• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 15, 2011
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
  1. Mar 27, 2011
    92
    An excellent sequel for an outstanding series; Yakuza 4 caters to its fans and offers up another wonderful adventure in Kamurocho.
  2. Apr 5, 2011
    91
    Yakuza 4 has one hell of a story and the gameplay is better than before. You can also play with four characters instead of one and the game did get improvements on almost every aspect. The Yakuza games are for a small group of gamers, but it's a great one.
  3. Mar 30, 2011
    91
    While adding three playable characters might not sound like much, it was certainly the shot in the arm the series needed. It livens up not only the combat, but the story as well, getting different personalities that aren't the same stoic Kazuma we've grown used to.
  4. Mar 12, 2011
    91
    Characterful, amusing, violent and intriguing: Yakuza 4 is excellent fun. [Apr 2011, p.72]
  5. May 23, 2011
    90
    If the Yakuza series were merely the sole franchise keeping the long tradition of the 3D brawler alive, it would be worthy of praise. The fact that it manages to do that while also offering some of the best storytelling in the industry-and that it accomplishes these things essentially once a year-all combine to make it one of the most impressive series around. Yakuza 4 comes from the best possible video game pedigree, and it does its predecessors proud.
  6. Apr 18, 2011
    90
    Yakuza 4 is everything you would expect from the series. The shift to a four-main-character storyline is the most welcome change it offers, and one that adds an entirely new flavor to a city already familiar to fans. Its brazen Japanese lifestyle mixed with ridiculous street brawling and lives of crime suck you in and make you want to stay. Despite it's flaws and its last-game (and in some cases, last-gen) presentation, Yakuza 4 is worth the odd missions one would have to complete in order to secure a loan to buy it.
  7. Apr 18, 2011
    90
    This sophisticated tone is one of the reasons I would recommended Yakuza 4 to any PS3 owner. It's brutally violent, intriguing from start to finish and requires a surprisingly small amount of background knowledge.
  8. Apr 14, 2011
    90
    The uninitiated may peer into Kamurocho's kaleidoscope and wonder what on Earth is going on, but through the eyes of the converted, the view is as fabulous as ever.
  9. Mar 23, 2011
    90
    All things considered, though, Yakuza 4 is an excellent title that proves why this series, underappreciated as it is, is one of the crown jewels in Sega's current game lineup.
  10. Mar 23, 2011
    90
    Not everyone will take the time and trouble to get the maximum out of what Yakuza 4 has to offer. Whoever does will be amazed by its marvellous story, bizarre amount of content and the deep and intrinsic characters. The lack of challenge and the notion that many of its aspects already existed in the third part, aren't relevant enough to detract from the total package Yakuza 4 has to offer.
  11. 85
    Yakuza 4 is the thinking man's brawler. Grab a drink, preferably in a very large glass, settle down and immerse yourself in the violent neon-lit streets of Kamurocho. Give it a chance and you'll find it hard to put down.
  12. Mar 30, 2011
    85
    If the news of a zombie-themed spin-off signals the series' proverbial jumping of the shark, then at least Sega managed to produce a game that feels as full and complete as Yakuza 4.
  13. Mar 24, 2011
    85
    Yakuza 4 is not just a simple more of the same. Between its huge lines of subtitles there are some new features that definitely work. The four characters are a great gift for the story telling, and also to the combat system, different from character to character, succeeds to revamp old but working mechanics. Beside that is the same Yakuza of the past years.
  14. May 20, 2011
    83
    Ultimately Yakuza 4 is a good game but it isn't quite as good as Yakuza 3.
  15. May 12, 2011
    83
    This is one critic who can see through the bullsh.t and has his name down in blood for Yakuza 5.
  16. Apr 2, 2011
    83
    Yakuza 4 builds on its history and its strengths, using four well-differentiated playable characters to multiply the value of its character-driven drama and exhilarating fights. The game sometimes feels dated and a bit too stodgily conventional, but its virtual tour of a bizarrely attractive, crime-soaked, hyperbolic slice of Japan as seen through the eyes of its underworld nobility is certainly worth taking.
  17. Mar 17, 2011
    83
    A superb game, with almost no cuts from the original version, but with few new features in comparison with Yakuza 3.
  18. Mar 17, 2011
    83
    Yakuza 4 provides a deep, unique story that you won't often hear told as well a style of gameplay you don't often get to experience. Do yourself a favor and try something different.
  19. May 24, 2011
    81
    This game is crazy as all the Yakuza games before. The graphics are not that good but the details of the virtual Japan are truly thrilling.
  20. Mar 17, 2011
    81
    The fighting is about as refined and diverse as it has ever been, the city of Kamurocho is more detailed and immersive, the story has plenty of highlights, and becoming immersed in urban Japanese culture has never been so entertaining. However, it's held back by one slightly disappointing fact: the series is starting to show its age.
