Yakuza: Dead Souls PlayStation 3

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 13, 2012
Metascore
64

Mixed or average reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 55
  2. Negative: 1 out of 55
Buy On
  1. Mar 29, 2012
    60
    An action game with a good and eccentric story, but very far away from the best games of genre.
  2. Mar 19, 2012
    58
    The change from semi-open brawler with deep characters to almost linear zombie-shooter with hardly any story was a bad idea.
  3. Mar 13, 2012
    70
    It's a fun game if you are already a Yakuza fan. It's just a rather awful introduction to the Yakuza franchise.
  4. Feb 2, 2012
    70
    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.
  5. Mar 15, 2012
    70
    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.
  6. Mar 21, 2012
    70
    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.
  7. Mar 25, 2012
    70
    Although it's made especially for Yakuza fans, Dead Souls is also an unconventional mix of Japanese eccentricity and undead mythology.
  8. Mar 26, 2012
    80
    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.
  9. Mar 21, 2012
    65
    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.
  10. Mar 26, 2012
    60
    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.
  11. Mar 19, 2012
    78
    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.
  12. May 23, 2012
    50
    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.
  13. Mar 23, 2012
    70
    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 26, 2012
    60
    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.
  15. Apr 18, 2012
    66
    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.
  16. Apr 4, 2012
    60
    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.
  17. Apr 3, 2012
    60
    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.
  18. Jun 9, 2012
    60
    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.
  19. Mar 30, 2012
    60
    With better shooting and difficulty this could have been a zombie slaughter worth remembering.
  20. Games Master UK
    Apr 27, 2012
    76
    Packs a charming city hub, but dull repetitive combat lets it down. [June 2012, p.80]
  21. games(TM)
    Apr 18, 2012
    50
    Dead Souls isn't a bad game by any stretch; it's just extremely by-the-book on every level. [Issue#121, p.114]
  22. Mar 19, 2012
    58
    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.
  23. Mar 21, 2012
    55
    Mundane combat and a lackluster use of its characters prevent Yakuza: Dead Souls from capturing the energy and fierceness of its predecessors.
  24. Mar 17, 2012
    60
    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.
  25. Mar 22, 2012
    68
    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.
  26. Mar 27, 2012
    75
    Going into Yakuza: Dead Souls I had some reservations, but after playing it, I'm happy to say that this works surprisingly well.
  27. Mar 19, 2012
    42
    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.
  28. Mar 19, 2012
    68
    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.
  29. Mar 13, 2012
    50
    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.
  30. Apr 9, 2012
    50
    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.
  31. Mar 17, 2012
    60
    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.
  32. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    May 9, 2012
    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]
  33. May 8, 2012
    50
    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.
  34. Mar 19, 2012
    80
    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.
  35. Mar 12, 2012
    60
    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.
  36. Mar 21, 2012
    55
    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.
  37. Mar 25, 2012
    65
    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.
  38. Official PlayStation Magazine Benelux
    Apr 2, 2012
    71
    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]
  39. Pelit (Finland)
    May 11, 2012
    75
    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]
  40. Play UK
    Mar 28, 2012
    60
    A curious, cumbersome and frustrating way to end one of gaming's more interesting series. [Issue#216, p.75]
  41. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Apr 11, 2012
    50
    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]
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    May 7, 2012
    70
    Ultimately, the zombie sections are to be stomached while we wait for beter bits to load. [June 2012, p.80]
  45. Apr 3, 2012
    69
    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.
  46. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Apr 9, 2012
    80
    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]
  47. Mar 27, 2012
    60
    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.
  48. May 24, 2012
    50
    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.
  49. Mar 27, 2012
    70
    Yakuza Dead Souls merges good RPG elements with TPS mechanics unfortunately damaged by some technical problems that compromise the entire game experience.
  50. Mar 6, 2013
    60
    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.
  51. Mar 15, 2012
    67
    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.
  52. Mar 29, 2012
    60
    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.
  53. Mar 22, 2012
    65
    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.
  54. Mar 21, 2012
    70
    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.
  55. Mar 27, 2012
    50
    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.
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 70 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Mar 14, 2012
    9
    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 theI 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.

