• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 13, 2012

Mixed or average reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 55
  2. Negative: 1 out of 55
  1. Apr 9, 2012
    It's the equivalent of a shrapnel grenade rather than single, well-placed sniper bullets. Some bits will miss, others will lodge deep enough to leave a lasting impression. [May 2012, p.106]
  2. Mar 26, 2012
    Sega's Yakuza team goes way off the beaten path with Yakuza: Dead Souls and infuses its otherwise serious, grounded series with a fresh injection of zombie mayhem. With gunplay as clunky as Resident Evil 4 it manages to emulate Capcom's franchise quite well, and in pure chaos and weirdness, actually manages to outshine the latter attempts. Not as much of a world to explore as in Yakuza 4, but way more zombies to murder and a nice catch-up of some of the series' strongest characters.
  3. Mar 19, 2012
    Conceptually, the Yakuza series might appear to have "jumped the shark," but Sega has designed the game well enough and with such enthusiasm that you can't help but be impressed.
  4. Mar 19, 2012
    It has a blemished, blood-soaked face that's going to scare off some gamers, but there's a lot of heart and fun to be found by those willing to dig beneath the ghoulish surface.
  5. Apr 27, 2012
    Packs a charming city hub, but dull repetitive combat lets it down. [June 2012, p.80]
  6. May 11, 2012
    Well, you certainly didn't see this one coming. Zombie invasion in Yakuza controlled Kamurocho is certainly something you don't see every day. The game isn't an Asian version of the Left 4 Dead, thanks to the sloppy controls. [May 2012]
  7. Mar 27, 2012
    Going into Yakuza: Dead Souls I had some reservations, but after playing it, I'm happy to say that this works surprisingly well.
  8. 75
    Yakuza: Dead Souls doesn't reinvent the zombie shooter with its simple combat scheme, but mowing down the walking dead in their hundreds and executing some neat special moves provides some frantically-paced arcade-styled thrills.
  9. Unlike its predecessor, which could be described as a brawler that focuses on brutal melee attacks, Dead Souls is a true third person shooter. Pistols, shotguns, machine guns: anything that smells like lead and gunpowder is used to blow those brain munchers back to Yomi. (You'll have to look that one up). [April 2012, p.86]
  10. Ultimately, the zombie sections are to be stomached while we wait for beter bits to load. [June 2012, p.80]
  11. Mar 27, 2012
    Yakuza Dead Souls merges good RPG elements with TPS mechanics unfortunately damaged by some technical problems that compromise the entire game experience.
  12. Mar 25, 2012
    Although it's made especially for Yakuza fans, Dead Souls is also an unconventional mix of Japanese eccentricity and undead mythology.
  13. Mar 23, 2012
    If you're in need of a zombie fix, you could do better… even if to me it feels more than a little like a crime-themed Shenmue with an undead army.
  14. Mar 21, 2012
    The zombie-invasion is by no means a cheap bridge to motivate some western gamers to cross over to the eastern side, but the means to add some variety to SEGAs gangster-soap and at the same time provide a little bit of insight in some of the less common aspects of the Japanese Yakuza.
  15. Mar 21, 2012
    Dead Souls' controls and camera will work on your nerves frequently. Luckily, you'll get used to it pretty fast, allowing you to see a game with a good story, humor and so on. So without a doubt, you should give this one a try.
  16. Mar 15, 2012
    It's unlikely that fans will be left with anything other than positive memories of a franchise that never quite got the praise it deserved.
  17. Mar 13, 2012
    It's a fun game if you are already a Yakuza fan. It's just a rather awful introduction to the Yakuza franchise.
  18. Feb 2, 2012
    Dead Souls sits in a strange middle zone, stuck somewhere between the past Yakuza series games and the tired zombie sandbox genre. While fans will surely enjoy seeing series stars in this zombie apocalypse setting, they could miss some of the classic Yakuza pacing and gameplay.
  19. Apr 3, 2012
    It's a bold move to step away from the established mechanics of the Yakuza franchise and it turns out mostly okay. A great story with memorable characters makes sure that every Yakuza fan will have to check this one out. In the end, however, a sluggish camera and outdated graphics make for a mediocre title.
  20. Mar 22, 2012
    There's fun here, but it comes with some unavoidable roughness. It's tough to get excited about a zombie game that's only decent, but whether it's Yakuza's special history or inimitable blend of drama and absurdity, there's something here that might be worth biting into.
  21. Mar 19, 2012
    It's not Yakuza anymore – it's a new House of the Dead in a Yakuza environment. Poor mechanics, weird story and repetitive gameplay kill the atmosphere and leave a mediocre third-person zombie shooter.
  22. Mar 15, 2012
    Yakuza: Dead Souls is a fun departure for the Yakuza series, but it's hindered by some pretty lousy controls, a temperamental camera and a few other odds and ends.