  21. 80
    Great story from Kamurocho district introduces both Kazuma and other heroes. Game follows the footsteps of its predecessors with all the pros and cons. [Issue#203]
  22. Apr 20, 2011
    80
    Fans of the series have nothing to fear, this fourth game corrects the mistakes of the predecessor and is more Yakuza than the series have ever believed to be.
  23. Apr 12, 2011
    80
    Yakuza 4 is a triumph; for those who desire to take the plunge with this series, this may be the best place to start.
  24. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    While Yakuza 4 doesn't really feel like a huge improvement on the formula, it tells a great story just the same.
  25. Apr 7, 2011
    80
    Yakuza 4 is a beautiful game partially spoiled by really old gameplay mechanics. The combat system is still cool and reactive, and the new characters add great value to the experience.
  26. Apr 1, 2011
    80
    It's a complex and rewarding title, interesting for its point of view on Eastern society and traditions. The three new main characters add something both to the narrative and the fighting sessions, evolving the entire brand to a new step. The fans shouldn't miss this one.
  27. Mar 29, 2011
    80
    What a game. I passed a few dozen hours leading a contingent of scumbags-with-hearts-of-gold through a convoluted gangster soap opera full of betrayals, redemptions, posturing, overdramatic gestures, and profoundly awkward dates, and played Boxcelios 2 in the Club Sega arcade on Theater Square when I didn't feel like doing any of that stuff.
  28. 80
    Offers a lot to enjoy, but the age is really starting to creep up on it.
  29. Mar 27, 2011
    80
    Its nuanced and complex characters are offset nicely by the goofy and gory combat - here's your chance to chuck motorcycles, thwack criminals with oversized traffic cones, and body slam some jaws - and the city's ability to feel alive both day and night all add up to something more distinct and intriguing.
  30. Mar 26, 2011
    80
    There's a lot to do in this game from playing pachinko, visiting hostess clubs, and beating up punks to participating in the intrigue of organized crime. It's just so far from anything most Westerners are used to that many will have a hard time warming up to it.
  31. Mar 23, 2011
    80
    A vast experience, and a refreshing lesson in substance over style. [Issue#107, p.120]
  32. Mar 21, 2011
    80
    On its own, no one element of the game would be remarkable, but combined and buoyed by the juicy story and the excellent cast, they make Yakuza 4 much more than the sum of its parts.
  33. Mar 21, 2011
    80
    All in all I'm not completely disappointed. The strange mix of sex, violence, open world feeling and dialogue-driven storytelling with a easy combat system convinces, but the atmosphere aside the cinematic touch is disappointing. Nobody talks and you have to cope with text boxes.
  34. Those of you expecting instant gratification best move along to another playground. Yakuza 4 is a slow burn and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The balance between intense brawling, wacky distractions and convoluted exposition is deep and detailed and guarantees you endless hours of enjoyment [April 2011, p72]
  35. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    Even though this fourth installment of the franchise goes further in terms of visuals, scenario, and overall polish than the previous ones, it doesn't really bring anything new to the table, and its basics may be considered old. It still is an great game for all those who like this kind of atmosphere and rich world, that set it apart from the bulk of today's productions.
  36. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    A significant step up from Yakuza 3 in terms of visuals and story, Yakuza 4 still lags behind the genre's leaders, lacking the polish in interactions to make it a classic. But this is still a strong, mesmerising video game, an offer that none should refuse.
  37. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    Yakuza 4's production values are through the roof, its plot is gripping and quirky, it's often very funny indeed, and it would undoubtedly sell in millions if it was published by Rockstar rather than Sega.
  38. Mar 12, 2011
    80
    Yakuza 4 is based on an excellent core from previous installments of the franchise. In fact, there are no significant changes to the gameplay, and the focus of SEGA was in the story elements. The idea of introducing four different characters gives the plot a variety of situation and allow us to know what's happening from several point of views. As it was divided into several acts, the game manages to avoid boring us after a few hours, and taking into account its length, that's a good thing. Sadly, the great scenario situated in the red district of Tokyo becomes rubbish when we progress and discover, again, that there is no realism at all and we are playing and absurd tale. At least, there are no zombies... yet.
  39. Apr 1, 2011
    79
    Lengthy cutscenes and fist-fighting make this an acquired taste, but a worthwhile experience. [May 2011, p.90]
  40. Mar 21, 2011
    79
    Veering from utterly absorbing to utterly nonsense, it revels in its existence as a unique gaming experience. [Issue#203, p.92]
  41. Apr 24, 2011
    75
    Yakuza 4 still looks and plays great, but it's a little too similar to its predecessor to stand on its own as well as Yakuza 3.
  42. Apr 12, 2011
    75
    A guilty and brutal pleasure with a rare sense of honour, humour and is perhaps the most quintessential Japanese title you'll ever play.
  43. Apr 6, 2011
    75
    Needless to say, if you want a game that is not your stereotypical Western game, than you really need to check out Yakuza, especially if you enjoyed Shenmue and the previous Yakuza titles.
  44. Mar 30, 2011
    75
    Yakuza 4 can be a great game but you'll have to look really hard to discover all of the great aspects it has to offer. This game isn't for you if you don't want to look into the deeper meaning of things.
