A city like Kamurocho can be dangerous. There’s a criminal underbelly with the yakuza there, and sometimes the people who are supposed to be on the side of justice might not seem entirely trustworthy. Considering Takayuki Yagami isn’t a former Dragon of Dojima like Kazuma Kiryu, people might wonder exactly how plausible it would be for one private investigator to carry out investigations into murders. Fortunately, Yagami isn’t going through his investigations in Judgment alone. He has Masaharu Kaito on his side. Even more important, Judgment quickly works to establish him as a critical, trustworthy, and ever-present assistant.
Judgment wastes no time in establishing how important Kaito is to Yagami and showing the partnership the two have. The moment you can take control of Yagami, he is working alongside Kaito to tail a corrupt detective. Kaito started the tail and investigation, but had to back off when the suspect got suspicious. The entire time Yagami is tailing the person, the two are in touch. Kaito is feeding him information. When Yagami gets him into an alley, Kaito sends the drone for him to use and get a better view. When the culprit makes a run for it and almost seems like he could attempt to get the upper hand, Kaito appears as backup and the muscle. It is incredibly effective to see just how adept he is at being in the right place at the right time to provide aid.
The two work in sync together throughout the first chapter of Judgment. When Yagami’s leads dry up, Kaito mentions a corrupt police officer he knows that might help with some inside information. Ahead of visiting an import location, Kaito cases it from the rooftops and acts as a lookout when Yagami is breaking into a restricted area. During a boss fight, you aren’t fighting alone. Kaito is right there with you, and the two of you can team up for special attacks. If Yagami has to get in there, Kaito will put himself in danger against what might seem like overwhelming odds to ensure his partner can do what needs to be done. He’s constantly providing muscle and extra surveillance in the first chapter, making it seem like he is Yagami’s equal in these early moments.
But, the Yagami and Kaito aren’t just investigators working together. They’re more than coworkers. They’re brothers. During a visit to Mitsugu Matsugane, patriarch of the Tojo Clan Matsugane subsidiary family, Yagami says as much. Matsugane refers to the two of them as his sons, and Yagami refers to Kaito as his aniki. (This is essentially an older brother.) These two have known each other for years. With Kaito kicked out of the family, the first chapter helps show Yagami as providing a sense of purpose and place.
With that established, some of Kaito’s behaviors in Judgment’s first chapter begin to make more sense. When Yagami is going to go visit Genda’s officer to ask about work, Kaito tells him to pick up some dorayaki and bring it as a present. When the situation seems overwhelming, Kaito tells Yagami to take some deep breaths. The way the two banter and interact takes on this tone as you go through the first few hours, building a foundation. People might already know who they are to one another and be ready to accept their camaraderie and synched interactions because the game does everything possible in its early moments to help you believe it.
It is all about characterization. Judgment works hard to build these people up in its earliest hours. People are going to be spending a lot of time with Yagami and Kaito. It is essential to show how they could be an effective duo. Perhaps even by the end of the tutorial “mission,” they might even begin to understand how much they mean to each other and how well they complement one another.
Judgment will come to the PlayStation 4 on June 25, 2019. If people preorder from the PlayStation Store, they can begin playing on June 21, 2019.