Yakuza 0 is an action adventure game by Sega that is set in the late 80’s. It’s an open-world environment, played from a third-person view. This is Sega’s prequel to the original game and it follows the story of Kazuma Kiryu (but it can switch to Goro Majima at certain points of the game). The plot centers on a dispute about the “Empty Lot” as to who should rule the territory among the mafia organizations. It just so happens the man that Kiryu has collected money from ended up dead in that Empty Lot.

He is suspected of murder and to make matters worse, one of his bosses sets him up while he tries to investigate and clear his name with other members of the clans for getting himself involved with the Empty Lot situation. Sega has done a wonderful job of telling the story behind the power struggle among rival clans, being depicted through a fictional Tokyo and Osaka city.

The gameplay is incredibly smooth and the controls are easy to understand. The animation is very solid and the graphics are quite impressive! As you progress through the game, your character grows in skills, which add an immersive experience in dealing with thugs, hoodlums, and especially tough bosses.

When you defeat enemies, you gain money and the game gives you a lot of it! You use the money to buy new abilities off of a skill tree. While the heavy doses of your attacks are comprised of punches and kicks, you can mix them with car doors, bicycles, or sign posts for bone crunching combos and brutal takedowns!

Yakuza 0 lets you interact with bystanders, which will trigger side-quests, which comprised of over 100 stories to discover. But, if you want to take on another kind of challenge, Sega has included several mini games. These are full versions of Sega Arcades, which include Outrun, Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, and Fantasy Zone.

Yakuza 0 is the epitome of what a story-rich, open-world action adventure should be. However, long-time fans will be terribly disappointed that it is marred by one simple feature: The Autosave. Since the last update, Sega has removed this valuable function; As a result, players now could no longer save their progress anywhere.

It forces players to run around and find the nearest phone to make a save; it can take forever because they are spread apart. If you are familiar with the Yakuza series, the chapter is long. By removing the autosave feature, it can be a frustrating gameplay experience.

Yakazua 0 is a great action adventure game. It captures the drama within the story and delivers an engaging combat to support the outrage the main character is going through. There’s also plenty of interesting distractions like side-quests and mini games that will keep you excited! It has taken long for the series to finally hit the PC platform and Sega has done an amazing job in showing the glitz and glamour of being a Yakuza, living life on the edge.

It is too bad the game is hampered by a critical exclusion of the “save anywhere” feature. Some gaming communities suggest tinkering with the .ini file within the game’s sub-directories. In doing so, there is a small chance that your save will corrupt.

In the end, Sega might need to re-create a better saving method to provide players confidence that their progression data remains fully intact. The game would have received a higher score if not for its antiquated save function. Despite all that, Yakuza 0 is still one helluva best and richest crime drama to hit the digital generation.


Emmanuel Flores

Emmanuel joined the team in 2004. He helped design the website during the time when video games magazines were still in print format. Besides writing reviews, he oversees content development, design production and mobile framework.