With their release of Yakuza 5 only days away, SEGA have today confirmed their commitment to the long-running Yakuza franchise by announcing their plans to localise and publish Yakuza 0 on the PlayStation 4. Unlike Yakuza 5, this title will be available for purchase via both physical and digital channels at an unspecified date in the future.
Set in Tokyo, December 1988, players will have a chance to see where it all started for series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and his ascension into the ranks of the Yakuza. Starting off in series familiar location Kamurocho, Kiryu, a junior member of the Dojima family, gets blamed for a debt collection that ends in murder. Of course, this murder happens on a hotly coveted plot of land in Kamurocho, and Kiryu quickly finds himself in over his head trying to regain his honor and save the reputation of his savior and father figure, Shintaro Kazama.
Meanwhile, series familiar Goro Majima is living the life in Osaka, running a cabaret above board. But his desire to rejoin the Yakuza Clan he was ousted from is intense, and in order to do so, Majima must complete impossible tests set by increasingly unforgiving bosses. The clan keeps pushing his limits just to see how far he will really go to prove his loyalty…
For the full experience, I do think that SEGA will eventually have to re-localise and release Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition on the PlayStation 3 at some point. However, it is great to see that SEGA have once again decided to work on the Yakuza series, and it will be interesting to see the prologue to what has always been a storyline-intensive series.