Bandai Namco's latest foray into the DBZ franchise is the forthcoming action RPG known as Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, which the publisher has promised to be the most detailed telling of Goku's story in a video game to date. Thus far, there has been practically no reason to doubt these words, as small moments such as Raditz vs. the Farmer with a Shotgun and Goku trying to get his driver's license made it into the game, which spans the entirety of DBZ from Saiyan Saga to the Buu Saga.
Certain areas of the game have been explored more than others, but overall, DBZ fans have a pretty wholesome idea of how much the game will cover and how much it will expand upon. Out of everything showcased so far, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot's Saiyan Saga has perhaps received the least attention - at least in terms of how much gameplay has been shown about each major encounter - but he is everything we do know about this chapter in DBZ: Kakarot.
Arrival of Raditz
The initiating encounter is when Raditz, Goku's brother, arrives on Earth and ends with Goku and Piccolo defeating him. Reports indicate that there's enough content in the early game to spend around 2 hours doing sidequests and more before beginning the final fight with Raditz. While the amount of content that can be explored has yet to be fully addressed, characters like Nam the Peddler appear and are likely a good source of experience in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. When players do take on Raditz, it seems Piccolo will take on the role of a support character, with the fighting ending as many would think.
Snake Way? Preparation for Vegeta and Nappa?
Here's where it gets confusing. After the defeat of Raditz, Goku and the Z Fighters have to get ready for the arrival of Vegeta and Nappa on Earth. Goku ends up traveling Snake Way to reach King Kai's planet to train, whereas Piccolo takes Gohan to train in the wilderness. Krillin, Tien, Yamcha, Chiaotzu, and Yajirobe all train at Kami's lookout in preparation as well.
When the Saiyans arrive on Earth, the first major fight is the Z Fighters vs. Saibamen followed by the group tussling with Nappa. Vegeta then calls for a 3-hour pause for Goku, who quickly defeats Nappa when he arrives. Vegeta then kills Nappa with he and Goku relocating for the fight. How exactly Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot includes this content remains to be seen, but there have been a few screenshots and cursory glances at this period.
First, it seems likely that Kid Gohan's training will be playable during the game, as Piccolo vs. Great Ape Gohan has been shown in prior trailers, so the events preceding it are only logical inclusions. The training at Kami's lookout will likely be skipped over or just shown in cutscenes, but Goku's role during this time is perhaps the most curious. After just a couple hours with the game, it would be strange to abandon him, even for a short time, but nothing concerning Snake Way has been shown.
King Kai's planet is on Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot's full map, so it seems likely that players will do some training there. But Snake Way is the real question: it's a good opportunity for DBZ: Kakarot to showcase filler content and original content as well, perhaps even including and/or expanding upon the Princess Snake filler line. Either way, that's currently unknown, but most of this has been showcased to one extent or another.
The Final Battle
The Saiyan Saga comes to an end when Goku manages to defeat Nappa and Vegeta, with Goku practically stomping Nappa without contest in the anime. This hasn't been shown to detail in any Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot trailers, but there has been enough showcased to know that Goku vs. Nappa is a thing. It's at this time in the anime where Vegeta destroys his Scouter and issues the infamous meme/quote, "IT'S OVER 9000!!" Nothing has been shown to indicate this will appear in game, but it seems safe to assume that it will be to some capacity.
Goku vs. Vegeta also happens obviously, as the intro to the fight has been shown, but there's one question that goes unanswered: how will Great Ape Vegeta go? Reasonably, thanks to the inclusion of Piccolo vs. Great Ape Gohan, it seems safe to say that the gameplay will be similar to what's seen above. It'll be interesting to see if this changes up the formula any, but either way, players can reasonably expect to see this in DBZ: Kakarot.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has had 9 playable characters revealed so far, but these characters are locked due to their chronological appearances. For example, players will not be seeing Gotenks or Super Vegito appear in the Saiyan Saga, but there will be at least 3 playable characters in the Saga. Goku, Piccolo, and Kid Gohan will all be playable to some degree, though the jury is out on who players will spend the most time with. Because his Saiyan name is in the title, the safe bet seems to be Goku, but that also depends on how Snake Way and King Kai's Planet are treated.
Of course, all of this doesn't mention the sidequests, mini-games, and more players will be doing throughout each of these. While the fights will likely be a core part of the overall experience, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has so much more to offer fans of the franchise. There's two months remaining until the game releases, so players will be able to dive into Saiyan Saga, Frieza Saga, Cell Saga, and Buu Saga sooner than they might think.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot will be out on January 17, 2020 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.