SEGA has announced that Yakuza Kiwami, the HD remake of the original Yakuza, will release on the 29th of August in North America and Europe.
Besides completely recreated graphics and fully re-recorded Japanese audio by the original voice actors, Yakuza Kiwani also features added distractions (Pocket Circuit car racing, MesuKing: Battle Bug Beauties, new hostesses, and more), side quests, combat updates, and nearly 30 minutes of cutscenes, providing all-new insight into the game's plot and creating common threads with series prequel Yakuza 0.
In addition, SEGA has also launched the Yakuza Experience webiste that features an in-depth Yakuza series interactive timeline and character map, as well as the first issue of a 10-part digital comic series, "The Dragon's Path." The comic will recreate iconic moments from the franchise, taking readers from Yakuza 0 up to Yakuza 6, and veterans of the series can expect some surprises in store for them. The interactive timeline and character map will be updated to correspond with each new chapter from the comic.
Being retold in Kiwami is the nascent character arc for Yakuza - the game begins with series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu getting sent to prison for the murder of his family patriarch (which he didn't commit). To make matters worse, during the 10years of his imprisonment, not only does Kiryu's clan expel him from the yakuza, but ¥10 billion (~$100 million) goes missing from the clan treasury. Worse yet, Kiryu's childhood sweetheart is also nowhere to be found, and with the entirety of the Japanese underworld on the hunt for the missing cash, Kiryu is all but lost until he finds the orphan girl Haruka, searching for her aunt who shares the same name as Kiryu's missing love. What follows from there is a web of betrayal, underworld politics, and redemption as nothing will stop Kiryu from regaining his honor.
In addition to Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami provides an excellent starting point for those who have always heard about the series but have yet to try it. It preserves the charm of old-school, PS2-era beat-em-up gameplay, but deftly combines it with a hard-boiled crime drama punctuated with the liveliness of Kamurocho - the fictional red-light district of Tokyo the game is set in - and all the distractions that a red-light district can offer.
Yakuza Kiwami will be released on PS4 physically and digitally $29.99/£29.99/€34.99. Pre-orders and limited first run copies of the physical version will come packaged in a stunning SteelBook.