SEGA of Japan has unleashed a ton of information and there are a lot of “fives” involved. For starters, there are five main characters - Kazuma Kiryu, Taiga Saejima, Shun Akiyama, Haruka, and Tatsuo Shinada. Yes, you read that correctly Haruka is a playable character (after all, there is a rather sizable female audience for these games in Japan).
Furthermore, SEGA will be showcasing 5 different cities in Japan: Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.
The game builds off the story line aspects of part 4 as “Yakuza Of the End/Dead Souls” is considered a spin-off title. The new game also brings with it a brand new game engine and has had double the development time of any previous entry in the series:
“ The game will have a script/scenario with the greatest scale and dynamism yet seen in the series. Adventure will switch to battle and back seamlessly. The controls have been improved dramatically. Development on this new Yakuza is at 70%. A PS3 release is planned for December.”
Most of the characters will be familiar to fans of the series except for Shinda who is a former baseball player in trouble with the law over huge gambling debts.
Other characters will have different motivations, the Dragon of Dojima will be feeling his new city through the steering wheel of a taxi, Sajema is serving a three year sentence in jail, Akiyama is visiting Osaka on business, and Haruka wants to be an idol.
No word yet on how the game will control when battling as Haruka. Take a look at the first set of screens for the game: here.
I really hope that this Yakuza title can unseat number 3 as my personal favorite. Hopefully, SEGA of America will bring this one over sooner rather than later.