Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio wrapped up the Yakuza series on a high note with the well-received Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. At the Tokyo Game Show, Sega announced the team’s new detective IP dubbed Project JUDGE (working title). A pair of trailers provides extensive looks at the title’s intriguing story and gameplay.
Project JUDGE stars a defense lawyer named Takayuki Yagami, played by Japanese actor/artist, Takuya Kimura. Yagami’s professional life gets turned to shambles when a man he famously acquitted for an unknown crime is charged with the grisly murder of his girlfriend. Yagami’s law career comes to an end as a result. However, a gruesome killing spree spurs him to investigate and uncover the truths behind them.
Gameplay has a similar style to Yakuza but places greater emphasis on stealth and detective work. Players will tail and identify targets by referencing a list of clues. Other activities include capturing photos of persons of interest and using evidence to bust suspects. A flashy, over-the-top combat system rivals the absurdity of Yakuza’s action and breaks up the more cerebral moments. Despite the plot’s serious tone, Project JUDGE clearly possesses a sense of humor with its zany mini-games. One of them throws Yagami into the wacky world of a VR game and sees him throwing digital fireballs.
Project JUDGE is slated to arrive in the West in 2019. PlayStation 4 appears to be the only confirmed platform at this time. What do you think of this new franchise? Let us know in the comments! For more on Yakuza, we recently included the sixth entry in our list of 2018 games worth catching up on.