After giving us his insights on Yakuza Kiwami, Pascal Tekaia reports back on his E3 experience of Yakuza 6. Looks like there will be even more of an abundance of distractions, with the game giving players access to not just one, but two Japanese cities.
Leave it to Sega's Yakuza series to take players in three different chronologic directions in the space of two years. Not only will Yakuza Kiwami take us back to the series' roots in the early 2000s, but Yakuza 0 transported us all the way back to the ‘80s for a prequel installment. With Yakuza 6, the next numbered entry in the series, it's time to get back to contemporary times.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is the first time a game in the series has been designed exclusively for next-gen systems. To this end, the design team have created the Dragon Engine to power it. The game runs flawlessly at 1080p in 30 fps, and man does it look stunning! Stepping foot inside this new and improved version of Kamurocho in itself was an experience. Gameplay be damned; I wanted to spend my time drinking in the sights around me. Of course, it was the little things that impressed the most: the diffusion of light from the flashing bulbs on a vendor's street sign, or the broken reflections in shallow puddles on the ground. Tokyo itself can't look much more life-like than Kamurocho at night.
After messing around a bit with my camera phone — which takes the place of the game menu with its many apps — taking selfies and snapshots of random faces in the crowd, some of whom will mug for the camera or hide their face out of shyness, it was time to engage in one of the myriad of activities. As anyone familiar with the series knows, the amount of things to get caught up in around Kamurocho is almost unfair, with another city, Onomichi Hiroshima, also available in the game. One can easily just forget about the yakuza and just enjoy daily life. So I hit up the gym, which is a real-life Tokyo fitness club, and met with my personal trainer. After going through several exercises by completing on-screen timed button press mini-games, I finally got a personalized nutrition plan.
Of course, at some point one may want to get on with the story again. Assuming one has played Yakuza 5 (and if you haven't, why are you playing Yakuza 6?), the events pick up where they last left off. Kazuma Kiryu gets out of jail to discover that Haruka, his adopted daughter, was the victim of a hit-and-run and is in a coma. Not only that, but she now also has a young son. Kiryu sets out to Hiroshima to find the child's father and discover what lies behind Haruka's accident. Before long, Kiryu discovers that the child's mysterious father is connected to the yakuza, and so he becomes entangled with them all over again. Where the story goes from there is anybody's guess. I did not get to play any of it or see Hiroshima for myself, but PlayStation 4 players can do so for themselves when the game comes stateside in early 2018.