Looking for a comprehensive Yakuza: Dead Souls Review? We’ve got you covered! Kamurocho, 5 years since the Omi Alliance’s assault on the city a new threat has risen… from beyond the grave? Here is our Yakuza: Dead Souls Review.
Delve into the World of Yakuza like never before, still filled to capacity with Side Stories, Minigames, and Exploration, but this time the dead walk Kamurocho. Take command of four unlikely heroes from the world of Yakuza, Shun Akiyama, Goro Majima, Ryuji Goda, and of course Kazuma Kiryu.
Developed by Sega CS1 R&D and published by Sega, this adventure in the Yakuza universe is a somewhat memorable one, to say the least. Released in 2012 for the PS3 this is one of the only games from that era not to have seen a return to the PS4, however, none-canon it seems to events, it could flow pretty nicely as additional background to Majima, Akiyama and even the residents of Kamurocho between Yakuza 4 and 5.
Starting the game you are introduced to the dragon’s wrath when he is told that Haruka, kiryu’s adopted daughter, has been taken hostage. Unfortunately, these events are some days later and the game takes you back to the beginning and when the events started which puts you in control of Akayama. Over the next 4 chapters, you will play out Akiyama’s story of surviving in the newly Quarantined Kamurocho. The next act puts you in control of the “Mad Dog of Shimano” Goro Majima. Anyone who has played one of the mainstream titles in the Yakuza franchise will know this guy for one reason or another, but as someone who has seen his other encounters, Dead Souls has got to have some of his best encounters in the series.
To start his storyline, he is watching a zombie film and despite what you might think, even Majima needs to take another look to make sure the zombies are real. While this might be fantastic, his getting bitten by far surpasses this opening to the craziest character in the Yakuza franchise. Ending Part 2 with Majima working together with Akayama to take on a mutation, the duo is cornered in Yoshida Batting Centre, before being saved by an unlikely ally. The third character is introduced as saving Majima and Akayama, once known as the Dragon of Kansai, Ryuji Goda.
While Ryuji is the antagonist from Yakuza 2/ Kiwami 2 he does a fantastic job playing the hero during Dead Souls. Unlike Akayama and Majima, Ryuji has a specific weapon which is a minigun built into a prosthetic arm. Part 3 of the story also sees the story open up and light is shone more on the overall goal being about revenge, not just on the Tojo but specifically on Kazuma Kiryu for what he did the the Go-Ryu Clan. Concluding the story is the legend himself Kazuma Kiryu, who initially still refuses to use a gun even in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Eventually, he comes around to using a gun and takes on the endgame saving the day.
Mechanically the game is so far derived from the franchise its a part of, it feels like you are playing something Kojima whipped up. If we had to compare it to another game it would be more like Resident Evil, even down to the water-thin story of a Biological threat. That is not to say Resident Evil has a bad story but several games have tried to copy it in the past, some for good others not so much. Unfortunately, Dead Souls is one of those that fails to mix the action narrative adventure that Yakuza is known for with an apocalyptic situation.
Unlike its main series counterparts, Dead Souls revolves around the use of firearms. While there are a good number of them to pick from in the game the author prefers and recommends the use of pistols. This is because every other weapon needs ammo, which takes up inventory space which can be used for other things.
Other mechanics like hand-to-hand have been dulled down to the point where you kick enemies or pick up a weapon to melee enemies, honestly, it’s far easier to just shoot them.
To end, this outing for the famed Dragon Of Dojima is an interesting and different concept to something like Ishin. Playing in the modern day and as Kiryu, you never expect him to use guns, however, even he is forced to use them in order to defend himself.
In regards to the story, there is something interesting about the biological threat, which is something that you would find in Resident Evil. How the game plays even feels close to Resident Evil 5, where you really need to pause your traversal in order to take aim and target hostiles. Sega CS1 R&D did thankfully keep the lock-on method that is known throughout the franchise, meaning there is a call back to how the game can tie into the Canon story, although a thin one it is something.
Overall the story is weak for a Yakuza game. Coming from a franchise which has importance on storytelling and epic combat sequences the game feels lacking in both the battle and story.
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