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Yakuza 5 to have new engine, five playable characters - including Haruka

The first details of Sega's promised Yakuza 5 reveal have surfaced.

According to Andriasang, the new entry's title is Ryu ga Gotoku 5: Yume Kanaeshi Mono - something like "Person Who Fulfills Dreams", apparently.

Early Famitsu leaks report the game will have five main characters, a first for the series. Along with series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, players will be able to get behind Taiga Saejima, Shun Akiyama, Tatsuo Shinada and Haruka. Yes, Kiryu's adopted daughter; Famitsu reports details of how Haruka handles the franchise's intense brawls are being kept in the dark for now. The other names on the list are returning characters, but Shinda is a former baseball player, struggling with debt after receiving a lifelong ban for gambling.

The story will continue directly on from Yakuza 4, with Kiryu having moved to Fukuoka and taken a job as a taxi driver. Saejima is in prison; Akiyama is in Osaka on business; and Haruka is living in Osaka and trying to land a job as an idol.

Yakuza 5 has apparently benefited from twice as long in development as past games, and is a new beginning of sorts for the gangster epics. In an interview, creator Toshihiro nagoshi said non-canonical spin-off Dead Souls (or Of The End) marked an end point to the series, so the new game uses a brand new engine.

As a result, Yakuza Studios boasts of a much larger and more dynamic script than previous games, seamless transitions between battle and exploration, and improved controls, in addition to changes like multiple cities

Release is scheduled for December and the game is apparently 70% complete.

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