    Pros:

    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.

    Cons:

    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. Apr 6, 2012
    10
    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 shooterThis 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 »
  3. Apr 6, 2012
    9
    In every hardcore gamer's library, there are a handful of slightly clunky titles that are just fun enough that the player overlooks theirIn every hardcore gamer's library, there are a handful of slightly clunky titles that are just fun enough that the player overlooks their flaws for the sake of originality and enjoyment. Deadly Premonition, Nier, Sacred 2, and Dead Rising are good examples from the Seventh Generation, for instance. While Yakuza games would typically fall among the more polished releases of their, an aging graphics engine and a somewhat awkward shift to third-person shooting mechanics place Dead Souls into that "guilty pleasure" category. Reviewers have trashed Dead Souls for failing to conform to the Gears of War standard, which has somehow become the litmus test for a great TPS. In truth, Yakuza: Dead Souls is far more reminiscent of Gungrave, and even that comparison might appeal to some of its potential players. This chapter takes place in an alternate universe, where many of the events of Yakuza 4 have not yet transpired, some previously dead characters are back with altered backstories, and completely new people show up without a lot of wasted exposition. It's all in the name of fun and fanservice, though, and there's plenty of cameos and inside jokes that long-time Yakuza players will appreciate. That being said, it's not a bad way for new players to jump into Yakuza for the first time, either. Like every game in the series, Dead Souls is chock full of mini-games, side quests, quirky Japanese humor, and other quality content to fill 60+ hours. The main story would only take 15-20 hours, which is still above average for an action game, but surprisingly deep representations of golf, billiards, darts, bowling, karaoke, various casino games, batting cages, fishing, and a ton of other mini-games make Yakuza: Dead Souls a one-stop shop for all of your entertainment needs. It also features some of the most disarmingly suggestive (but hilarious) dating sim elements ever to reach our shores, with Hot Spring Ping-Pong and Aromatherapy Massage (complete with a "Happy Ending Bonus") topping the list of activities you can enjoy with Kamurocho's nightclub hostesses. It may seem odd that you can do all of this stuff in the middle of a zombie outbreak, but Yakuza's weird internal logic makes it all seem pretty natural. You'll understand when you play it. And you SHOULD play it. Sure, the shooting mechanics are a bit frustrating when the camera hangs up on a wall or your auto-aim plugs more holes in the wall than in a nearby zombie's head, but it doesn't take much time to get adjusted. Besides, Dead Souls packs in an overwhelming number of ability upgrades, weapons and armor to craft, and items to pick up amongst four respectably varied characters (Kazuma Kiryu, Ryuji Goda, Goro Majima, and Shun Akiyama, all series favorites). Heat Snipes are a fun addition to the gunplay, as they allow potentially massive assaults against enemy hordes, and some of them are combined with the abilities of your current partner. On that subject, dozens of characters, some new and some familiar, will join you when entering the zombie-infested quarantine zones. They'll offer commentary, guide you on mission objectives, and help keep you alive, though you will also need to watch their back in the process. As the game progresses, the quarantine zones will grow to overtake more and more of Kamurocho, so the only real downside to Dead Souls is that if you don't enjoy the gunplay elements, the game could get increasingly frustrating as the story nears its end. Still, when you consider all of the steps that Yakuza's developers took to make it an exercise in fanservice and stupid fun, Dead Souls deserves some serious respect for what it does right. And even with the same graphics engine that serves as a foundation for 4 games (Kenzan, 3, 4, and now Dead Souls), the cutscene motion capturing and accompanying voicework is still pretty staggering, even if all the dialogue is in its native Japanese. The bottom line is this - Yakuza: Dead Souls is a varied and enjoyable piece of gaming entertainment, and if you can get past a few clunky flaws in its TPS mechanics, there is a wealth of content to explore that is unlike anything else on the market... well, unlike everything but Yakuza 3 & 4. Enjoy! Full Review »