The seventh entry in Sega’s Yakuza series is upon us and fans of the series are clamouring to get their hands on this sequel. Yakuza 0 was released last year for English-speaking players and the game is still fresh in our minds. With Yakuza 6 finally continuing the ever-dangerous saga of Kazuma Kiryu, here’s what to expect in The Song of Life:
The Story Continues
Kazuma Kiryu’s tale of redemption continues in The Song of Life, the story takes off straight from Yakuza 5. Kazuma Kiryu is arrested as he is recovering from his wounds in the hospital, he willingly gives in to the police and the game starts with Kiryu finishing the three-year prison sentence and setting forth on a new adventure. Players must hunt down the people responsible for a hit-and-run on Haruka, Kiryu’s adopted daughter, and bring them to justice.
A New City
No more stark neon lights for this old boy anymore; Kiryu has traded in the busy streets of Shinjuku for a slice of rural Japan in Onomichi, Hiroshima. The Yakuza series has so far been a tour and faithful recreation of major Japanese cities; from Tokyo to Okinawa to Fukuoka. This change of scenery is in-line with the main characters more grizzled and aging world-view and is a nice change of pace for us players. It’s also a nice place to show off the new Dragon Engine for the game, providing photorealistic scenery and characters.
Same Fists, New Combat
An older Kiryu also means he’s no stranger to beating up bad guys with his fists. The beat-em-up style of previous games returns though it has definitely upgraded. Kiryu now has more weight to his punches, with his enemies acting accordingly too.
The game designers made sure to make the fighting more realistic than ever before. Kiryu also has a new Extreme Heat Mode, which basically has him turning Super Saiyan and having a whole new set of moves. Not so realistic after all?
Clash of Clans
Similar to the mobile RTS hit, Yakuza 6 now allows for players to recruit in-game yakuza members to fight and defend their territory. Players can fill their clan with their favourite returning characters and fight against the Six Lunatics, six powerful clan leaders that is taking over Onomichi. The game plays out in a top-down view, as most real-time strategy games do, and is a nice addition to the main game.
It may be Sega’s biggest hit franchise since Sonic, but that doesn’t mean the Yakuza series has forgotten its roots. Sega has been banking on their classic library for a while now, and Yakuza 6 is a pretty good way of experiencing their games if you’ve never had. The likes of Virtua Fighter 5 is playable, shoot-em-ups like Space Harrier and Fantasy Zone too, and even the original Puyo Puyo puzzle game is around for players to enjoy. What a treat.
Overall, Japan’s answer to Grand Theft Auto has been making waves in its native country and it’s nice to see Sega broadening their reach for this series. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will be out in English tomorrow, the 17th of April for the PlayStation 4.