I hope you didn’t forget about Yakuza 6: The Song of Life because apparently IGN surely didn’t forget about it. They managed to get some time in with Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi and senior localization manager Sam Mullen, who talked a little bit about the upcoming worldwide release for the PS4 title.
Yakuza 6 is based on the all new Dragon Engine, which powers the fighting and exploration exploits of Kiryu. One of the things that the Dragon Engine does that’s new for the series is make it where all of the open-world exploits take place in one seamless instance.
Players will be able to walk into buildings, get into fights, talk to NPCs, and take on quests all without loading screens. You can check it out in the 16 minute video below.
Probably one of the more exciting things about the game is the inclusion of award-winning Japanese film director “Beat” Takeshi Kitano, best known for his films themed around the Yakuza such as Outrage and Beyond Outrage to name but a few. It seemed like a perfect fit that he would make an appearance in one of Sega’s Yakuza games.
According to Nagoshi, the famed film director wasn’t a gamer, but they met many years ago and became friends, and that’s how he ended up with a small role in the upcoming game. Nagoshi explained…
“[I] came to know Takeshi-san, maybe five years ago. [We] became good friends […] This was going to be [Kiryu] Kazumya-san’s final chapter, and it worked out that [I asked him] ‘Would you be interested in being part of the project?’ and Takeshi-san was like ‘Eh, okay’. So here we are.”
“Takeshi Kitano is not really a gamer; he doesn’t play games himself. But he’s always looking for something new – some new challenges [and] new kind of work to get involved with. So this was very interesting for him to work on.”
One of the other things they mention is that Kiryu travels to Hiroshima, and it’s a country town, very different from the busy city life of Tokyo. Nagoshi-san mentions that there are specific mini-games that players will experience in Hiroshima different from what’s available in Tokyo. Additionally, he contrasted Hiroshima with the different places in America, and that just one place doesn’t represented all of America in the same place that just one place featured in Yakuza doesn’t represent all of Japan.
We also get a look at some of the mini-games, including the working out mini-game where Kiryu can go to a gym and lift weights, do squats and other things – according to Nagoshi the gym Kiryu goes to is actually based on a real gym in Tokyo, Japan.
They tried making the game and the stores as realistic as possible, and give gamers as many locations to visit as possible based on real Japanese locations and activities. They’ve also revamped a lot of the old mini-games with improved visuals and gameplay.
They’ve also added a new gang feature that allows players to recruit gang members, build up a gang and then go fight other gangs, almost like in Rockstar’s The Warriors.
Nagoshi also mentions that all the basic moves in the game are done through motion capture but they have the hand-animators to tweak and modify some of the moves in order to add that extra stylistic flair that the Yakuza series is known for.
They also repeated a couple of times that the game won’t require past knowledge of Yakuza titles in order to understand the plot of the latest game. Everything you need to know is front-loaded and you don’t need to play all the previous games to understand what’s going on in Yakuza 6.
So if you’re interested in playing the title and jumping right in with the PS4 version, you’ll be able to do so when Yakuza 6: A Song of Life comes out in early 2018.