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Yakuza 5 announced: 5 playable characters and a brand new engine

Posted by GeorgeFollow George on Twitter! on May 23rd, 2012


Yakuza 4
was the first game to allow new playable characters outside of Kazuma. They actually had 4 playable characters since it was the 4th game. Seems that SEGA is continuing that gimmick with Yakuza 5 , since they have announced 5 playable characters. Who are they?

  • Kazuma Kiryu
  • Taiga Saejima
  • Shun Akiyama
  • Haruka
  • Tatsuo Shinada

So we have two new playable characters and one of them is Haruka? Yes, the little girl you rescue in the first game and take care of throughout the series is now a playble character. Intresting? Hit the jump for more details on the title.

Even though Haruka is announced as a playable character, it isn’t confirmed how she will play. It doesn’t seem like she would be that effective in a fight, so maybe her bits deal with more of the exploring aspect. So far SEGA is hush on details.

The other playable character, Tatsuo Shinada, is a former baseball player. He was banned from playing baseball due to being caught gambling. It seems that he might have been innocent of the whole thing. In the game he suffers from debt.

The story in the game will follow the events of Yakuza 4 since Yakuza: Dead Souls is a spin off and not part of the series’ story line. In the start of the story we have our main man Kazuma Kiryu sporting some black clothes in Fukuoka where he got a full time job as a taxi driver. Yes, some Crazy Taxi stuff. Soejima is serving a three year prison sentence, and that is where he hears that Akiyama has come to Osaka on a business trip. Haruka is also in Osaka, leaving Okinawa behind because she wants to become an idol. Which is also my dream, by the way. She lives on her own and practices her singing and dancing; she hopes that a talent agency will give her the break she is looking for. Sadly for her, they have other plans.

The full title of the game in Japan is Ryu ga Gotoku 5: Yume Kanaeshi Mono (rough translation: Yakuza 5: Person Who Fulfills Dreams). In an interview with Famitsum it is revealed that the game has had double the development time of the other Yakuza games this generation. Also the script/scenarios in the game are the most dynamic  yet seen in the series. Exploring the city and getting into a fight will also be seamless and the controls have been revamped. Sounds very exciting.

The game will also feature five cities, which were already confirmed back in November. Those cities are Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

The biggest improvement you will see in Yakuza 5 is the graphics. Toshihiro Nagoshi has confirmed that this new title is running on a brand new engine. The last ‘new’ engine we saw from his team was Binary Domain, which had great visuals in my opinion. Nagoshi explained that Yakuza: Dead Souls marked the end of the series and what the developers had worked up to that point. Yes, that including the engine, which has been completely scrapped. He said that Yakuza 5 could have been given the title “New Yakuza” since that is what they set out to do.  Even though he talked about the series being ‘new’, all the old trademarks of the series are still back. That includes free roaming the city, battles, and playing mini games. Of course Nagoshi stated this will have the most content compared to the past games. I could have guessed that one.

Yakuza 5 is 70% complete at this point. It is planned on being released this winter (December).

8 thoughts on “Yakuza 5 announced: 5 playable characters and a brand new engine”

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  1. Aki-at says:

    Runner up to GOTY2012, mark my words.

    This and Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown has made me a very happy bunny for the rest of the year.

  2. betablocker says:

    So am I the only one who would like the franchise rebooted in adherence to the Blue Skies in Games?

    1. Centrale says:

      Yakuza’s got blue skies. Especially Yakuza 3.

  3. CrazyTails says:

    Wow.. haruka? Damn this is going to be great.

    As mademang mentioned at the forums, I would have rather played with 1 character too, but that was mainly because of the level up system and feel like u have to start over and learn everything, everytime u change characters.

    Anyway, if they are really improving alot this time, I hope they rethink the levelup/moves system

  4. -nSega54- says:

    Very mixed feelings about this news, but I’ll wait to see gameplay footage before making any final judgements. At the very least, I’m glad the visuals are finally receiving an overhaul.

  5. Jaymz says:

    I have owned all 4 previous games and as soon as it is released in australia im that big of a fan i couldn’t care less what it cost me its a got to have game if your a fan like me plus im that big of a fan I want KAZUMAS tattoo and im going to name my first son when i have one after KAZUMA coz he was my favorite character yet plus playing as four main characters was fun so five should be alot of fun and about time you get to playas Haruka plus it would be cool if you could add tattoos to the characters if possible I would play it at least 12 hours a day and I dont care what people say its the best japanese styled mafia game ever to have been made for PS3 but I hope they make the fighting look more real by getting rid of the coloured blurs from the heat moves and the different tournament styled fights they are my only 2 dislikes in the whole four series they should just have underground street fighting tournaments were anything except guns are not allowed so it sticks to hand to hand combat and melee only

  6. Eric says:

    Jaymz, sorry you sound like a kid (your not 17 above huh?). There is a boarder line between idolizing and obsession. As previous post mentioned, I do agree on the flaws that the levelling system is kind of flaw due to the level and the amount of soul points are not interchangeable or in co-relation to one another. I personally think Haruka should not be a major playable character due to her significant but minor role. I certainly was hoping Tanimura would come back for round 2 but I guess he would not be. One question arises from the article mentioning Kiryu as a taxi cab driver. I am confused about why is Kiryu a taxi cab driver when in 4 he reinstated his position as the chairman of the Tojo Clan, Can anyone please explain this to me? I understand the presence of Akiyama’s story line and Saejima for doing something illegal imprisoning him.

    1. JAYMZ says:

      ACTUALLY ERIC I TURN 22 ON THE12 OF APPRIL THIS YEAR I MAY SAY STUFF THAT SOUNDS A LITTLE CHILDISH AT TIMES BUT I HAVE BEEN FASCINATED WITH GANGSTER GAMES AND MOVIES AND BOOKS BUT I LIKE TO CUSTOMISE GAME CHARACTERS IN APPEARENCE WISE AND I LIKE REAL LIFE LIKE FEATURES IN GAMES BUT ME PERSONALY DONT CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF ME CAUSE ERIC EVERBODY IS ENTITTLED THERE OWN OPION ON EVERYTHING

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