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Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review

"A Great Remake"

Campaign

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a really great remake bringing one epic experience as two dragons face off. Things start off with Kazuma Kiryu visiting a graveyard one year after the events of the first game. He has left the rough life behind at this point to be surprisingly greeted by the Tojo clan's Fifth Chairman. At this point the Chairman is assassinated by rivals from the Omi Alliance. This forces Kazuma Kiryu back into the fold as he needs to find a new Chairman and try to form some sort of peaceful truce to stop an all out war. This seems like a lot of narrative, but it really just scratches the surface of the overall story and gives context into the current situation at the start of the game.

There's an option for a refresh if you didn't play the first game (or forgot), but I do heavily suggest checking out the first Yakuza Kiwami prior to starting this. This is one lengthy story that's greatly expanded upon with extra content. If you're not working through the main narrative you can explore side quests, manage a club or do other wacky activities present within the game. There's even an extra campaign scenario titled "The Truth of Goro Majima" that expands upon the series which was a nice touch. The campaign in general is excellent and I loved the dynamic of there being a clear enemy that you faced off against with all events winding around the actions of two powerful dragons.

Gameplay

This remake was based on the "Dragon Engine" which is the same one used for Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. It's really best displayed here with an expansive and detailed world that performed perfectly well. The environments are dense with content whether that's in stores or just the heavily crowded streets.

The combat looked awesome and played even better offering easy mechanics to understand, with complex options for more advanced players. There are many RPG elements thrown in the game as well with various skills to unlock, items to use and mini games to master. The visuals were beautiful from the regular streets you walked down, to the gorgeous cinematic moments. It is heavily focused on telling a story so expect to watch a pile of cutscenes, but they're great so that was fine.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a great remake offering an expansive narrative mixed with fierce combat and exciting extra activities to take part in. This is my favorite entry thus far as I've been able to experience Kiwami and then the Song of Life previously, this really is a great time to get into the series. The balance of story and regular combat is great here presenting an excellent tale while granting some badass moments. The world is full of depth, runs quite well and I was very impressed with every street I visited. They feel alive and it's nice to see this effort of adding detail while also giving players something to do within these worlds.

I once again felt slightly overwhelmed by the large cast of characters, but that does provide multiple branches of a story to follow which leads towards more content. I did have a bit of an issue near the start where it's relaxing and then you're thrown into an epic battle, but that helped develop the story of two dragons clashing. It also evened out for a much better time after that point, I just get somewhat of a shock having long calm cutscenes to then be thrown into a big battle. This is a great entry point for those that have been interested in the series, you could easily start here or give Kiwami a go. It's well worth it as these are great games.

Read our Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Review
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Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review on Playstation 4
Review Code Provided by SEGA

Rating Overall: 9.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner
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