A new Yakuza game arrives in Japan this December, complete with a surprising new playable character.
According to the latest issue of Famitsu, Yakuza 5 will feature five Japanese cities; Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, each with its own protagonist. Grimacing series protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, is making a welcome return, as is Shun Akiyama and Y4's Taiga Sejima. The other two characters are Tatsuo Shinada, a former baseball player given a lifetime ban for gambling, and Haruka, Kiryu's teenage daughter. I wonder if Haruka's gameplay segments will play out anything like her dad's; I certainly hope so.
Yakuza 5 has had double the development time of previous games in the series, and currently stands at around 70% complete. The game also features a new engine which will apparently let the gameplay switch between adventuring and delicious violence seamlessly. The game is headed to Japanese PS3s in December.
While previous Yakuza games have eventually made it to Western shores - albeit not entirely unmolested - there is some doubt as to whether Yakuza 5 will see a release in the barbarian lands. SEGA has always been a bit flighty when it comes to localizing the series, particularly after it spent so much on celebrity voice acting for the first game, and the poor sales of Zombie-based spinoff, Yakuza: Dead Souls, could be the final nail in that particular coffin.
That being said, if Kiryu is heading to Osaka, he may want to cover up that tattoo.