The Yakuza franchise has recently seen a lot of releases in the West. In just four years, Yakuza 0, Yakuza 6, and Yakuza Kiwami 1 have all hit store shelves. Despite risking franchise fatigue, SEGA has released another downloadable Yakuza game for the PlayStation 4, Yakuza Kiwami 2.
This is a remake of the original Yakuza 2, which originally debuted on the PlayStation 2. The remake offers a wide-open world full of Japanese organized crime, violent and satisfying melee combat, and some wild narrative content as well. Even though it’s the fourth Yakuza title to be released in this generation, Yakuza Kiwami 2 manages to not only impress, but stand out from the rest of the games in the franchise.
How to Download Yakuza Kiwami 2
To start downloading Yakuza Kiwami 2 click on the Download button at the end of the review. You can download the game from the PlayStation Store. There is also Steelbook Edition of the game which you can purchase online. If you like stories about gangs, check out also the GTA series, for example, GTA V.
The Game Review
The story follows Kazuma Kiryu, an ex-yakuza officer who has turned to civilian life. Following the events of Yakuza Kiwami 1, Kiryu has put his life of crime behind him and now focuses on caring for a young girl named Haruka. Unfortunately, Kiryu is quickly pulled back into his old ways when a deadly war breaks out on the streets of Tokyo. The lengthy main story sees Kiryu attempting to manage political struggles within his old yakuza family, as connections to more powerful members start to waver. With tensions rising between gangs and internal turmoil tearing apart his family, Kiryu steps back into action.
The main story in Yakuza Kiwami 2 is lengthy and quite serious. It is told through various dialogue and long-winded cutscenes; sometimes to the game’s disadvantage. If there’s anything truly notable about Yakuza’s storytelling in general, it’s how unnecessarily long the cutscenes can be.
Despite that fact, the narrative is interesting and compelling, with only a few missteps along the way. The side content in the game’s open world often tells wackier and sillier stories, which is a refreshing change of pace. In fact, some of the best storytelling in the entire game is found in the various “sub-stories” that fill out the map.
Yakuza Kiwami 2: the Gameplay
When you’re not taking on missions or trying to save the entirety of Tokyo from destruction, you can explore the streets of two fictionalized Japanese cities: Kamurocho and Sotenbori. Both cities offer an excessive amount of side activities to enjoy. There are dozens of minigames and over 70 different side quests to complete, offering a ton of replayability. The variety of these activities is quite expansive, ranging from batting cages and golf ranges to arcades and karaoke bars.
For the most part though, the game revolves around its classic beat ’em up style gameplay. Although Kiryu can equip and use various weapons, he usually resorts to fighting with his fists. You’ll battle countless yakuza thugs and unsavory citizens during your hours with the game, and it all feels great. The combat is a mixture of classic arcade fighting with some RPG mechanics to boot. As you fight and complete missions, you gain experience that can be spent on unlocking new moves and abilities. The fighting systems feel great to play and are endlessly entertaining, even dozens of hours into the experience.
The Bottom Line
Generally speaking, Yakuza Kiwami 2 gives players a medium-sized open world to explore that is jam-packed with fun activities and entertaining missions. Although the main combat is a bit basic, it never becomes dull or repetitive due to the smart RPG progression. Furthermore, the plethora of content offer is backed by an interesting and quality-written story. This, coupled with the fantastic side quests, make Yakuza Kiwami 2 just as fun to watch as it is to play. If you’ve ever wanted a more robust beat ’em up that isn’t afraid to get wacky and significantly violent, you should definitely check out this title.