Yakuza 5 detailed in Famitsu

New engine. Haruka and newcomer Shinada playable.

May 22, 2012 / 10:49 PM EDT / (@salromano)

Yakuza 5 ups the four character ante set by Yakuza 4 and Dead Souls with five playable characters, this week’s Famitsu reveals. Joining series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu are Taiga Saejima, Shun Akiyama, Haruka Sawamura, and newcomer Tatsuo Shinada.

Haruka is the first female playable character in the series. What happened to her as a result of previous events is being kept secret. Tatsuo Shinada is a former baseball player banned from the sport for gambling on games – a crime for which he may be innocent. He is currently being chased by debt collectors.

The sequel is set throughout five cities: Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Osaka. Each city houses one of the five main characters, whose stories will intertwine. Kiryu begins in Fukuoka, where he is a taxi driver. Saejima is serving a three-year prison sentence. Akiyama is headed to Osaka on business. Haruka is also in Osaka, pursuing her dream of becoming an idol, but her talent agency has different plans for her.

Yakuza 5 is the series’ largest project yet, and runs on an entirely new engine. The team has spent twice the amount of time developing the title, and its script is of the series’ greatest scale. The transition from adventure to battle scenes are seamless, and controls have seen a dramatic improvement. The game is currently 70 percent complete. It is due for PlayStation 3 in Japan this December.

Thanks, Game Memo.

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  • Kobracon

    DAM this sounds AMAZING! 5 Cities! Man it can’t get any better than thi-”Haruka is a playable character” o_O -_- 0_0!

    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! OMG! She must’ve learned a thing or two from all those times watching Uncle Kiryu kick arse. I can’t WAIT to see her fighting style!!!

  • RyoonZ

    Woooooooooooooot!!!!!!!

  • FinalFantasy_fangirl

    Wow can’t wait

  • Hinano

    Haruka mai waifu!

  • Kobracon

    Also, is that Saejima in the right page of the first pic?! He looks sooo different :O

  • wishingW3L

    Haruka looks way different and pursuing her dream of becoming an idol? I never thought she was this shallow in the inside… But I like the unexpected! She grew up and became a bad girl. MMmmmm ;)

    But Kazuma a taxi driver? Now that’s crazy. 0_O

    • Kobracon

      @wishingW3L: Being an Idol is like being a model. Doesn’t necessarily mean shes shallow. I doubt all models are shallow.

  • Sal Romano

    Updated the post a bit with some extra info I found laying around. Always easier to get things in order when its not scattered about on a message board.

    Anyhow. I really have to get into this series. My younger brother is a huge fan and is always telling me how great it the series is. Keep telling myself I will try it, but time keeps me away. Obviously, I’d like to start at the first two games, but I hear they’re pretty expensive (the second game, at least). It’d be nice if Sega could put these on PSN for $10 a piece.

    • Kobracon

      @Sal Romano: You can start with Yakuza 3, Sal. It has a very concise video summary of what happened in Yakuza 1 and 2. In fact, all the Yakuza games have a very well done recap vids at the beginning. Of course if you want to experience the games first hand then go right ahead. Personally I can’t go back to the first 2 now coz of the loading time :/

    • rockman29

      @Sal Romano: Play the first two I think. I don’t think they are that expensive? At least new they costed only 30 USD a pop.

      I’d highly recommend playing the first two though. I wouldn’t want to shrink that into a summary package for anyone. They are damn fun games, and will get you invested into the characters much more and make the whole series matter way more.

  • http://chaosraiden.blogspot.com/ Chaos Raiden

    Looks great. After the blunder of Yakuza: Dead Souls, I hope that this Yakuza 5 will be more awesome than the previous games.

  • KingOptimus111

    Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!

  • zakou

    YEEEAAHH! :D best new ever!

  • Charlie

    I haven’t bought a Yakuza game since the third one. This one has certainly got my attention!

  • Dc1

    DS was an excellent one-off dont knock.
    Every Yakuza fan knows that it is not canon.

  • zakou

    But i hate how they removed Detective Masa…wth he was my fav. T_T

    • rockman29

      @zakou: They did? That’s a serious biznatch! He had the sickest moves!

      Sounds great, glad to hear of all these improvements. Would love to get into battles without a crazy load screen thingy.

      Looking forward to some gameplay and cutscene trailers.

  • http://www.espadakiller.wordpress.com EspadaKiller

    CAN’T WAIT