Yakuza: Of the End First Impressions

The gritty Japanese mafia series takes a sharp turn towards zombie town, and we were there to try to find out why.

Sega's Yakuza series is best known for being a gritty, if often over-the-top, portrayal of life in the Japanese crime underworld. That reputation is about to change significantly, with the newest game in the franchise--Yakuza: Of the End--shifting gears considerably by introducing zombies. You read that correctly--there will be zombies (and plenty of them) in the next Yakuza game.

Of course, with the previous game in the series--Yakuza 4--yet to be released in Western markets, the wait for Sega's undead epic could be quite a ways off. Yakuza: Of the End wasn't playable at this year's Tokyo Game Show, but Sega was showing off quite a lot about the game via an extended trailer at the publisher's booth.

The long-form trailer was only in Japanese, so we had to try to pick up details about the game as best we could. When it comes to story, it seems that the Kamurocho district (based on the real-world Kabukicho area in Shinjuku) has been overrun by the living dead. With the situation getting worse by the hour, the army decides to cordon off the area, erecting large metal walls around Kamurocho to contain the zombie hordes.

Into all of this comes four characters from previous games in the Yakuza series. The man with a predilection for white leisure suits--Kazuma Kiryu--is back, as are Yakuza 2's Ryuji Goda, Yakuza 4's Shun Akiyama, and the eye-patch-wearing Goro Majima. All four will be playable, although it wasn't entirely clear from the presentation what form co-op play would take. What the presentation did show was that Of the End will have a much heavier focus on guns, with each of the four characters specialising in a specific weapon. Kazuma sports a high-power rifle, Akiyama wields dual pistols, Goro has a shotgun, and Ryuji has a Gatling gun attached to his arm. Each character will be able to use other weapons, but it seems they'll have greater proficiency with their favourite boomsticks.

While the zombies in Of the End number in the thousands, they look to be a different breed from the ones shuffling around in that other zombies-overrun-the-world series, Dead Rising. The undead in this new Yakuza game look like they'll be fast moving and aggressive, running after the game characters as soon as they spot them. There will be other monsters to take on, too. The presentation showcased a few giant-sized enemies, as well as some creepy-looking opponents that shuffled around on four legs.

Guns won't be your only method of dispatching foes in the game. Vehicles look to be drivable, with one scene showing off one of the game's characters piloting a tank to mow down the undead. Objects in the environment can also be used--some examples shown included shooting the gas tanks of abandoned cars to cause explosions and shooting platforms to let loose heavy debris to crush enemies.

Variety looks to be a key ingredient in this particular zombie apocalypse. Even though the dead have risen from their graves, it doesn't mean that the generous number of minigame and side-quest activities of previous Yakuza games won't be a feature of this title. Your chosen playable character can still partake in activities like table tennis, fishing, pachinko, mahjong, darts, and more.

Yakuza: Of the End is definitely a major departure for this franchise, but based on what we saw at TGS 2010, it looks like it'll be a fun diversion. There's plenty more to find out about this game--including if and when it'll make it outside of Japan--so keep it tuned to GameSpot for the latest information.

Written By

Randolph is the managing editor of GameSpot, and needs more time to play games.

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Discussion

68 comments
FelipeMagro
FelipeMagro

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

robtion
robtion

I want this game. Hope it gets an English language release.

Jhaller90
Jhaller90

LEt the Blood bath begin!!!!

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

seriously sounds like fun. im a fan of zombies and a bigger fan of the yakuza games.....this has both awesome :D

Pirate_Higamaru
Pirate_Higamaru

I can't believe so many people are so angry about Sega having some fun. Why should games be serious? Games are meant as an escape from reality, not a simulation!

xXBLACKOUT92Xx
xXBLACKOUT92Xx

So glad this is a non-cannon spin off should be fun though

sbsk2000
sbsk2000

What a joke... I thought SEGA was going in the right direction for a while, but they're back to their stupid-ass ways. I hope they go bankrupt.

