It is a series that has reached cult status in the West over the past couple of years on PlayStation 4 and PC but during the Inside Xbox presentation to kick-off XO19, one of the biggest announcements was that the Yakuza series is going to be making its debut on Xbox in early 2020.
The Yakuza series revolves around a handsome man named Kazuma Kiryu, a member of the Tojo yakuza clan and their activities around the fictional Japanese city of Kamurocho. They are an open-world game, with huge emphasis on combat, narrative, and tons of substories and minigames.
At his core, Kiryu is a gentle giant, only using his fists when necessary. Which just happens to be most of the time. Combat is seen as a progression from the combat in Shenmue; a beat ‘em up style with a lot of new moves to unlock.
The narrative features more twists and turns than a back-country road. Each instalment brings in new characters to the series, and you can guarantee that not all of them will survive the full game.
But the substories are where Yakuza separates itself from its’ peers. They feature bizarre and hilarious self-contained narratives. One moment Kiryu can be beating up thugs on the street, next minute he finds himself directing a music video or rushing to the convenience store for the guy in the toilet who has run out of paper. It’s the constant unknowing of what will happen next to poor Kiryu that has kept this series fresh since its first outing on the PlayStation 2 back in 2005.
It is worth noting that not all Yakuza games are currently planned for Xbox. At this point, only Yakuza 0, Kiwami (a full remake of the original game) and Kiwami 2 (a full remake of the second game) have been announced. These, chronologically, are the first three games in the series, so they are the perfect starting point. Fingers crossed the remaining titles will follow soon after. For now though, here is a short trailer showing you what to expect:
Details surrounding release dates and pricing have yet to be announced, all we know is that they are
coming early 2020. Perhaps, best of all, all three are coming to Xbox Game Pass. If you don’t have Game Pass by now, this announcement along with the news that all Final Fantasy games are coming to it too should really convince you to buy it. There is currently a special offer where you can get 3 months of Game Pass Ultimate for £1!
Stay tuned for more Yakuza news and goodies coming soon, with a full preview of what to expect from the three games. But for now, with such a beloved series finally heading to the Xbox One, are you looking forward to it? The comments section is the place to go!