Yakuza 3 Review

The PlayStation-exclusive Yakuza series is probably well known to some of you, as gamers have praised the first two games for their innovative gameplay and deep storylines. Yakuza 3 quickly drew in even more fans to the series, and it made the PlayStation 3 an even more attractive choice for lovers of action/adventure games. And even though it has some quirks and a few things still need to be polished out, according to most players, it’s still widely acknowledged to be the best game in the series so far.

Gameplay

The game uses a different writer for its story than the first two, and it’s quite noticeable in some aspects – the story is darker as a whole, and instead of placing the character in the same town environment as before, it transports the story to a new location, the Ryukyu Islands. You’ll find a lot more character development in the game as a whole, and there’s more emphasis on their relationships than in the first two games of the series.

The gameplay is very diverse and it will take you a long, long time if you’re planning on seeing the entire game – there are several modes to choose from, and to give an example of the diversity we’re talking about, just one of those modes offers over a hundred missions – and we don’t mean short ones, either. There are some mini-games as well, which is common for Japanese titles – for example, collecting coin lockers, which can award you with trophies in the PlayStation Network. There are dozens of trophies for you to obtain, including a platinum one, so make sure you explore everything you can, even on your first playthrough!

Graphics and System Requirements

A major aspect of the game’s presentation comes in its graphics – we know that the PS3 packs quite the powerful hardware beneath that plastic cover, but sadly not many games have made impressive use of it so far. Yakuza 3 takes a step forward from mediocrity – actually, forget steps, it takes a huge leap. The developers of the game were so proud of their work in the visual department that they’ve actually released a specification sheet containing some details about what the game offers, which includes very high-resolution textures on both the world and character, and plenty of polygons for the models.

Another interesting aspect of the engine is its automatic lyp synchronization – developers didn’t actually have to model the characters’ facial movement for their dialogues, as that’s automatically generated by the engine based on their speech recordings – truly impressive.

It runs pretty smoothly, and we only noticed some minor slowdowns during more crowded battles, but then again, that can be said for many not-so-impressive looking titles on the platform.

Other

Should you ever get bored of this game – which we doubt, considering the amount of time it’ll take you to see everything – there are several DLC packs for your consideration, which will offer you even more content, mostly in the form of more game modes.

Conclusion

A really impressive title which absolutely destroys all competition in the action/adventure genre – Yakuza 3 is something you’ll keep playing for a long time.