TGS 2008: Yakuza 3 Impressions

The Japanese mafia moves onto the PlayStation 3 with the latest in the Yakuza series.

by

TOKYO--We in the West may just be getting our fix of Yakuza 2 on the PlayStation 2, but Sega is already hard at work at bringing out the next game in the violent gangster series for the PlayStation 3. Sega didn't have playable versions of the game--titled Ryu ga Gotoku 3 in Japan--on the 2008 Tokyo Game Show floor, but they did have a small theatre setup where TGS-goers could check out an extended video presentation showcasing Yakuza 3's storyline and gameplay.

Get your gangster on with Yakuza 3.

The first half of the video was all about the game's story, which, unfortunately, was entirely in Japanese. From what we could pick up (and bear in mind these could be wildly inaccurate until we get better confirmation on plot), Yakuza 3 will put you in the middle of a expanding gang war which sees you taking on the various bosses of a crime syndicate. The main character is again Kiryu Kazuma, the main protagonist from the first two Yakuza games.

After the confusing story details (confusing for a non-Japanese speaker anyway), the presentation moved onto gameplay, and we must say it looked expansive to say the least. The game will have your character move around the streets of the fictional Kamuto-cho, with Yakuza 3's attention to detail to the city at this preview stage looking like it could rival Grand Theft Auto IV in terms of realism. The city scenes we saw looked extremely detailed, from real-life stores that you'd expect to see in Tokyo streets (such as a Club Sega arcade) to ads for real Japanese brands (like Suntory). The buildings, footpaths, pedestrians, and neon signs looked very realistic, and we can't wait to see it close-up when we get our hands on the game itself.

Combat was the major part of the previous Yakuza games, with Yakuza 3 looking like it's not going to skimp on either action or brutality. The brief scenes of combat we saw featured some impressive armed and unarmed combat with Kazuma. As well as fighting with fists and feet, we saw Kazuma take on mobs of gangsters with nunchakus, poles, and even a bicycle. The violence was also quite extreme--in one fight, Kazuma literally stomped on a downed opponents face with both feet, sending blood spurting dramatically.

It seems like Kazuma will also be able to learn new moves as the game progresses. In one example, Kazuma witnessed a woman being groped by some passing pervert. The woman promptly elbowed her attacker to the face and sent him packing. Kazuma can apparently record such scenes on his in-game mobile phone, learning them in the process and being able to use them in the next fight.

But what was even more impressive was the amount of nonfighting content the game looks set to have. Just like GTAIV again, Yakuza 3 seems to let you take a break from all the ultra-violence once in a while thanks to the inclusion of minigames. The ones featured in the video presentation included billiards, bowling, mahjong, baseball, poker, and even skill-tester claw machines. Romancing various young ladies also seems to have some sort of minigame element, as well as some customisation as the video showed players being able to adjust the makeup of their chosen female companion.

From the presentation, Yakuza 3 not only exhibits good graphics, but looks to have the potential to be a top action game for 2009. We'll bring you more updates on this title in the coming months, so keep checking GameSpot for more details.

Discussion

29 comments
tyco_ex
tyco_ex

I've never played any of the Yakuza games. Is it basically a Japanese version of GTA like this article seems to say?

NoctisLucis
NoctisLucis

well this game looks really good on the japanise ps store , like really wow good

ishasan00
ishasan00

Another exciting PS3 exclusive. With Killzone 2, White Knight Chronicles, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Heavy Rain so far, 2009 cannot come soon enough!

Gocrunks
Gocrunks

I'm looking forward to this one. I like the Yakuza series and hope that they come out with more games like it and Shenmue.

wroledan
wroledan

they should make the city more alive like in gta4,and they also should allow beating up pedestrians like in gta4 and more character customization.this game looks promising

EnaVRi
EnaVRi

Well... I hope they release it soon... Yakuza 2 came 2 years after the Japanese release... I hope Kenzan will be also released in US

juty411
juty411

Every body know that 2#Shenmue is the besT game after 1#metal gear

X_CAPCOM_X
X_CAPCOM_X

To any fan of Shenmue, this is your game.

GranReyUno
GranReyUno

I love the Yakuza franchise and can't wait for Yakuza 3. Sounds like they are improving features on a already great game.

Vyse_Legends
Vyse_Legends

Oh. Hells. YES!!!!!!!:D Man I can't wait for this game!!!:D

EPaul
EPaul

There a 20 min video Gametrailers if anyone is interested

NuKkU
NuKkU

ive never played a Yakuza game but seeing the other 2 and now this makes me just want to get one of them

Sokol4ever
Sokol4ever

I'm having a blast with Yakuza 2 and if what I'm reading does indeed come to fruition, this will be outstanding action game.

EnaVRi
EnaVRi

This will be better than GTA...

RandomBeast
RandomBeast

Wow, this sounds like a real step up for the series. I wonder when it'll come out?

Tenko72
Tenko72

One word: AWESOME!!!

ianpm
ianpm

I really really want SHENMUE 3.....but i guess Yakuza 3 will do for now

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Cool... I didn't play the other Yakuza games, but I'm willing to give it a shot. I'd rather the Edo-period samurai game they released in Japan, but with Way of the Samurai 3 coming back from the vaporware column, I'm sure that'll be enough.

Pfilosophy
Pfilosophy

Oh man, this AND Way of the Samurai 3! Today is just too good.

omuntu
omuntu

i hipe it doen't get as boring as gta

king_bobo
king_bobo

This looks seriously awesome. I think I saw the gameplay footage their talking about somewhere on the Internet, and the graphics look great. Nice!

dinhowr80
dinhowr80

Game good for ps2,ps3 very good sequency

Zero_Beat
Zero_Beat

Hottest looking game at TGS 2008 IMO.

Z-Blood
Z-Blood

Looks great....graphics look great!

Z-Blood
Z-Blood

Looks great....graphics look great!