I spent a lot of time punching dudes into walls in Yakuza 6, but I also spent a lot of time wandering the streets of Tokyo (and the sleepy seaside town of Onomichi) with my phone out, taking snaps to remind me of my good times doing good deeds.
Let’s get this straight: this is not a complex in-game photography mode, so Assassin’s Creed Origins and Horizon Zero Dawn don’t have much to worry about in terms of competition. All you can do in Yakuza 6 is take your phone out, frame the pic then hit a button.
Oh, and take selfies.
But what Yakuza 6's phone camera lacks in tools it makes up for in just...letting you capture Yakuza 6, a game that looks gorgeous running on the series’ new Dragon Engine.
What I love about Yakuza 6's photography isn’t just that it captures your memories of the game, but that it lets you appreciate the sheer amount of work that goes into building its cities. Every street corner and back alley in Yakuza 6 is unique, every noodle joint has its own menu, and it’s incredible to take time out from the combat and running around to freeze the action and appreciate this.
It’s also a way for the game to stop and take a breath. The Yakuza experience is so often sold as bright lights and fury, but in reality much of the game is a pensive, almost meditative experience. For every 30-second raging fistfight you’ll spend minutes wandering quiet backalleys, listening to the world pass you by, and the game’s photos really help capture this.
Below, then, is a collection of some of my favourite photos taken during my playthrough of the game. Unsurprisingly, given everything I love about this series (and the fact they’re mementos of fun times spent in an exotic place), I’m in a weird space where I treasure them almost as much as actual photos taken on real holidays.