Yakuza 0 review: A charming, colorful, and engaging PC masterpiece

Yakuza 0 defines the phrase "bang for your buck."

The year 2017's fan-favorite Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) Yakuza 0 is coming to the PC platform on August 1, and within it, a staggering amount of content can be found. Though the combat system feels somewhat dated, fighting enemies is only a small part of what you'll be doing in Yakuza 0.

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Dive into the criminal underground

In Yakuza 0, you play as two characters: franchise protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, and longtime series character Goro Majima. Each one gets involved in dangerous criminal conspiracies during the story, and the excellent dialogue writing and voice acting make the narrative feel like a quality one. It's the type of story that will make you say just one more mission at three o'clock in the morning.

If you can manage to take your attention off the writing, an ocean of activities awaits. Gambling, billiards, batting cages, and everything in between are things you can enjoy. Additionally, the urban landscapes of Yakuza 0 are fully open for exploration, and there are heaps of shops and clubs that you can enter and experience. If you feel like questing, there are 100 different types of side missions available.

When the time comes to fight enemies, you'll need to dish out the pain with melee attacks. By default, you'll be using your fists, although handheld weapons and small vehicles found in the world can be used, too. When battling multiple foes, you will be forced to dodge and counter-attack, turning the brawls into a deadly game of timing and positioning; play well, and be rewarded with the opportunity to perform satisfyingly brutal finishing attacks.

The combat system is good overall, but the transitions between animations are fairly stiff and slow. This makes the melee engagements look and feel rather clunky, at least when compared to titles like Shadow of War.

Bright lights, big city

Since the entirety of Yakuza 0 takes place in 1988 Japan, the game is defined by its colorful neon cityscapes and intense music tracks. In this regard, Yakuza 0 is a virtual assault of the senses; there's an extensive amount of vibrancy and energy to the game world, and just when you think you've taken everything in, you'll discover a new location with its own unique qualities.

In terms of graphs quality, Yakuza 0 looks fantastic on PC, especially if you have a rig that can support 4K resolution. Unlike a lot of other titles, pushing the pixel count this high has zero effect on the framerate. No matter which resolution you choose, Yakuza 0 stays locked in at a smooth 60 frames per second (FPS).

Final thoughts on Yakuza 0 for PC

Between the great writing, incredible amount of content, and gorgeous visuals, there's little Yakuza 0 doesn't do well.


  • Great story.
  • Heaps of content.
  • Excellent presentation.


  • Combat can feel clunky.

Yakuza 0 will be available on Steam for $19.99 on August 1.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.