Sept 14 2007
Out go pole-dancing hookers and in come the look-but-don't-touch Geisha - for the third instalment of Sega's gangland scrapper, Yakuza, the action is shifting to the 17th Century. Set in 1605, Yakuza 3 will take place in Edo. (Learn Something New Every Day department: That's what Tokyo was once called).
Immediately, from the first shots, Yakuza takes a clear break from its Oldboy-influenced action and concrete locales. At first, we mistook it for another Kengo, or a new Way of the Samurai episode. But it certainly looks stunning, and we're not complaining if we can whip a katana around.
Accordingly, there's a change in gameplay too. The Heat moves from the last two, modern-day games are axed in favour of sword lunging one-hit-kills. You'll have four fighting styles, from bare fists to the choice of wielding one sword, two swords or a broadsword.
Currently, Yakuza 3 is billed as a PS3 exclusive. The series has done fantastically well in Japan, which will undoubtedly give Sony a boost in early 2008 when the new game launches in the East. UK or US launches have yet to be confirmed, but we're certain it'll hit during next year.