Yakuza 0 Launches On January 24 On PS4

By Mike Sousa on July 27, 2016, 7:50PM EDT

SEGA has officially announced that Yakuza Zero will be released in on the 24th of January in North America and Europe. The game will be available in both physical and digital formats.

Although 1980s Japan appears to be a colorful wonderland on the surface, the bright lights and flashy clothes can only cover so much of the seedy Japanese underworld. It takes money, power, and respect to keep this alluring illusion running, and it just so happens that Yakuza 0's two gangster protagonists are hungry for it all. Players will follow the genesis of Kazuma Kiryu, the rising Dragon of Dojima, and Goro Majima, before he's known as the Mad Dog of Shimano, as they pursue the almighty Yen. The Japanese thug life isn't all disco halls and phone clubs, because Kiryu and Majima will need to pass hellish trials and tribulations in order to be considered honorable Yakuza.

According to Sega, Yakuza Zero is the perfect opportunity for newcomers to dive into the series, as it offers an action-packed, story-driven adventure from the very beginning of Kazuya's story, one that focuses on navigating the seedy underworld of Japan.

"If you've only heard some friends shout "Play Yakuza!" from the rooftops of the internet, Yakuza 0 is the perfect game to get into the series," said SEGA on PlayStation Blog. "Yakuza 0 is a prequel to all the previous games, where our grizzled yakuza-with-a-heart-of-gold protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, is a bright-eyed 20-year-old, fresh into the game. Meanwhile, Goro Majima, the guy with the snake-skin jacket and the hot streak of insanity, is a suave and calculated owner of a cabaret. He actually wants to get back into the yakuza."

"But let's back it up a step or six. I'm Scott Strichart, the localization producer on the game, and I wanted to tell you about some of the ways we're taking this game's localization to the next level.

"I'll start with saying that, for the first time since Yakuza 2 back on PS2, we're actually putting all the chapter titles, character introductions, opponent names, and on-screen directions in English, instead of just subtitling the kanji. This might seem like a pretty small change, but I think when you get to play the game, you'll really feel the difference!

"Secondly, and this is sometimes controversial, but hear me out "” we're maintaining general-use honorifics in the English script. We're leaving the original Japanese voices intact for the authenticity that only a Japanese voice actor could bring to a yakuza experience, so we took the opportunity to bring the subtitles you're reading closer to what you're actually hearing the characters say. Beyond just marrying the subtitles to the spoken word, the honorifics actually play a pretty important role in understanding the respect (or lack thereof) characters have for each other. I think you'll really see how much more this adds to the story when you get to play it!

"Lastly, with this game rewinding to the origins of the series, this was also a chance for us to hit the reset button on the way we refer to the yakuza ranks. Yakuza 0 is going to show you how a power struggle inside a criminal organization looks, and I'll tell right now, it ain't pretty."

Yakuza Zero will be available exclusively on PS4.

Source: PlayStation Blog

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