Yakuza 5 is an action adventure open world video game. As the name would suggest, this 5th entry into the long running series of Yakuza video games. Like the previous entries of the series, the game is being developed by Sega who are the current owners of the series property.
The game launched in Japan on December 6th of 2012, but it wasn’t until the later half of 2014 when the game was announced to be finally coming to the West. This was announced during the PlayStation Experience Event which was held in Las Vegas on December 6th of 2014. Though unlike its 2012 Japanese counterpart, this game will not be launching at retail nor will it be arriving on PlayStation 4.
Instead, Yakuza 5 will be shipping exclusively on the PlayStation 3 by way of digital download on the PlayStation Network. The game is slated a Q3 2015 release.
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One of the problems that was faced by western media outlets when the game was first released, is that the game was exclusive to Japan. This led to a lack of information flowing out into the public. This, of course, led to a number of fans feeling somewhat left out of circle because the games have a niche but dedicated fanbase outside of Japan.
This fanbase was cultivated from the other games in the series all eventually being released in Northern American Territories as well as Europe. This includes, Yakuza, Yakuza 2, Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 4, all of which have been successful games, thus confusing fans over why it took so long Yakuza 5 to be green lit for Western release.
The decision to bring the game to the west was apparently made due to fan demand. Speaking about the matter, Sega has said “We’ve received so many requests from our fans to bring Yakuza 5 to the U.S. and Europe. Yakuza 5 also made the top of the list of Sony’s #BuildingTheList campaign led by Gio Corsi at Sony Computer Entertainment and we were moved by all the support given to Yakuza 5 by the PlayStation community.”
Yakuza 5 is somewhat unlike the previous entries in the series. Most of the Yakzua titles had a development time of around one year in length but Yakuza 5 was in development nearly twice as long as usual. This is perhaps explained by the fact that this was the first game to make use of an all new graphics engine that was different from previous versions of the PS3 series of Yakuza games that seems to be unnamed at this time. It’s also possible that the engine name simply hasn’t been translated.
Such was the polish on the game, it has sold in excess of 590,000 copies in Japan and it even managed to score a perfect 40/40 from Japanese gaming publication Famitsu.
Yakuza 5 was developed to be more of a reboot than anything else. The game is thought to have been called “New Yakuza” by the developers, likely meaning that has the game is like a new version of Yakuza. Yakuza 5 also sports a rather impressive size, spanning five cities and five main playable characters, which is an impressive feat.
When Sony and Sega partnered to release the game, an announcement which was made during the PlayStation Experience event in Las Vegas, Sega had this to say, “Today is a very special and exciting day for all of us at SEGA. Partnering with our friends at Sony Computer Entertainment America, we just revealed our plan to bring Yakuza 5 to the U.S. and Europe.”
Despite bringing the game to the US and Europe, the game won’t be being ported to the PS4, it is instead being left on the last generation PlayStation 3.
Despite being considered a reboot, the game actually continues on from where Yakuza 4 finished with an uneasy ceasefire of sorts. While it was in no way an official ceasefire, it was upheld by the honour bound Yakuza Clans. The two clans involved were the Tojo and the Ueno. However, when a police conspiracy is uncovered, the ceasefire crumbles.
Yakuza 5 is the first game in the series to step outside the boundaries of Kamurocho. It will instead feature real world locales rather than fictional recreations of the same.
The game itself though, despite being on a new engine and being called the “New Yakuza” by the developers, remains largely unchanged from a gameplay point of view. It’s still played from a third person perspective. There is still the clear distinction between adventure and combat modes, with the two being entirely separate.
As per the previous games, adventure mode is the time that players are given to explore the city. This is often when you will do the exploring and mini-game portions of Yakuza 5. The cities are also going to be bigger than the previous cities.
When encounters with enemies occurs in the adventure mode, previous games had a transition that alerted you to the change. Now however the change is said to be “better” and more seamless.
With that being said, combat remains a visceral experience, with enemies being thrust spine first into lamp posts, faces of downed enemies being trodden on with alum and of course the usual hand to hand brawling flare that has come to represent the series. The speed of combat is also considerably quicker than before, combos and special attacks are augmented by the inclusion of Quick Time Event attacks that often link hard hitting blows together.
Speaking about the game, Sega’s Masayoshi Yokoyama said “Yakuza 5 is the largest and most definitive version of the Yakuza series. The game is filled with depictions of the Japanese way of life, culture, trends, social issues and dreams. You will play as 5 different main characters with a range of different ages, genders and professions and experience their challenges through a variety of character focused, in-depth stories. I hope you can immerse yourself in our rendition of modern time Japan.”
As mentioned above the game contains a returning cast plus a new character
- Kazuma Kiryu – Spending his time working as a taxi driver under the new name Susuki Taichi.
- Taiga Saejima – Taiga is still serving out a 2 year jail sentence.
- Shun Akiyama – Shun is away on matters of business in Osaka, an important economic region in Japan.
- Haruka Sawamura – Currently pursuing a career in becoming an idol.
- Tatsuo Shinada – A former baseball player that received a ban for life because of his gambling.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.