While the Yakuza series has received critical acclaim and gone on to sell well outside of its homeland, it has been most popular where the game takes place--Japan. The latest in the series, Ryu ga Gotoku: Of the End/Yakuza: Of the End, is a spin-off featuring a postapocalyptic Kamurocho prefecture filled with zombies. The game's official website recently revealed new information about the title, which is due to go on sale in mid March this year.
Players will take on the role of one of the four main characters as they attempt to uncover why the apocalypse has happened, while also trying to survive in the harsh environment filled with all manner of undead.
Fans can turn non-playable characters they meet in the world into their partners, who can help fight alongside them. To enable them to join the cause, they'll first need to clear that character's secondary story. These stories can be different, depending on who the main character is. Players can also turn club hostesses into gun-toting partners by visiting host clubs scattered throughout the city. Not much is known about the partner customization options, but characters from past Yakuza games, like Kazuto Arase and Makoto Date, can be recruited.
In addition, you can now access the Kamurocho Underground, which is a randomly generated dungeon filled with zombies and potential rewards. At the bottom of these dungeons is a boss which offers bigger experience bonuses and items upon its defeat. Other information previously revealed includes zombie enemy types players will be fighting against. The game will have zombies like the Yakuza type (a standard zombie); the Nakionna type, which can alert nearby zombies to join its cause when provoked; and the Dekamacho type, which is the game's equivalent of the tank in the Left 4 Dead series. In terms of weapons, gamers upgrade their arsenal by collecting spoils of war from fallen zombies and combining them onto a weapon of choice.
Gamers will also get to control vehicles, including tanks, bulldozers, and an armored vehicle similar to an APC, during the free-roaming sections of the game. New weapons are also being introduced, like the railgun that shoots out power beams that can be amplified by charges. The flamethrower is self-explanatory, while the trench mortar shoots out three types of grenades depending on the situation.
On the subject of free roaming, you can still visit spots like casinos and arcades in the already-ravaged Tokyo, provided you complete secondary missions that involve clearing the play spots from zombie infestation. One new location not seen in the series is Gary's Boot Camp, where series mainstay NPC Gary Buster Holmes lets you play two different minigames to test your combat and shooting skills, with rewards given for beating high scores.
Meanwhile, new character Reiko Hasegawa will grant players a peek at a zombie material file. In addition to having detailed information about a zombie type's weak spot, the scientist will assign optional tougher-than-normal missions to you, with success rewarded with points that will be exchangeable for items.
Yakuza: Of the End will be released in its native Japanese language on March 17.