The Yakuza video game series has been going strong since the first Yakuza game, which was released way back in 2005, hit the market. Set in fictional locations in Japan, these games are similar to Rockstar’s GTA video games, with the Yakuza (the infamous Asian crime syndicate) taking centre stage in these games’ stories.
And much to the delight of fans, publisher Sega has announced that Yakuza 0 will be released in North America and Europe on January 24 next year. Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the series, and like other games in the franchise it also stars Kazuma Kiryu, a man looking to earn a name for himself in the Tokyo underworld, plus Goro Majima, a cabaret owner looking to join the yakuza, also features in the game’s plot.
It also looks like the game will retain its oriental feel, as according to localization director Scott Strichart the original Japanese voiceovers will be left in for that authentic Yakuza experience, but the localization team did add chapter titles and opponent names in English to the game instead of just subtitling this information. “For the first time since Yakuza 2 back on PS2, we’re actually putting all the chapter titles, character introductions, opponent names, and on-screen directions in English, instead of just subtitling the kanji”, wrote Strichart on the PlayStation Blog.
Yakuza 0 was already released in Japan and China last year, becoming a top-seller in both countries, so it really is good news for fans of the series and GTA-style games that this Yakuza game will have a western release next year. And given how well-reviewed the Asian version of the game was, it is clear that Yakuza 0 will be one PS4 exclusive to look forward to when it hits the shelves early next year.
Note: Yakuza 0 will be released in North America and Europe on January 24, 2017. Available on PS4.