Today, during a livestream from Sega’s headquarters in Tokyo, the publisher showcased the first live gameplay of the upcoming Yakuza-meets-Fist of the North Star adventure game Hokuto Ga Gotoku.
The broadcast was presented by General Director and Sega Chief Creative Officer Toshihiro Nagoshi, and played live by Producer Daisuke Sato.
We get to see the very beginning of the game, starting with the tutorial that will be familiar to fans of the Yakuza series. We immediately see Kenshiro throw in combat and the introduction of the progression system. While the core of the battle system is certainly similar to the traditional Yakuza franchise, the addition of the Hokuto Shinken mechanics definitely turns it into its own different animal.
The gameplay continues with Kenshiro’s iconic meeting with his arch-rival Shin. Of course, this devolves into the first boss fight of the game. The fight actually ends differently than in the manga and anime, and this trigger’s Kenshiro’s voyage to the new city, Eden.
We also get to see an encounter in the wasteland in which Kenshiro’s kindness gets to shine before he continues on his way to Eden, and finally reaches the outskirts of the city.
After that, we get to see a demo version of the game, showcasing some gameplay in Eden, including the shops. That’s also where he meets Bat. Of course, not much time passes before some fighting happens, and we get to see more of the mechanics specific to this game. This includes the “Just Pressure Point.”
Keep in mind that the demo was created for a series of events that will be held in Japan starting tomorrow, but it’s quite likely that it’ll be downloadable from the Japanese PlayStation Store soon.
Kenshiro can even use weapons, including a flamethrower, and we even get to see the special talismans that allow him to use the abilities of other relevant Hokuto no Ken characters, including Raoh, Toki, Shin, and Lin.
After that, the gameplay moves on to the new racing minigame, that lets the player acquire and customize a buggy and race over several tracks.
Yet, there is more, and we get to see the bartender minigame in which Kenshiro gets to apply his masterful techniques to mixing cocktails. It actually uses motion controls, prompting the player to “shake” the DualShock 4. The controller’s right stick is used to stir the drink.
After that, we get to see another minigame, in which Kenshiro has to use the Hokuto Shinken to take care patients at a local clinic. It’s actually a rhythm game. If you’re not familiar with the Yakuza series, this is just how awesome it is.
You can enjoy the recording below, conveniently set at the relevant gameplay starting points. If you want to see more you can also take a look at a recent trailer, a batch of screenshots and information on the battle system, a TV commercial, the beautiful cover art designed by Tetsuo Hara himself, some recent screenshots, and some gameplay from Tokyo Game Show.
The game’s Japanese release has recently been slightly delayed from February 22nd to March 8th. It’ll come exclusively for PS4. At the moment, there is no information on a western launch.