Project Judge executive director Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Kazuki Hosokawa recently sat down for an interview with 4Gamer, where they discussed wanting to make something different after years of Yakuza games, what inspired the “legal suspense” gameplay, and what other gameplay elements can be looked forward to.
Please tell us the process of how Project Judge came to be.
Toshihiro Nagoshi, Executive Director: “The actual idea has been around for over three years. Although it wasn’t for a game, it became the starting point for Project Judge. You see, while making the Yakuza series for over ten years, we wanted to work on a completely new project, and slowly gathered members for the team, and we finally realized the idea now.
For the Yakuza series, we were like, “Okay, next one!” after completing a project, and kept going like this every time, so for Project Judge this is one title that we’ve been able to work on at a slower pace.”
During the announcement, you said that the “legal suspense” genre is something you’ve always wanted to try.
Nagoshi: “Yes, that was my personal wish. I really like movies and TV dramas about lawyers and the prosecution, and the crime that is the focus. Recently, there have been fewer of them, but the joy in solving puzzles found in adventure games is something I’ve liked since the Famicom days, and so I thought, “One day, I want to work on something like that.”
I see, the joy of solving puzzles. Were there any media in that genre that left an impression on you?
Nagoshi: “I can’t leave without mentioning the first adventure game that I played, which was The Portopia Serial Murder Case. Aside from that, there is Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, as well as Hero, which starred Takuya Kimura, and more.”
During the demo, you could try out battles, tailing, and chasing people down, but apart from that, are there any other gameplay elements to look forward to?
Nagoshi: “Firstly, there’s picture taking. However, it’s not just about taking any picture, but rather focusing on the “who”, the “where”, and the “how”. By taking better pictures, you get more experience and rewards, so you have to think and choose the right spot and angle like a true detective. I believe it’s quite interesting.”
Kazuki Hosokawa, Producer: “During the demo, there was a part where you had to observe using a drone, but in the full game there are situations where you have to fly the drone out yourself and do investigations with it. Furthermore, as introduced in the trailer, you can change your outfit to go undercover or trick people, pick locks, and engage in more such ‘Investigative Actions’.”
Project Judge launches in Japan, Asia, and South Korea on December 13, 2018 for PlayStation 4. The game launches in the West in 2019. Check out several previous trailers in our report here.