  23. Apr 18, 2012
    There's definitely some appeal here for longtime fans of the franchise that just can't go without a new Yakuza fix. However, that appeal is very limited, and newcomers will end up wondering what all the fuss was about.
  24. Mar 25, 2012
    Although Yakuza: Dead Souls gives a negative first impression with chunky controls and lack of an English dub, as you progress you adapt your play style compensate for the awkward controls. In addition, there's a lot to do in Kamurocho - in and outside of the quarantine zone - if you've got the time for it.
  25. Mar 22, 2012
    Some of the more ardent fans of the series might be able to get some enjoyment from the title, but everyone else will be put off and turn elsewhere for their zombie-killing fix.
  26. Mar 21, 2012
    Control scheme is simply awuful and some technical issues spoil the scene, but the RPG elements are there along with mini games, extra activities and sub quests, to remember how solid the structure of the main series used to be.
  27. Mar 6, 2013
    By including zombies and guns, Sega have provided something new to its cumbersome, juggernaut of a franchise; but it’s been done much better elsewhere.
  28. Jun 9, 2012
    A zombie-outbreak in the Yakuza makes for a fresh change of pace. Unfortunately that really says it all, because Dead Souls misses the nuance and class of previous installments. It's not even the presentation or story, but mostly the game mechanics that disappoint. Shooting zombies is what you'll be doing most in Dead souls and by the end of the game you'll long for the 'regular' Yakuza experience.
  29. 60
    SEGA had decided to rebuild their famous mob saga into a zombie shooter with unsurprising results. The story is the only reason to try the new Yakuza. The other parts are just trash. [May 2012]
  30. Apr 4, 2012
    A spin-off to the legendary Yakuza franchise that deviates from the main story-line and brings zombies to the front. It's quite strange, it has lots of problems and it is made mostly for fans of the franchise.
  31. Apr 3, 2012
    Yakuza: Dead Souls is a strange fruit sitting between the Yakuza that fans love and the zombie horde gameplay so overused in recent game development. While it doesn't really do either perfectly, there is enough here to keep players entertained. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing their characters in this new role but newcomers could easily be put off by the clunky control system and watered down gun-play, while zombie fans will enjoy the varied killing methods, but will be disappointed in the lack of challenge the aiming system allows.
  32. Mar 30, 2012
    With better shooting and difficulty this could have been a zombie slaughter worth remembering.
  33. Mar 29, 2012
    An action game with a good and eccentric story, but very far away from the best games of genre.
  34. Mar 29, 2012
    An interesting turn in the series, but its gameplay is terribly designed in some parts, and it lacks ambition and originality as a zombie game. We will pass a lot of time shooting and killing without no additional motivation or extra, repeating the same scheme constantly. Only for hardcore fans of the Yakuza series.
  35. Mar 28, 2012
    A curious, cumbersome and frustrating way to end one of gaming's more interesting series. [Issue#216, p.75]
  36. Mar 27, 2012
    A game designed for fans. Newcomers may (rightfully) frown at the poor controls and sub-par visuals, but series veterans will be thrilled to find their favourite characters integrated into such a baffling situation.
  37. Mar 26, 2012
    On paper, the synopsis had everything it needed to sound awesome: zombies invade Kamurocho, the Yakuza unite to boot them out of their turf so that hostess clubs, gambling joints and clandestine free-fight rooms are able to bloom again. But the result doesn't hold its ground so much; it's like a massive and exciting clash ending on a poor and timid armlock. Clearly underwhelming.
  38. Mar 26, 2012
    Stiff controls and lengthy load times hold it back from being as good as it could have been, but it proves that there's still some life left in massacring the undead.
  39. Mar 17, 2012
    It's just as raunchy, absurdist, and most importantly, Japanese, as always. And that makes it a welcome addition to the marketplace, warts and all.
  40. Mar 17, 2012
    As a third-person zombie action game, it's awkward and clumsy, and therefore, a difficult recommendation for gamers looking for a post-Dead Rising quick fix.
  41. It's hard to look past the massively fugly engine. While the copious cut-scenes are pleasing to the eyes, the in-game visuals look like a glorified, smudgy PS2 game. And yet for all its flaws, Dead Souls still lets you battle women in bloody cocktail dresses and wannabe Lickers with a sympathetic loan shark. It's this ludicrously bizarre charm that makes Dead Souls more than the sum of its reanimated parts.
  42. Mar 12, 2012
    An amusing enough side story but the novelty of pitting serious criminals against Resident Evil monsters don't last nearly as long as the running time.
  43. Mar 19, 2012
    As an Undead Nightmare-like DLC pack for Yakuza 4, Dead Souls makes sense. As a full retail package, the combination of the zombie theme and the recycling feels desperate and ill-advised.
