Yakuza: Dead Souls Review

Zombies have become ultra popular in media lately. This zombie phenomenon is not only the obsession of the good citizens of Eagleland but also people in the land of the rising sun.

Zombies have become ultra popular in media lately. This zombie phenomenon is not only the obsession of the good citizens of Eagleland but also people in the land of the rising sun. One of Japan’s most famous crime game series, Yakuza, more then a year ago released a game in which the semi fictional city section of Kamurocho (Or Kabukicho in real life) has been invaded by the undead. Yakuza Dead Souls for Ps3 (Known as Yakuza: The End originally) is a third person zombie killing shooter which gameplay is vastly different from the 3rd person brawling adventures of the previous Yakuza titles but still contains the same quirkiness that Yakuza fans will love.

The game like the previous title, Yakuza 4, has decided to go the multi-character route. Throughout the game you play as Shun Akiyama a moneylender who gives out loans with no interest, crazy Yakuza series regular Goro Majima who is seems overly excited that the apocolypse is happening, Ryuji Goda a man with a mini gun for an arm, and finally series favorite and main protagonist Kiryu Kazuma. Unlike Yakuza 4 all of these characters control pretty much the same and the games level up or RPG XP system upgrades are shared between all four characters meaning a lot less grinding. Controls are a bit hard to get a grasp on at first but once you get used to the controls in about 20-30 minutes and unlock a few upgrades you will be blasting you way through hordes of zombies in no time. This game really isn’t a survival horror game but rather a Run and Gun game with RPG elements.

The games story involves a zombie invasion of Kamurocho as I said before but in true Yakuza fashion there are of course conspiracies and dark motives behind how this zombie outbreak took place. Yakuza as always does not take the story completely seriously you will be encountering a lot of humor in this otherwise depressing zombie filled world. As you play through the games story more and more of the city will become filled with zombies and quarantined off. As the city gets cut off you will have a chance to actually win back shops from zombie territory in order to be able to use them again. Additionally the game features an ally system in which people you meet in the game can become your battle buddy and you can train them up and give them new skills(they level up) in order to help you out. Some allies can really be quite helpful. The zombies in the game come in a variety of different types. There are regular zombies which each sport different outfits as well as special zombies. Some of them are directly “borrowed” from lets for dead while others are a bit more original.

On top of the main story (which is rather short if you JUST do the main story) there are hours of submissions just like in the other games. These are filled with daring rescues, morally uplifting people of the city, and also silly hijinks. Also just like other yakuza titles there are Host Clubs, Board games, arcades, crane machines, Karaoke Singing and many more fun mini games to pass the time with. I really enjoyed the ability to wander the city and fight enemies. IN previous Yakuza games they had some missions in which the city would basically be going nuts and you could wander the streets fighting enemies with no loading screens and they were always a very enjoyable part of the games. Finally the game features mini objectives/missions you can complete for a female doctor studying the zombies. Your objectives are pretty much kill as many zombies as you can z in as many different ways as possible. These are pretty fun and provide points to spend on items to upgrade you weapons and armor.

Graphics in this game are on par with Yakuza 4 which is pretty decent. However this game seems a bit more gray then it’s predecessor probably to make it feel a lot more depressing since this is the zombie apocalypse. The city still is almost a 1:1 copy of Kabukicho in Japan. Sound is great as always. Voice actors are all-stars and do top notch work. Additionally the music is adequate for it’s purpose but overall not super memorable. If you are a fan of the Yakuza series you will probably play this game. It’s fun and quirky and presents you with a chance to spend time with characters you know and love. If you aren’t a fan of the series or haven’t played the series but enjoy run and gun games or zombie games you may enjoy this. If you are expecting Resident Evil or a Brawling Yakuza game do not purchase this game.

  • Voice acting and characters.
  • Tons of content
  • Fun open world gameplay

  • Slightly annoying controls

 Score: 4/5


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About Larry Bernard

Larry Bernard is a former writer for Empty LifeBar who is a fan of Japanese RPGS and strange action games like God Hand.