Announcements Roundup – Yakuza Kiwami 2, Valkyria Chronicles 4, RICO and More
There's been a flurry of announcements in the past few days, so we thought we'd round them up in a single post.
Let's start with the latest and biggest one: SEGA announced a few hours ago that Yakuza Kiwami 2 will launch in Western countries on August 28th, 2018 for PlayStation 4. A remake of the second Yakuza installment, it launched in Japan on December 7th, which makes it one of the shortest localization efforts yet for a Yakuza game.
- Dragons Belong on the Dragon Engine - Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a re-creation of the original Yakuza 2, completely rebuilt in the Dragon Engine, the same engine used in developing Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. Experience gorgeous graphics on top of seamless transitions between battles or when entering or leaving buildings. All cutscenes and key voiced lines have been re-recorded to be as true to the original as possible while reaping the benefits of the most powerful engine the Yakuza series has ever seen.
- Big Hits, Minigames - Kiryu hasn't let his time away from the front lines dull his skills in combat or leisure. Pull off a wide variety of brutal (and hilarious) Heat Actions, and challenge new minigames such as Golf Bingo, the original arcade release of Virtual-On, the return of Yakuza 0's much-celebrated Cabaret (including the return of fan-favorite Yuki!), Majima's revamped Clan Creator, and even SEGA's infamous Toylets!
- Unveil the Truth of Goro Majima - This time around, Kiryu isn't the only one running the show - fans of the Mad Dog of Shimano won't want to miss this new Majima-centric campaign, which features Majima as a playable character, complete with his trusty dagger, and sheds light on his personal journey from the end of Yakuza Kiwami up to Yakuza Kiwami 2.
- Extreme Localization - We've gone through the Yakuza Kiwami 2 script with a fine-toothed comb; every effort has been made to ensure that it's the most faithful representation of the original Japanese. SEGA is committed to supporting the best Yakuza experience possible for the series' dedicated fans around the world.
SEGA had also previously confirmed a Western release window for Valkyria Chronicles 4. The game will launch this Fall on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
- A Coming-of-Age Story in a Time of War - Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place in the same timeframe as the original Valkyria Chronicles but focuses on a whole new cast of main characters. Players will take command of the eager, young Commander Claude Wallace, engineer/heavy weapons extraordinaire Riley Miller, hotheaded Darcsen Raz, ice-cold ace sniper Kai Schulen, and more. Together, they will experience the painful realities of war--but will the bonds of Squad E's friendships survive the frozen battlefield?
- The Next Generation "BLiTZ" Battle System - The part overhead turn-based strategy, part RPG, and part real-time 3rd person shooter "BLiTZ" battle system returns to the field. New features include an explosive new class called the Grenadier, numerous offensive/defensive battleship support options, chances for a unit to have a "Last Stand" action before death, and more. Plus, fight the imperial threat with more units on larger-scale maps than ever before.
- CANVAS Aesthetics - The series' signature hand-drawn visual style is back and overhauled for the newest generation. Inspired by watercolor compositions, the CANVAS Graphics Engine blends visual elements of reality and imagination to create an expressive world filled with colorful emotions. Watch the journey of Squad E unfold like an interactive painting!
- The Return of a Legendary Composer - The illustrious Hitoshi Sakimoto, the original composer of the Valkyria Chronicles series and countless other emotional epics, returns to provide a sweeping orchestral score for Valkyria Chronicles 4.
A brand new game announcement was also shared by Koei Tecmo yesterday. It's another entry in the Warriors Orochi series (a crossover between Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors). While the Japanese trailer below mentions Warriors Orochi 3, it's actually going to be titled Warriors Orochi 4 in the West. This new game is expected to launch in 2018 in Japan; no platforms have been revealed yet, but PlayStation 4 is a safe bet.
Moving on from the Japanese scene, there were also two noteworthy announcements in the Western indie scene. RICO, for instance, is an arcade style cooperative first-person shooter inspired by action movies. Featuring both online and split-screen local co-op, randomly generated cases and environments as well as plenty of destruction to be appreciated in slow motion, RICO is due to launch later this year on "all major gaming formats" according to its press release.
Last but not least, indie open world mystery game Outer Wilds has found a publisher in Annapurna Interactive and will launch this year on PC.
First announced by developer Mobius Digital in 2015, Outer Wilds will charge players to explore a handcrafted solar system that's stuck in an endless twenty-minute time loop. With each reset, they'll learn a bit more of what's going on and get closer to solving the mystery.