Sega of America took a moment to reveal the newest title, Project Judge (working title), from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the team behind the Yakuza series and most recently First of the North Star: Lost Paradise.
The gameplay trailer opens with a scene from Genda Law Office where we learn of the game’s main protagonist and Genda employee Takayuki Yagami, who is evidently a capable defense lawyer. A new client, Shinpei Okubo, has called asking only for Yagami to accept his case, a man who Yagami had just got acquitted. It seems like Okuba has been arrested once again on a new murder charge that pins Okubo at the scene of a crime which left his girlfriend dead and her residence set on fire.
The game sets the stage for the player to go on an emotional and gritty story as they help Yagami pick up the pieces of his life as lawyer lost after defending a guilty suspect. However, all hope is not lost for Yagami who finds himself in the middle of a string of murders and a failing justice system.
Project Judge is a huge step for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio who is known for their more action and silly based gameplay systems. The developer has a knack for developing a well-balanced blend of action and storytelling that takes place in a more compact open world.
After watching the Project Judge’s debut gameplay trailer I find myself wanting to know more about Yagami and his story. It was probably around the 2-minute mark where I found myself subconsciously moving this game to my most anticipated title of 2019. Being a fan of the Yakuza series, I’m interested to see how the developer takes systems from that series and weaves them into this more serious toned narrative.
Like the Yakuza series, players able to make their way through the city’s streets as they follow suspects or meeting correspondents. Although this is reflective of the entire game, tracking down suspects and keeping a low profile is just one of the systems that players will encounter during story missions.
Project Judge has a long road ahead and I hope the developers are taking their time to create a new IP that they are proud of. A rushed project could potentially hurt this title’s future, but I wouldn’t be opposed to this being one of those rare titles that don’t have sequels planned. Project Judge you have my attention, I can’t wait to see more!
Project Judge is available now as a demo on the Japanese PlayStation Store for free. The game is coming west for PlayStation 4 in 2019.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.