Sega may have lost a lot of respect from gamers when it comes to their Sonic outings, but they've gained a whole new following with their high-quality Yakuza titles. The latest game in the series is Yakuza 6, which is due for release for the PS4 in 2016.
Kotaku spotted the latest trailer from Sega courtesy of Gematsu. The trailer isn't a story trailer but basically gives an overview of the visual upgrades and new parkour system in Yakuza 6.
The plot for the newest Yakuza title wasn't revealed, but we do get to see a lot of the new rendering techniques put into play thanks to the power of the PlayStation 4. The game uses a lot of physically based lighting so you're no longer looking at static light modules in various scenes, but actual real-time light rendering. We see this in effect throughout a couple of the scenes they flash by, such as the convenient store and especially in the bar where the lights bounce off and stretch across the glossy wooden counter.
While this might seem like the sort of thing only graphics buffs would enjoy, it all adds to the game's cinematic appeal. It's also impressive that games running in real-time are now at a point of nearing path tracing quality, which is a real huge step up toward the photo-realism of ray-tracing.
We also get to see how the character texture mapping have undergone some pretty big upgrades over the PlayStation 3 Yakuza games. We now see dimples and craters in their face; the threads in their jeans are visible and the sweat from getting punched now flies in every which direction. The graphics not only play a part in how realistic the characters look but also in how they react. We see smooth animations at play as well as improved reaction times.
Most impressive about the animations are the new tree blending techniques that enable the player-character to move around seamlessly throughout the environments, including utilizing the new free-running implementation where players can leap over objects and squeeze through tight spaces all while doing so with fluid transitions from one action to the next.
One of the other highlights of the upcoming Yakuza title is the guest appearance by the legendary Japanese director Takeshi Kitano, famous for directing the Outrage films and Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman, amongst many other dramatic Yakuza-themed crime dramas. Seeing him in the game was a real nod to fans of his work and it will be fascinating to see what his role will be like in Sega's famous series.
While Yakuza 6 is still a ways off, Sega recently released Yakuza 5 for the PS3 in North America, and they have another Yakuza title due for release soon on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 called Yakuza Kiwami; it's a remake of the original game from the PS2. The remake is part of the 10 year anniversary celebration for the series, which originally debuted back in 2005.
The Yakuza remake will contain a demo for Yakuza 6, so gamers interested in the sixth sequential entry in the series will be able to give it a bit of a test run before it launches on the PS4 later into 2016.