Back in 2018, Ryu Ga Gotoku and SEGA released a spin-off of the Yakuza series, called Judgment. It was a pretty big departure from the mainline series as it focused primarily on detective work as you solved mysteries in Kamurocho. Despite its departure, it became a huge hit with fans, sparking the fandom to request a sequel.
Today, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and SEGA granted their wish. The sequel to Judgment was announced with a 5-minute trailer that shows everyone’s favorite private eye Takayuki Yagami in a much darker, more dangerous murder mystery thriller.
This is Lost Judgment.
Lost Judgment once again puts players in the sneakers of lawyer turned street-fighting detective Takayuki Yagami. Joined by his partner, ex-yakuza Masaharu Kaito, the crime-fighting duo is called on to investigate a seemingly perfect crime whose lead suspect has an airtight alibi. What starts out as a tale of revenge reveals a tangled web of conspiracy involving several unlikely factions taking advantage of a broken law system. But as victims pile up and Yagami unravels the truth, he must choose between defending the law or exacting justice.
While the first game dwelled in Kamurocho, Lost Judgment will also take the detective, crime-fighting duo to Yokohama, the primary location of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. However, this Yokohama will be expanded to include a highly-detailed high school. This high school will be home to a big part of the mystery that’s being investigated, along with several side quests called School Stories that feature laughs, tears, and a good amount of suspense.
In contrast to the most recent Yakuza game, which transitioned the traditional freeform combat to a turn-based RPG style, the combat in Lost Judgment will revert back to the freeform style. In an interview after the announcement, Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Kazuki Hosokawa considered infusing that same turn-based combat into Lost Judgment. However, they settled on the freeform combat to incorporate new and unique combat play like the new Snake style, a graceful style that can deflect and return an opponent’s strikes, using their energy against them.
Nagoshi and Hosokawa also revealed to IGN that future games in the Yakuza series will transition to the turn-based style that was successful in Like a Dragon. Meanwhile, spin-off games like Lost Judgment or any future games in the series will utilize freeform combat.
Lost Judgment launches worldwide on September 24, 2021 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. Pre-orders for the physical standard versions of the game are available in North America and Europe now, with digital offerings to be revealed soon.
To watch the full announcement event, see below.