Anyone who hasn’t played Yakuza will probably watch the new trailer and think, “Okay, GTA in Tokyo”. That was my first thought after watching the first trailer more than a year ago. The PS4 exclusive, due in January, has one major difference….
That is, Yakuza don’t have as many. Or at least they shouldn’t. This is Japan, after all. Sure, we’ve seen Takeshi Kitano blow out a few brains, including his own, but guns for civilians have been banned there since 1965. That means less guns, more melee, especially knives and clubs.
It actually enhances the brutality of gang warfare. Up close and personal. Guts spilling to the floor, limbs hacked off. Yeah, guns do damage, but I assume it’s much easier to pull a trigger than to stick a knife into flesh and bone.
Remember that fight scene from “Old Boy”? Okay, that’s a Korean movie, not Japanese, but same thing, less guns, more knives…and clubs…and hammers…more awesome.
The new trailer for Yakuza 6 shows us some of the melee action, though no knives in this one. It also tours us through a bar and restaurant. Whoopee! There’s also some gameplay such as moving around on roof tops. More whoopee!
If you’re a game developer and game marketer, focus on what will set Yakuza apart from others, especially in the U.S. Don’t need to look at curry bars. The combat, the brutality of a knife fight — that’s the competitive advantage here. Put all your resources into that, make it something truly unique, and go from there.