Yakuza 5 New Engine

Yakuza 5 will be gracing PS3’s in Japan this year, and it’s already looking to be a bigger game than previous titles. According to new reports, the latest game in the franchise will feature an all new engine and five playable characters.

The Yakuza games have typically followed series star Kazuma Kiryu, up until Yakuza 4, when gamers were able to play as four different characters – each with their own chapter in the story. Yakuza 5 will add a fifth character to the mix and contains a total of five different cities. The five confirmed characters are Kazuma Kiryu, Shun Akiyama, Taiga Saejima, Haruka, and newcomer Tatsuo Shinada. This will also be the first time Haruka is a playable character. She’s never been shown off to be a fighter – and Sega has yet to reveal how combat will work during her story.

The five cities players will visit are Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, as well as series mainstay Tokyo. Kazuma has become a taxi driver in Fukuoka, while Saejima is once again in prison, and Akiyama has come to Osaka on business. Haruka has moved to Osaka where she is training to become an idol. The newest character, Shinada, is a retired baseball player battling debt and a lifetime ban from his sport. The story is a direct continuation of the events in Yakuza 4. In Japan, Yakuza 5‘s full title is Ryu ga Gotoku 5: Yume Kanaeshi Mono, which Andriasang translates as Yakuza 5: Person Who Fulfills Dreams.

Yakuza 4 Guns

Yakuza 5 will also use a brand new engine which will allow the game to transition back and forth from fight sequences seamlessly.  Yakuza Studio will also be able to push more content into the final product. This includes improved controls – which were never even that bad to begin with. Past titles have also given players the ability to partake in mini-games around the cities, and Yakuza 5 will offer more content than ever. Hopefully none of it will be cut out for the North American release – like with Yakuza 3.

While we still have yet to see the game in action, so far things sound like they’re moving along nicely. Yakuza 5 has already enjoyed double the development time of past games, and the new engine should really help out with creating a game that stands out from past titles. My only concern is the amount of characters. Yakuza 4 was a good game, the story just lacked the cohesion of Yakuza 3, and this was due to the amount of events and character players had to keep track of.

Yakuza 5 releases in December for Japanese PS3 owners, and will most likely launch in North America sometime next year.

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Source: Andriasang (1, 2, 3)