The team behind the Yakuza series has revealed a new title called Judge Eyes, which is being developed for the PlayStation 4. The game was shown during the PlayStation Lineup Tour event, ahead of the start of Tokyo Game Show. The trailer, which you can watch below, shows that it is a narrative driven experience.
Judge Eyes seems to involve playing as a lawyer and investigating a series of murders and crimes. It is expected to launch in December in Japan, and a western release will follow in 2019, though an exact date has not been confirmed as of yet.
The Judge Eyes project was originally teased during a Sega livestream, where chief creative officer Toshihiro Nagoshi described it as “something completely different” from the studio. He also revealed that it has been in development for around three years.
A short gameplay video has also been released, and shows the investigative elements involved in the game. A character can be seen identifying a person of interest in the city, and then using stealth to tail the man. He eventually follows him into an alley and confronts the mark, which results in a chase. There are quick-time button presses to keep up with the target. In terms of combat, it seems very familiar to the Yakuza series, both in terms of having multiple enemies to engage in hand-to-hand combat and the ridiculous, over the top finishing moves.
Disguises are also a big part of the game, as the character is shown breaking into an office and taking pictures of clues. Snapping pictures can be done with a phone, but there’s also a segment where a drone. You can see all that, as well as the more ridiculous scenarios that are typical of the Yakuza development team, in the video below.
The Yakuza team has been quite prolific of late, having released the excellent Yakuza 0 in 2017, to widespread critical acclaim. This brought the quirky open-world action series a much broader audience, which it has capitalized on by remastering the first two entries in the series and releasing them as Yakuza Kiwami and, most recently, Yakuza Kiwami 2.
The latter of the two received a glowing review from GameSpot’s Edmond Tran, who said “the tale of Tokyo and Osaka, Kiryu and Sayama’s partnership, and Kiryu and Goda’s rivalry remains one of the Yakuza’s best stories, and Kiwami 2’s minor missteps don’t affect the heart of that experience.
“The modernization of its presentation and its mechanics elevate it, making it absolutely worth revisiting or experiencing for the first time. Yakuza is an exemplary, if flawed series that does an incredible job of steeping you in contemporary Japanese-style crime drama, and establishing an evocative sense of place. Yakuza Kiwami 2 is an excellent example of the series at its best, coupling its most memorable stories and characters with its most sophisticated mechanics yet.” Read our full Yakuza Kiwami 2 review for more on the game.
The Yakuza team is also launching Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise soon, which is based on the classic Hokuto No Ken manga and anime series. This is set to release in western territories on October 2, 2018. In the mean time, you can check out some brutal, over the top gameplay here.