  44. Mar 19, 2012
    The change from semi-open brawler with deep characters to almost linear zombie-shooter with hardly any story was a bad idea.
  45. Mar 21, 2012
    Mundane combat and a lackluster use of its characters prevent Yakuza: Dead Souls from capturing the energy and fierceness of its predecessors.
  46. Mar 21, 2012
    YDS is a broken TPS, the zombie shooting is repetitive and boring and plagued by bad camera and controls that simply don't work. A lot of weapons, upgrades, sidequests and the usual minigames by the way, but in the end YDS is simply no fun.
  47. May 24, 2012
    The problem with Yakuza: Dead Souls is that it's a game full of wasted potential. The story is fun and the atmosphere is excellent, but the broken controls and awkward camera make this game more frustrating than fun.
  48. May 23, 2012
    Yakuza has always been known for its high-standards, weird humor and, most of all, insanely fun brawling. All of that is gone here. One could safely say that the zombie outbreak of Dead Souls has decimated Kamurocho of everything that would make anyone want to travel there, both literally and metaphorically. Spare yourself this dreadful misstep and play through Yakuza 4 a second time.
  49. May 8, 2012
    An old series switches focus, and now it's all about killing zombies, which is quite fun. Unfortunately a lot of other elements, including camera, control and environmental layout, are far below average.
  50. Apr 18, 2012
    Dead Souls isn't a bad game by any stretch; it's just extremely by-the-book on every level. [Issue#121, p.114]
  51. Sadly Dead Souls simply bolts a zombie apocalypse onto Yakuza 4's broken template, without making any effort to improve it. What is it about Dead Souls that feels painfully dated? The clunky and overly complicated combat and camera controls, combined with inconsistent rules are the main offenders. [April 2012, p72]
  52. Apr 9, 2012
    Yakuza: Dead Souls may seem like a decent idea, but it is probably best to just ignore it and hope that things return to normal for the next instalment.
  53. Mar 27, 2012
    Yakuza: Dead Souls is not a good game. In fact, I had almost no fun while playing it, and I love me some zombie slaying of almost any variety. The cumbersome controls, broken camera and poor design really took away the bright spots the game managed to shine through on occasion.
  54. Mar 13, 2012
    Yakuza Dead Souls is not a bad game – it is a good game ruined by broken mechanics. Its story, scripting and sense of humour can't make up for that.
  55. Mar 19, 2012
    I don't feel like Yakuza: Dead Souls is a game that anyone really needs to play, even if you're a pretty hardcore fan of the series. The action is such a departure from the series, and handled so poorly, that it literally turns you off of wanting to do anything but the non-combat side stuff found throughout.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Mar 14, 2012
    I beat this game twice already. The game is huge,you will def get your moneys worth that's for sure. It's a spin off and also the end of the Tokyo location and game engine..Hence the title "of the end". Part 5 is being developed as we speak with tons of work to be done considering they are making a whole new engine. Now I won't go into heavy detail as I did with my Yakuza 4 review, but give my pros and cons.


    Storyline- Can never say more than enough for a STELLAR storyline.. you will not find better from any series including cutscenes.
    Characters- The loan Shark,Dragon of Kansai and Majima join Kazuma into gunning hordes of zombies popping heads like it's going out of style. Can't ask for a better team.
    Graphics- Same as 4,same engine..Love it or hate it, it works.
    Mini games- Are all here..Whether you like to bowl, play slots,arcades,cards,mahjong,hostess bars,batting cages,karaoke,massage parlors tell me when to stop..And many many side missions for each character(One example is saving store fronts and reopening businesses).
    When complete you can have the option to travel around a normal town or apocalyptic town with zombies.


    Sadly the controls are a little problematic at first,but as you play you will be popping heads with a hostess in no time.
    Some Framerate issues at times.

    Overall it's a great end to this engine and the Tokyo location. I hope when 5 is complete they bring it to the West. Sadly other reviewers will sway hordes of people from even touching the series. Thank you Sega for supporting your fans.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 13, 2012
    Had the good fortune of finding a cheap import retailer and I've been waiting to share my opinion. Dead souls does nothing in spectacular fashion, it belittles the series I have come to know and love, it makes no sense, the concept is basic and bare boned and the design is hardly inspired. That said, there is something about Dead Souls that makes it one of the most enjoyable entries in the series. Should you buy it at full price? Hell no! Trust me when I say this will be in all good bargain bins by the time Winter rolls in, and at a discount or rental price Dead Souls can turn out to be money well invested. Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2012
    This isn't just a Zombie shooter; Bowling, darts, dating sim, fishing, karaoke, poker and a whole lot of other things going on.It's a shooter that actually has some personality, charismatic characters, and a villain that actually has a greater motive than just " kill everyone". Calling Dead Souls just another Zombie shooter is an offence because it's so much more. Full Review »