Real Yakuza use Gamepads.
So it is now established that I am an official Yakuza fan. Played the games, watched the movie, bought the shirt, and already booked Kiwami 2 for when that arrives. It’s made me return to my PS3 and PS4, which I had been lacking anything to play since I powered my way through something or other many moons before.
But now I can ignore the console again, because Yakuza 0 and Kiwami are coming to PC. Now bear in mind that originally Yakuza 0 was built for PS3, so with the mighty power of the PC Master Race this might just be the best looking and the best Yakuza game so far.
For those of you who have not read my original review of this game for the PS4 you can read it here. This is the exact same game in essence; the PC has no unique content added and no real changes have been made during the transition other than the expected PC requirements: Graphical options, higher fidelity and various controller and gamepad support. So for this review, my focus will be far more on the transition than the actual mechanics unless the mechanics have been affected by the transition.
Graphically the transition has been nothing but good. The game can now support up to 4K resolution, and has an uncapped framerate. Now with the age of this game, it should be possible (though this is untried) to run this game at 4K 60FPS for the entire duration on a fairly strong PC. Sadly the game is lacking on graphical options front, with only overarching controls and no real fiddly details for you to play around with. It’s serviceable, and you can easily push it past the PS3 quality.
But with the heavy graphical power does come one rather big caveat. Now again this was built on PS3, which means the graphical power was slightly lacking, and this carried over to PS4 with some upgrades and a pretty solid 60FPS to let you forgive them. However, on PC those few textures they didn’t really work on too much are now glaringly obvious. These are mainly background textures, and as such you are only really going to see them fleetingly and they will annoy you the same time span. But this shows that besides the usual PC changes this port is pretty rigid.
The framerate holds up though, and in the fast-paced action on higher difficulties you will really appreciate that solid 60FPS+. The 60FPS also carries over into the main cutscenes of the game, which on console were rendered much higher quality by gutting the framerate down to 30. Now the framerate stays nice and high, making the scenes look even slicker. The only frame drops I saw were in the weird sepia cutscenes which play out a few times across the game, though there is so little happening on screen the drop was only noticeable by my FPS counter.
Gamepad support is absolutely solid as well. You can run any controller you want as they’re all supported. It felt as slick to use as with the PS4 controller when I played it for the first time on console. This wasn’t really something I expected them to get wrong, and thankfully they didn’t. You can if you want play with a keyboard and mouse but the game won’t consider you a ‘real yakuza’ so I would use a controller for ease of play and avoidance of ridicule.
As PC ports go Sega has had better, but also Sega has had far worse. Yakuza 0’s port can be considered above average; they have given you the basic PC requirements as well as a few nice extras such as higher textures and uncapped framerate. More graphical options would have been nice for sure, but it avoided many of the other traps that could have befallen it such as bugs or poor optimisation.
This port also gives the hardcore PC gamers a chance to experience Yakuza for themselves, and that I think is important, as Japanese developers tend to leave PC by the wayside. Being made on exactly the same engine, it’s likely Kiwami will fare just as effectively and hopefully the other games will soon follow suit. Personally, if you’ve been tempted to play Yakuza for a while, 0 is the perfect start without having to cheat on your beloved PC with the satin finish console temptress in the living room.
Also you get to race micro machines. I should have mentioned that more.