Sega's Yakuza games (above) are wonderful. They have great dialogue, great cutscenes and cool combat. Yet, they feel like PlayStation 2 games. They're not — they are PS3 games. But they feel so last gen due to the tech that powers them.
That is going to change with the upcoming Yakuza 5. According to the upcoming issue of Famitsu, the game is being developed with an entirely new game engine. That, hopefully, will mean Sega's Yakuza games no longer feel like something out of the PlayStation 2 era. This is also why the developers thought calling it "New Yakuza" would be fitting.
With Yakuza 5, Sega is making all sorts of tweaks. The change between adventure mode to combat mode will be smooth. In-game maps will be significantly bigger, offering much more to explore. The gameplay's dramatic tempo has been improved too. (I just hope they've ditched the stupid invisible walls that plagued previous Yakuza games!)
Yakuza 5 is set in four different locations (Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and Hokkaido), and it will have five different protagonists (Kiryu Kazuma, Taiga Saejima, Shun Akiyama, schoolgirl character Haruka Sawamura and new character Natsuo Shinada). This doesn't include the inevitable unplayable hostess characters and celebrity cameos.
Matching the number of protagonists with each subsequent sequel won't be so easy to keep up once the series hits the double digits.
Yakuza 5 will be out this December in Japan.