TGS '07: Kenzan Impressions

We caught the first footage of Kenzan on the PS3, which is in development by the team behind Sega's Yakuza series.

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The international release schedule for the Yakuza series is a little out of whack now, with the second game only just announced for the US and not even confirmed for Europe yet. The third game, which predates the action of the first two by some 400 years, has just been announced in Japan, and it was on show for the first time at the Tokyo Game Show. Sadly not in playable form, the trailer that was on show still managed to impress with its mix of samurai action and seemingly epic plot.

The trailer showed the action taking place in 1605, with a densely populated Japanese street providing the opening to the action. The hero of the piece, a 20-something athletic samurai, is found resting in his home before being called out by a small child to talk to the town. This is where the game really kicks in, with a dual-wielding sword swinger taking on our hero in the rain in full on samurai garb.

What struck us most about the trailer is that it seemingly used the in-game engine, and aside from looking beautiful, the animation system was incredibly realistic. From the way that characters duel with swords to their facial expressions as they talk, this is one of the most visually impressive games from Sega to date. The town scenes are also incredibly vibrant, with plenty of people packing the streets, as well as lots of background details on the buildings. It's also stylistically beautiful, with one character being flung backward by a sword strike and using his swords in the ground to absorb the shock.

We have the official trailer on the site now, so make sure to have a look to see the game in action.

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