BSEE10
BSEE10

TA-DA!!! Zombies!!! AGAIN!!

ElMeerkat
ElMeerkat

sigh...i guess zombies really is a plague infecting every videogame in its path

Clogeta
Clogeta

Awesome. My two favorite things combined. Can't be anything but fun.

monster637
monster637

hahahahahaa im love this , all the OGz from first to the last, And guns ,hahahahahahaha should be a blast

maddog_69
maddog_69

Oh my God ... They killed the Yakuza series with this one ...

Smoothus
Smoothus

I guess i'll stop after Yakuza4. Sorry Sega but zombies and yakuza don't mix. I'll stick to the Dead Rising series for now.

amari24
amari24

Zombies wtf? What does that have to do with the series???

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

Sorry but introducing zombies into a gritty japanese mafia game just sounds stupid.

regularjohn13
regularjohn13

is this a joke? i played the japanese version through and it had nothing to do with zombies. it wasn't the best yakuza yet, but still... no zombies! oh... this is after #4? strange... I don't think is being released in japan.

BDL91
BDL91

Yer that was totally the licker stolen from Resident evil

icebox98
icebox98

oh boy,.................... why!?

arogo
arogo

0:59, licker much?!

DaGangstaDX
DaGangstaDX

Kazuma Kiryu facing off against the undead and mutated monstrosities, very interesting indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed Yakuza 3 when it was finally released in Europe, a shame that it will now be almost impossible for me to find a copy of the previous installments in the series. It seems Sega is not afraid to take a risk with one of its more popular titles and hopefully they will release it beyond the Japanese market.

MrDeadLocke
MrDeadLocke

Looks like Sega has been playing a bit of Left 4 Dead.

Raxia-
Raxia-

Yeah, japanese vs. zombies is kinda weird and unique XD

starduke
starduke

I can't wait to see how they explain Japanese mobsters fighting zombies.

roganth
roganth

This was bound to happen with the high levels of mercury in the Japanese diet from eating upper trophic level marine predators such as tuna and whale. The mercury causes cumulative neurological damage, hence the zombies.

X-Robert
X-Robert

You got to be kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yxpoh
yxpoh

Haha... actually i feel that it wasn't trying to ruin the series but act as a spinoff from the original game. And if you really have to say a rip off, (Though it seems like resident evil started out in japan as biohazard after all), it feels more like a left 4 dead rip off. with that 4 characters walking in the streets like that hahaha...

alabama2561990
alabama2561990

Sounds pretty cool. i hated Deadrising soo maybe they can do better things

Rizer
Rizer

Ya, know, for a country that has made the best zombie games out there, I can't really think of a Japanese game I played that featured a zombie scenerio actually set somewhere in Japan. Sure, a lot of them had creepy demons in it, but not really traditional zombies now that I think about it. Funny, huh? And the zombie make their Japanese appearance in a Yakuza title of all things. Dead Rising or Resident Evil I would have expected it from but a...mobster title? Didn't really see that coming.

ToTs_00
ToTs_00

Is it just me or does this sound like a dead rising rip off.

Gabe447
Gabe447

why cant they just make this a seperate series and not ruin yakuza its the nearest thing i have left to shenmue :(

Theamazing55
Theamazing55

This sounds interesting, if not painfully unoriginal.

QVT
QVT

A Zombie Shooter, great. You never see those these days. Ugh. This is just bat**** crazy.

DrJonAngus
DrJonAngus

I've never played any Yakuza games before, but this looks to be quite interesting. I'll have to go buy all of the others now.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

So...I won't be able to punch zombies in the face? It's all about the guns? ...no "FALCON PUNCH!"?

johny300
johny300

Lmao at majima always fooling around lol.

johny300
johny300

Im going to kick some zobmies @ss when i play this game.

raza3
raza3

woohoooo ZOMBIES!!!