Yakuza 0 Review Roundup

Here's what the critics are saying.

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The long-awaited western release of Yakuza 0 is just days away, and the first reviews have begun to arrive.

Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the long-running action series, making it an ideal place for newcomers to jump in. It was originally released in Japan, where the franchise has proven more popular, way back in early 2015. Only the PS4 version is coming to the West; its PS3 version remains Japan-only, and Sega has said it doesn't have plans for a PC version. More games are also on the way, with Yakuza 6 and a remake of the original Yakuza in development.

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Digital and physical copies of Yakuza 0 will be available when the game launches next week. Those who preorder the digital version also receive a static PS4 theme, while preordered and first-run copies of the physical edition come in the form of the special Business edition. This comes with a stainless steel business card holder and business cards for three characters.

We've excerpted a handful of Yakuza 0 reviews for you below. Head over to GameSpot sister site Metacritic for more.

  • Game: Yakuza 0
  • Developer: Sega
  • Platform: PS4
  • Release Date: January 24
  • Price: $60

GameSpot -- 8/10

"Were it not for the wealth of activities and side stories available around every corner, Zero would still be a riveting game for its story alone. It does a fantastic job of pulling you into the plight of its main characters and holds your attention through every step of their winding journeys. But, when you take in everything the game has to offer, Zero becomes something special. Yes, its presentation leaves a lot to be desired at times and the fights aren't always as engaging as they could be, but the rest of the game is incredibly diverse and engaging. The sheer amount of activities at your fingertips would feel overwhelming if they weren't so inviting--you're never pressured to do one thing or another." -- Peter Brown [Full review]

Polygon -- 8/10

"The problem with tough guy heroes isn't that they're done too often, it's that they're so rarely done well. In that regard, Yakuza 0 felt like a revelation--even in spite of some significant shortcomings. It keeps a consistent, strong pace, and it doesn't meander through side streets you'd rather avoid. But more importantly, it's just so damned cool. It's vicious and grand, but bears its heart and soul. It has fun without completely sacrificing its gravitas. And with Yakuza Kiwami (the remake of the first game) due out later this year, Yakuza 0 might be the perfect jumping-on point for those who have been put off by the density and complexity of the series up until now." -- Janine Hawkins [Full review]

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The Jimquisition -- 9.5/10

"My first impressions were not completely positive. A graphically basic game, full of restricted pathways and a slow-moving story, I honestly wondered what the big deal was about the beloved Yakuza games. Once things started opening up, however, the game revealed its allure to me. With every ridiculously overblown fight sequence, every bizarre side quest, I fell in love with Yakuza 0 more and more. Now I'm angry nobody told me to jump on this train sooner." -- Jim Sterling [Full review]

Push Square -- 8/10

"At this point, the property's trademark formula is seriously starting to wear thin, but when it comes down to it, there's nothing quite like Yakuza 0. It combines unapologetically mature themes and violence with brilliantly dumb minigames and hysterical side quests, resulting in a thoroughly memorable experience. Bolstered by a gripping story that's packed with great characters, fans of Japanese games or even Japanese culture owe it to themselves to give this a prequel a shot. Yakuza 0 is fantastic place to start a love affair with Kamurocho's finest, and what's more, it's one of the best entries in the series to date." -- Robert Ramsey [Full review]

IGN -- 8.5/10

"Yakuza 0 is another sprawling entry in the open-world series, packed with an extraordinary amount of things to do and centered around a genuinely compelling crime story. Since it's a prequel, it's also unburdened by the series' increasingly intricate backstory and thus far more approachable for newcomers than the last few Yakuza games. While its melee combat may lag slightly behind modern genre standards, Yakuza 0 still hits far more than it misses and is a big, bold, and bruising tour through the Japanese underworld." -- Tristan Ogilvie [Full review]

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