|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4|
Yakuza 5 (Japanese: 龍が如く5 夢、叶えし者 Hepburn: Ryū ga Gotoku 5: Yume, Kanaeshi Mono, "Like a Dragon 5: Fulfiller of Dreams"), is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3. The game is the fifth main entry in the Yakuza series. The game was released in December 2012 in Japan, and localized for North America, Europe and Australia as a PlayStation Network download in December 2015. A remaster with improved resolution and frame rate is planned for release in Q1/Q2 2019 in Japan for the PlayStation 4.
The game features a new graphics engine, unlike previous PS3 games in the series that have been re-utilizing the same engine since Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan!. For the first time in the series, it features five settings across Japan along with five playable main characters.
The game's gameplay is relatively similar to previous games in the series, with a few changes. Similar to past games, gameplay is divided into two components being Adventure Mode and Combat Mode. Adventure Mode allows players to explore different areas and play spots across the city including mini-games. The cities will also be significantly bigger than previous games, providing more areas to explore in the game and is said to feature the greatest volume of play spots across cities in the series' history. The change between the game's Adventure Mode and Combat Mode is also said to be more seamless than previous games, which involved a transitional change when encountering enemies whilst in adventure mode. Controls for the game have also been said to have been improved "dramatically" as with the tempo of the game's combat mode.
Setting and characters
The game features five main protagonists, the highest number of main protagonists of any game in the series, with the previous highest being Yakuza 4's four main protagonists. The game features series protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, the main character since the original Yakuza game. There are also two returning protagonists from Yakuza 4, namely Shun Akiyama and Taiga Saejima. One of the new main protagonists is Haruka Sawamura, a recurring character of the series since the original game. Though she has always been an integral part of the story, she has never been a playable main character before the game. Lastly is Tatsuo Shinada (Toshiyuki Morikawa), a new character to the Yakuza series.
For the first time in the series, the game features five distinct locales across Japan. First of which will be returning from previous games is Kamurocho (a.k.a. Kamuro City), a fictionalized yet realistic recreation of Shinjuku's red-light district, Kabukichō. Second is Sōtenbori, a fictional Osaka district based on Dōtonbori, which is returning from Yakuza 2. The three new cities in the game are Nagasugai, part of the fictional Fukuoka based on Nakasu, Tsukimino, part of the fictional Sapporo based on Susukino and Kin'eicho, part of the fictional Nagoya based on Sakae. According to producer Toshihiro Nagoshi and writer Masayoshi Yokoyama, it will be like the "San Andreas" of the Yakuza series, in that it is a "massive expansion on the core concept that takes the franchise to new heights."
The game had double the development time of previous games in the series, which generally had a one-year development cycle. The game was developed as something akin to being a reboot of the series, and dubbed as a "New Yakuza" by developers with the goal of having one of the greatest scripts and scenarios in the series' history. In addition, the game was developed on an all new graphics engine, previous PS3 games in the series used the Magical-V Engine, the same engine as Yakuza 3. The game was seen as a fresh start for developers, who treated Yakuza: Dead Souls as the end for everything developed for the series up to that point. On December 5, 2014, Sega announced Yakuza 5 would be releasing worldwide in December 8, 2015 as a digital download via the PlayStation Network.
Yakuza 5 received generally positive reviews release in western territories, while receiving critical acclaim in Japan. It holds a score of 83 out of 100 on review aggregator website Metacritic. The game received a perfect score of 40 out of 40 from japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. Hobby Consolas called it "one of the best games in the history of PS3" and "an incomparable piece of art that has everything: five main characters, five cities, an attractive script, lots of missions, a great combat system." Hardcore Gamer called it "one of the best games of last generation." PlayStation Universe praised the "complex storyline with lots of twists", the "cutscenes that push the PS3's visual capabilities", and the "myriad of mini-games and side quests" that "will give more incentive to keep playing once it is over", concluding it to be a "fitting swan song game for the PS3 era in the west."
IGN said it is "steeped in Japanese culture to the core and exciting in its multiple storylines." GameSpot praised the "Engrossing storylines", "large variety of rich minigames", locales "alive with activity and diversions galore", "welcome surprise" pop idol chapter, and "Hard-hitting combat", but said the "Combat mechanics show their age". The Game Scouts said it looks "better than most recent next-gen releases" with "some of the best facial models" and "authentic" environments, stated the "writing is absolutely masterful, walking a fine line between satirical humor and serious gangster drama", and called it "a masterpiece", "one of the greatest games" on the PS3, and "right next to The Witcher 3" as a Game of the Year candidate.
The game sold 590,000 copies in Japan by April 2013.
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