Yakuza 4 had four characters. Yakuza 5 ups the ante with five characters and five locales to travel to. Famitsu reports Kazuma Kiyru is playable along with Yakuza 4 leads Shun Akiyama and Taiga Saejima. Haruka Sawamura who Kazuma protects like his daughter is a playable character in Yakuza 5.
Tatsuo Shinada is a new character. He used to be baseball player, but was banned from the game for gambling. Debt collectors are chasing Shinada down who may not be guilty. Famitsu says Shinada is a character players can emphasize with.
The story picks up after Yakuza 4 (some sources say two years after, but this is unconfirmed). Haruka left Okinawa and went to Osaka hoping to become an idol. She has been practicing singing and dancing, but her agency has sinister plans for her. Taiga is in prison serving a three year sentence. Shun is traveling to Osaka and Kazuma is working as a cab driver in Fukuoka. Players will be able to visit five different areas in Yakuza 5 – Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Hokkaido.
Famitsu also says the game will have the largest amount of content than any game in the Yakuza series. The development team spent twice the time working on Yakuza 5 and made many improvements to the game’s controls (which were not revealed) and have seamless transitions between battle and adventure scenes.
Yakuza 5 is slated for release on PlayStation 3 in December.