First, let me just state that this IS an RPG. It’s not an open-world crime saga like the GTA series. The screenshots and the videos might lead you to that assumption, but the fact of the matter is that this game has more in common with Final Fantasy than it does Grand Theft Auto.
This is a prequel game, so it takes place before all the other Yakuza games, which makes this a perfect jumping on point if you are new to the series. One thing that should be noted however (particularly if you are new to the series), there is no English audio in the game! Everything is spoken in Japanese, but it does have English subtitles.
The lack of English audio in the series has always been a love/hate relationship. On one hand, I enjoy hearing how the actors and game designers intended for the game to sound and it also adds more authenticity to the game. On the other hand, sometimes the subtitles go by so quick I miss what was being said(I’m not a speed reader, plus when i hear speaking, i get distracted from reading). On top of that, there are times when you need to read what’s being said while you are moving or performing activities which can be distracting(Like texting and walking, or texting and driving).
The graphics are fairly nice, though not as good as would be expected for a PS4 title. In fact, it looks like it could possibly run on a PS3 just fine.
Lastly, there’s no AutoSave feature(The game is very old school. It’s gameplay is deeply rooted in it’s PS2 heritage, and SEGA never never really updated the games mechanics and features. If it’s not broken, why fix it?) so you have to manually save at telephone booths scattered around the game map(They show up as S icons on your minimap) old school gamers may love this feature, other gamers might find it a bit of a headache..I personally have a slight issue with it! See, the game has a good number of random encounters, as well as long bouts of cut scenes. This means that if you are midway through a plot zone/ dungeon or whatever. You have to finish it before you can save your game! This could take awhile, and let’s be honest! Somethings require immediate attention! So, you might be forced to just shut it off and lose what progress you made, because there’s no payphone access to you, but hey! It beats writing down save passwords I guess, am I right?
On a side note, you could always just pause the game and put your PS4 into rest mode. Of course this “Method” isn’t ideal since if you lose power or the system somehow gets unplugged you lose progress. but it beats a 100% chance of losing progress by just quitting where you are.