Sega has made good on their promise that Yakuza 0 is coming to the west on PS4 early 2017– January 24th, 2017, to be precise.
Yakuza 0 will act as a prequel to the other (mainline/numbered) Yakuza games, following longtime protagonist Kazuma Kiryu as a young hotshot Yakuza, as well as Goro Majima, a series favorite who will be playable in a mainline game for the first time.
Kiryu later becomes a golden-boy hero (to the point of starting an orphanage), but even then his legacy remains god-tier as “The Dragon of Dojima” amongst Yakuza. And, as Sega promises in the gameplay trailer description, “You don’t get to be called ‘Dragon’ without being able to knock a few heads. Combat styles can be hot swapped during fights for some of the most intense battles in the Yakuza series to date.”
Yakuza is known for goofy hyperviolence and absurdly diverse gameplay. Real Yakuza rarely, if ever, utilize guns, so the in-game violence features brutal, crushing fights that usually just leave the enemy winded. In different installments, you can collect junk, eat every food, take photographs of chaos theory moments, go to telephone clubs, watch races, run a dating club, work yoru way up the idol circuit (really), time travel (really really), and even play full video games within the game.
Yakuza 0 will, for the first time since Yakuza 2, translate all onscreen text to English, rather than subtitle– a huge undertaking, considering the size of the Yakuza games. Sega is closely watching the success of western releases of Yakuza 4, 5 and 0, to consider releasing Yakuza 6 and Yakuza 1 Remake in the west. Yakuza 3 will be a free PS3 PlayStation Plus game in August.
Yakuza 0 will be available in digital and physical formats.