Thanks to its outstanding writing, acting, cinematography and animation, Yakuza 0 tells an effective and surprisingly nuanced story of one man and his early journey through the complex world of organized crime. Although it marginalizes women to the role of cliche props and some of the dialogue -- in translation, at least -- rings a little hollow, Yakuza 0 is still a great introduction to both the series and its long-running characters. With an almost impossibly large number of things to do and combat that is brutal and entertaining throughout, Yakuza 0 has to rank as one of the most memorable and successful entries in the franchise.
There’s a lot to do in Yakuza 0, but it may take you some time to get through the game. While the story is very compelling, there are so many side activities that are equally entertaining, it may be difficult to pull yourself away to continue with the main story. If you have a history with the Yakuza series, there are even moments when you see where these characters began that will make you feel even closer to the grouping of polygons on your TV screen. Almost everything about Yakuza 0 is well-done and exceeds expectations.
Yakuza 0 is a great point to enter the series. It has a lot of content waiting to be explored and while at its fullest, it manages to tell a great, dark and gritty story with some really charismatic characters.
Despite the shallowness of the combat, you’re always being pulled towards something new, and you can’t help but be carried along by it. Whenever you tire of one thing, the next distraction or big set-piece is just a few minutes away – just be prepared to be offered pocket tissues, have a few scraps, and become someone’s agony aunt.