Yakuza 3: First Feudal shots

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.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.