray tracing doesn’t appear to be enabled, the lighting in Lost Judgment is still impressive. On the PS5, the graphical options include prioritizing resolution or quality, and even the quality mode maintains a high frame rate. The loading times are of course still short due to the SSD. The DualSense controller’s vibration is used to mimic the ringing of a cell phone when Yagami receives a call and it’s a very compelling mimicry. The adaptive triggers
Mainline the campaign takes 20-30 hours for most players, depending on how easily they are distracted. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio really loves to have tons of fun, and wacky mini-games and Lost Judgment are no exception. There’s the faithful SEGA Arcade which even includes a bizarre and surprisingly deep sonic fighting game, and elsewhere you’ll find batting cages, a golf driving range, a virtual reality board / action game, a SEGA master Eight full game system. Shop at Yagami’s home base, and once certain points are achieved in the campaign, you can take part in skateboarding and dancing activities. After a while, it can really feel like you are living in this virtual city.
Lost Judgment PS5 Review – How did he do it?
Without spoiling anything, the story of Lost Judgment is about Takayuki Yagami and his crew taking on the seemingly impossible task of proving how one man, Akihiro Ehara, appears to have been in two places at the same time. It’s a gripping story that covers some dark and serious topics including murder, suicide, serial murder, and the twisted reality that the Justice Department exists in. The recent ousting of the yakuza created a power vacuum, and as such, some interesting characters encounter Yagami on his travels. There’s also the typical weirdness of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. These side quests can provide much-needed ease after some of the heavier chapters, even if their tone doesn’t really fit the dark event that has just happened.
Lost Judgment may have the Yakuza series in its roots, but it’s also its own thing, and much like Judgment, you have to play the detective role every now and then. The first person detective mode returns, asking the player to examine key objects in one location before the story can progress. If the player gets stuck, holding the L2 button will give a cue, but that’s about it. Most scenes don’t take long to find all the clues. Some cutscenes also contain sections where Yagami has to decide what to say and what evidence to reveal to back up his point. Since the story is fairly linear, choosing the wrong line or piece of evidence usually results in a funny or unexpected reaction from the other characters, and since there doesn’t seem to be a bonus for choosing the right answer anymore, half the fun can be lie in deliberately showing the wrong piece of evidence. Without real consequences for saying the wrong thing, these passages lose their weight in the story.
Lost Judgment PS5 Review – Familiarity Creates Superiority
The fight will look familiar to those who played the original judgment or those who played a game of yakuza. It’s a beat-em-up where Yagami now has three different fighting styles as a new snake style has been developed for this entry. Snake is aimed at counter-attacking and is also useful for disarming any fool who dares approach Yagami with a weapon. There are dozens of skills that you can unlock for each style by using the SP earned in battle. Other skills and perks can also be unlocked in this way. Learning which fighting style will help in a given situation is rewarding, as is the ranking of each style.
Yagami gets access to a slightly faster method of travel early in the campaign – a skateboard! On every street that cars can travel on, and on certain wider streets that are usually intended for pedestrians, Yagami will force holding the spring button to pull out his skateboard and special dot symbols will appear all over the city. Yagami can even jump, grind, and perform tricks, although these actions are all performed by simply holding and releasing the circle button. Unfortunately, the city stays full of people while skateboarding, and if Yagami bumps into anyone else, he immediately rolls out of his skateboard mode and keeps sprinting. The city is still primarily designed for walking, but this skateboard comes in handy when you book it from one end to the other.
A subtle improvement on the original, Lost Judgment continues the fun of seeing the shady sides of Kamurocho and Ijincho while mostly sticking to the good side of the law. A new fighting style combined with a few more tricks up Yagami-san’s sleeve offers more fun ways to take out enemies or get the upper hand, and of course the usual mini-games provide a much-needed break from the twisted history of the main campaign. It may step on the same ground as the previous game, but that’s absolutely a good thing.
Rating code provided by the publisher for lost judgments. Version 1.001 tested on a PS5. Please see our Review Guidelines for more information.