The Yakuza Team's Next Project Is Like Ace Attorney With Punching

Screenshot: Sega, Project Judge

Yesterday’s PlayStation event in Japan was weird, to say the least. Attendees watched a spaceship in the shape of a DualShock 4 fly through the universe while the buttons on it talked to them in weird computer voices. A few new games did get shown at the event, though, including an action-RPG courtroom brawler from the makers of Yakuza currently titled Project Judge.

The game centres around Takayuki Yagami, an ex-defence lawyer who beats people up, played by and modelled after Japanese actor and singer Takuya Kimura. After a client he got acquitted murders again, he leaves his profession in shame, grows his hair out, and puts on a leather jacket to become a private detective investigating serial murders instead.

If that isn’t enough to win you over, Sega describes him in its press release as “a man of conviction who fights for his beliefs, despite the overwhelming despair surrounding him”. It’s hard for me to describe how incredibly sold on this game I am, even though we still don’t know a ton.

On stage at the pre-Tokyo Game Show Sony event, Yakuza designer and Sega’s current chief creative officer Toshihiro Nagoshi said the game will focus on investigating crime scenes and the particular actions players can take in trying to solve them. In the gameplay trailer, this stuff consisted of trailing potential suspects, donning disguises to sneak into buildings, and then searching for clues once inside.

There’s also apparently a camera mode for capturing evidence that can later be used in court, with in-game rewards doled out based on how good the photos are, as well as a ton of other unique little mini-games, including pinball, in case you were wondering just how Yakuza it was.

That means there will also be a ton of brawling. What’s the point of being a private detective if you don’t hand out a few black eyes during your investigation? But where the game seems to really shine are the story sequences, which include the voice talent of a bunch of famous Japanese actors in addition to Kimura.

The whole thing reminds me of a '90s legal thriller made into an arcade game, and I can’t wait for it. While the game already has a release date in Japan of December 13, it won’t come West until sometime next year.

If you want to catch up on the rest of the games shown at the Sony event you can always re-watch the livestream. Other notable pieces of news included footage of the new Samurai Shodown game, the announcement of a Kingdom Hearts VR experience, and, my personal favourite, a remaster of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles coming to PS4 and Switch.


    This game looks hype as hell.

    Also, I'm pretty sure the name for the game is Judge Eyes, not Project Judge.

    Holy cack, Sega are on fire at the moment - think they’re publishing more games I want to buy/play than any of the other big publishers? They also don’t seem to suffer as much (at least from what i’ve seen/witnessed) from Micro-Transaction disease anywhere near as much either?

    Completely & utterly sold. Unless it reviews as well as a poo flavoured lollipop might.

      I don't know how much it's just my perception rather than reality, but it at least seems to me that the Japanese publishers seem much less fond of the microtransaction in paid games than their western counterparts?

        That’s pretty much the same perception I have, even dlc in general is held to a higher standard capcom/bandai fighting games aside maybe (we won’t mention Konami here)? No coincidence then that i seem to be playing a lot of japanese/indie developed games in recent times too as a probable result?

    [email protected]*k yes! A video game adaption of the hit Japanese drama 'Hero', with fighting, by the guys that made Yakuza!?!
    I didn't know how much I wanted this until now!

    Looks neato, though I do wish someone could shake Sega of their fondness for QTEs...

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