  45. Mar 28, 2011
    75
    Fans will rejoice that Yakuza 4 has made it largely uncensored to these shores and that Sega has supported it with a solid localization. Beat-'em-up fans who haven't jumped into the series yet shouldn't be put off by the number after the name. Kicking through this door into a heavily fanciful, and sometimes bizarre, take on the Japanese underworld is still as good a time as any. By sticking to what it does best, the game delivers everything that veterans have come to expect from the series. At the same time, though, it can sometimes feel as stale as Kazuma's fashion sense.
  46. May 2, 2011
    72
    Ultimately, the game holds only a moderate amount of appeal for those outside the series' existing fans. The game is fairly unique, in its focus on story and interaction over combat. However, at its core Yakuza 4 stands alongside Grand Theft Auto, Mafia II and Red Dead Redemption. It's a game where you can do bad things and watch a story unfold in a unique game world. If what I've described sounds great…then you'll enjoy Yakuza 4. If not…check out any of the other games I've mentioned.
  47. Apr 4, 2011
    71
    Although Yakuza 4 is a significant step up from Yakuza 3 and the game has some fun gameplay and cool moments, it still lags behind the genre's leaders. A game for fans of the series.
  48. Apr 18, 2011
    70
    A very big sand box action game with lots of side missions and great atmosphere but with too much reused content from Yakuza 3.
  49. Mar 27, 2011
    70
    Arguably gaming's most authentic crime story, as well as an excellent roaming beat 'em-up and (thug) life simulator.
  50. A thoroughly daft, slightly fugly and resolutely old-school action-RPG. [Apr 2011, p.104]
  51. Mar 17, 2011
    70
    Quotation forthcoming.
  52. But for hardcore Yakuza fans, the schizophrenic game design is secondary; it's the engrossing characters and storyline that matter most. [April 2011, p.80]
  53. Mar 16, 2011
    70
    Yakuza 4 offers a both long and compelling story with 4 exciting main characters. It's a little sparse on interaction though, and often feels more like a movie than an actual game.
  54. Mar 15, 2011
    70
    Yakuza 4 is ultimately too set in its ways to welcome anyone new to the family, and too laden with cutscenes to let its nuances. [Apr 2011, p.99]
  55. Mar 26, 2011
    69
    If you're the type of gamer who only gets one or two games each year then Yakuza 4 will certainly keep you busier than anything else coming in 2011. I'm just not sure that the four-part story is strong enough and the gameplay diverse enough to drive all that content.
  56. Mar 11, 2011
    65
    Yakuza 4 has some fun gameplay, cool moments and tons to do. However, it also has a really dated vibe and a cumbersome story. For me, the weak tale and repetition in actions and leveling drag the experience down and make it something that's just "Okay."
  57. Aug 8, 2011
    60
    It often seems like Yakuza 4 is conspiring against itself, holding its own cool features back behind technology and game design. It's not that Yakuza 4 is a bad game, but rather that too many of the game's eccentricities don't work in its favor.
  58. Mar 12, 2011
    60
    There are a few memorable characters and some interesting story elements -especially for those who love and follow the franchise- but the gameplay improvements are subtle, while poor storytelling renders Yakuza 4 worse than its predecessors.
  59. Mar 11, 2011
    60
    Yakuza 4 isn't as compelling as the third game, nor does it introduce a lot of new, interesting features. But it's still a fun romp, and sometimes when I walk down the streets in Kabukicho it feels like I'm back in Shinjuku, and that's a rare feat. Not for everone, but fans of the series could do worse.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    Now's the time to play the most underrated game of all time. This is one of the few games that can tell a great story, worry not if you're a newcomer, the games story can be enjoyed throughly even if you haven't played a previous game. Check out a few game play videos and see how brutal the combat really us. Aren't you tired of shooting people in the face already? Wouldn't you rather beat someone down with a Pylon? Not convinced yet, then read this:http://kotaku.com/#!5772702/ping+pong-for-perverts-courtesy-of-video-games. Yeah there's a mini-game where you play ping pong with a hostess and get bonus points for looking at her breast without getting caught....You've been missing out. Buy it Full Review »
  2. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    Never played a game of the series before. I see that this was a bad mistake. Nice to see how much game you can get for your money. Content DOES matter. You are nowadays often paying a high-price for graphically (a good engine costs money) much more impressive games but they barely entertain you for a week. Here you will get a still pretty decent looking game with a rich replay value and motivating level-systems for your daily gangster-beat-up :)

    BUY THIS!
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 18, 2011
    6
    I find again the true flavour of old time games in the gameplay. Very entertaining, the european version isn't cut as Yakuza 3 was, as you can now have fun with all the mini-games of the city (including the hostesses in the bars!). Sega choosed to make us follow four different protagonists to renovate the gameplay, resulting a clever and very deep scanario.
    Sega's back! Waiting impatiently for Yakuza of the End!
    Full Review »