Project Judge (new IP from Yakuza studio)

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Andy

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Mentioned in the TGS thread, but thought it deserved its own.

This is Project Judge, the new IP from the Yakuza studio. That's a working title, btw.


"Toshihiro Nagoshi’s team behind the Yakuza series at Sega has announced its next major work. The PS4 game is called Judge Eyes: Shinigami no Yuigon in Japanese and carries the working title of Project Judge in English. Like Yakuza, Project Judge is a gritty real-world drama set in present-day Japan, but flips the stakes altogether by casting the player character as a former lawyer turned detective.

"While the excellent Yakuza 6 featured megastar actor Beat Takeshi in a key role, Sega has managed to one-up its star power this time around. Project Judge stars Takuya Kimura, actor and former member of colossal Japanese boy band SMAP. “Kimutaku” is one of the most famous entertainers in Japan; imagine if Justin Timberlake were cast in the Uncharted series and you’ll get an idea of how big a coup this is."

"...a subsequent closed-door conference showed off a lot more footage of how the game plays out. The combat and general movement through the city is extremely reminiscent of Yakuza, but it looks like there’s a lot more variety in the core gameplay. As a detective you have to collect a lot of clues, whether by finding them in person or by flying a drone around the city, and there’s a stealth element to tracking people. Project Judge also shares the Yakuza series’ penchant for quirky, tangential minigames."




Sounds cool. I can feel the Yakuza vibes, but it's also something very different. The game will be released in 3 months in Japan and other Asian markets, then it's coming to the West in 2019. I assume it's PS4 exclusive, but I don't know for sure.
 

JinCA

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Judge Eyes, the new game from the Yakuza team.
 

Andy

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I'm sold. Good Japanese melodrama brewing there. I trust these guys to deliver, and that trailer leaves me with no doubt.

I wonder if it'll have the same mix of serious and silly that Yakuza does, or whether they'll just play it straight? I know it'll have mini-games, but I wonder if it'll have the laugh-out-loud ridiculous side missions. I've never had a game make me laugh as much as Yakuza does. It's a very weird mix. I wonder if they'll continue that style here.
 

The Wolf King

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So it's just Yakuza with some different mini games
 

Andy

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So it's just Yakuza with some different mini games
No. I mean, if you want to be real reductive/surface, yeah. But this one has a lot of emphasis on being a detective, has different mechanics (different move sets related to stealth and chase), a different battle system, and an entirely different set of characters and storyline. It's also swapped from a story about the bad guys to a story about the good guys (although I'm sure the morality will be mixed). They also seem to be going for a different vibe, more action-crime.

Similarities are there, to be sure. It's the same city and a lot of the same assets. That's how they keep the budget contained. I'm fine with that, because the money goes into the parts of the game that matter to me (story, side-missions, action) rather than into other things. Same general type of storytelling (I hope). Similar emphasis on brawling. And yes, the presence of mini-games. I've never gotten into mini-games personally. I'm all about the main story and side missions.
 

Frozpot

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I like the detail in their faces. They look like real people (probably face scans). I like the look of the rendering as compared to what I've seen of their work on Yakusa. From my very limited experience, it does look a LOT like Yakusa. Keeping my eyes on...
 

Andy

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I like the detail in their faces. They look like real people (probably face scans). I like the look of the rendering as compared to what I've seen of their work on Yakusa. From my very limited experience, it does look a LOT like Yakusa. Keeping my eyes on...
You sure pay a lot of attention to faces and facial rendering. Do you do that kind of work for a living or something?
 

Andy

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A brief vid where he runs through the Japan demo, with some commentary and differences and similarities from YAKuza (I thought it was Ya-KOOZ-ah).

Combat does look very similar to Yakuza, even down to the traffic cones. I was happy to hear him mention some of the trademark Yakuza sillyness (e.g., breaking a box open, finding a vibrator, and beating a guy with it). The shift to detective work could be interesting. Chase sequences look like fun.

Sounds like they're putting a lot of effort into building an interesting main character. I agree with him, that these guys are great storytellers. All the Yakuza fans I know are on board. I wonder if its reach will extend beyond Yakuza fans in the west. Hope so.

 

Bellybama

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I only discovered Yakuza recently, but take my money!!!

Edit: that TAA and weird occlusions are rather prominent...
 

Andy

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I only discovered Yakuza recently, but take my money!!!
Me, too. I love that I've discovered a whole, long game series that has been around for years, which I never knew I'd like. After 20 years of gaming, that kind of thing doesn't happen very often.
 

Frozpot

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You sure pay a lot of attention to faces and facial rendering. Do you do that kind of work for a living or something?
I love it beause it takes so much subtle effort to look good and natural. It's the bit that sells the humanity.

I do have a BA in media art and animation. I've been working with 3d programs since college. Of course, I don't primarily do it for work (I do some, but not organic modeling, and I make way more than I'd make as a game artist), but i love the tech behind real-time rendering.

I do eventually want to make my own games, but I've only started learning Unity. I do have a leg up in the art department, though...
 

Andy

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I love it beause it takes so much subtle effort to look good and natural. It's the bit that sells the humanity.

I do have a BA in media art and animation. I've been working with 3d programs since college. Of course, I don't primarily do it for work (I do some, but not organic modeling, and I make way more than I'd make as a game artist), but i love the tech behind real-time rendering.

I do eventually want to make my own games, but I've only started learning Unity. I do have a leg up in the art department, though...
I see. Yeah, it sounded like you were involved in the field somehow. I agree that good facial animation helps to sell the character as "real." If you look at our brains, a very large chunk of real estate is devoted to facial recognition and analysis (e.g., micro-expressions of emotion). People are definitely very sensitive to that.

I tend to be very sensitive to writing, especially dialog. If a character doesn't speak like a real person, that will take me right out. Games have gotten a lot better at this in the past couple decades. I remember when I first began gaming, maybe 18 years ago, characterization and dialog were god awful -- constantly cringe-inducing. Things have gotten a lot better, though.
 

Frozpot

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I see. Yeah, it sounded like you were involved in the field somehow. I agree that good facial animation helps to sell the character as "real." If you look at our brains, a very large chunk of real estate is devoted to facial recognition and analysis (e.g., micro-expressions of emotion). People are definitely very sensitive to that.

I tend to be very sensitive to writing, especially dialog. If a character doesn't speak like a real person, that will take me right out. Games have gotten a lot better at this in the past couple decades. I remember when I first began gaming, maybe 18 years ago, characterization and dialog were god awful -- constantly cringe-inducing. Things have gotten a lot better, though.
I'm the same with dialogue (and delivery). I could handle the cringe better when I was younger, but it can nearly ruin it for me now. Of course, an interesting story/concept can save bad dialogue, but it kills the immersion.

The Elderscrolls is kinda an example, but it's the world and lore that saves it rather than a great story.... well the concepts are good, at least. The general framework. The wooden faces and weird dialogue definitely reduce the shine.

It can work the other way too, with great delivery and dialogue saving a generic premise.
 

TDbank24

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I'm sold. Good Japanese melodrama brewing there. I trust these guys to deliver, and that trailer leaves me with no doubt.

I wonder if it'll have the same mix of serious and silly that Yakuza does, or whether they'll just play it straight? I know it'll have mini-games, but I wonder if it'll have the laugh-out-loud ridiculous side missions. I've never had a game make me laugh as much as Yakuza does. It's a very weird mix. I wonder if they'll continue that style here.
I'll support anything these guys do. Yakuza is the real deal.

First time seeing this myself and it looks really cool.