Zombies Invade the Yakuza Series

September 15, 2010 Written by Thomas Williams

When you think of the Yakuza series, you think of one thing: kicking Yakuza ass all over Japan. Right? Right! Friends and faithful followers of the series, Sega is about to blow your mind with the latest installment of the acclaimed series, as Ryu ga Gotoku: Of The End or Yakuza 5 for all of us American fans, pulled an M. Night Shyamalan size twist on us. ZOMBIES have invaded the world of Yakuza!

Famitsu teased Japanese gamers last week about the newest Yakuza and I don’t believe anyone saw this one coming. Instead of trying to be the japanese version of GTA, the series newest edition is taking a cue from the Resident Evils and Dead Risings of the world. Series producer Toshihiro Nagoshi explained to Famitsu why the series has received such a drastic overhaul.

We’ve been releasing Yakuza games at the rate of one per year. The engine’s been gradually improved down to the lowest of levels, and technologically it’s gotten a lot better, but we still need to evolve — and in order to evolve, we have to tear things down first. We need to find the right timing for that, but we don’t want to disappoint gamers by putting an ‘under construction’ sign in front of Yakuza. So with this game, I’d like to simultaneously tear things down and unfold some new developments in the series.

Ya know, if they really wanted to spruce-up the series, they could have added vehicles or made the world entirely open. When asked why they chose zombies (did ANYONE see that coming?), Toshihiro Nagoshi compared to the 2008 entry of the series,  Ryu ga Gotuku Kenzan! , which threw the game back in time..to fuedal Japan.

Kenzan blew away the classic formula by setting it in old Japan. With this game, I want to blow it away again in a different way. I think Yakuza is the sort of game you can play constructively in lots of different ways, and that’s exactly why I wanted to try something like this. This isn’t some kind of experimental work, though — it’s a fun, full game, and we’re very confident as we continue work on it.

I guess we shall see, won’t we? I promised some details, so here you go…

  • The storyline takes place in April 2011. Japan’s ‘self-defense force’ has quaratined off the Kamurocho district of Tokyo, due to the zombie outbreak, leaving the citizens to fend for themselves.
  • Just like Yakuza 4, there will be four seperate characters to play as. Series superstar, Kazuma Kiryu. Main villian from Yakuza 2, Ryuji Gouda. Crazy mobster Goro Majima and Shun Akiyama another crooked mobster.
  • You will still carry out missions in the classic Yakuza game-style..but this time there’s guns! Blow those zombies to pieces, Yakuza style!
  • Even though Zombies have taken over, there’s still going to be mini-games and the famous girl clubs. Go figure!

While Sega has confirmed that Yakuza 4 will be hitting the US and EU sometime next year, I can make NO promises that this entry in the series will make it here. But hey, never say never!