Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Yakuza 6 sets March release date in the west

Special "After Hours" edition includes shot glasses and ice stones.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will launch 20th March, 2018, on PS4 in Europe and North America.

Legendary Japanese director Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano (Hana-Bi, Sonatine) will play a supporting role in Yakuza 6.

This will be the first Yakuza game to use the new Dragon Engine, which was designed specifically for the PS4. Our Digital Foundry tech specialist and Yakuza aficionado John Linneman offered an analysis of Yakuza 6's pre-release demo and found its gameplay a strong improvement over previous entries in the series.

Some of these improvements were graphical, of course, but the more important changes were to its overall design, as Yakuza 6 finally allows players to seamlessly enter and exit combat scenarios without pausing the action and loading an enclosed battle arena.

More importantly, you can finally purchase drinks from vending machines and control exactly how much you sip while walking in real-time. Video games are amazing.

Cover image for YouTube videoYakuza 6 PlayStation 4 Tech Analysis [Work in Progress]

Yakuza 6 will feature a host of revamped mini-games ranging from karaoke, batting cages, darts, managing a hostess club, and playing arcade games at Club Sega. This upcoming entry will also feature new distractions like bar mingling and spearfishing. Like a dragon!

Sega has claimed that Yakuza 6 is the final installment in the story of series' protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. It's set immediately after the events of Yakuza 5 and these games tend to have pretty convoluted plots, so if you've not played these titles before, you might have to do a bit of outside reading to catch up.

Yakuza 6 will be available both physically and digitally, and Sega went all out on an "After Hours premium edition". This collector's item includes a hardcover art book, two 280ml shot glasses, a couple of ice stones for cooling your drink, two coasters, and an exclusive box to keep all this kit together.

There will also be a limited launch edition of the game, which just adds a hardcover art book that doubles as a disc case.

Yakuza 6 has been available in Japan since December 2016, but as anyone who's played these games can tell you, there is a lot of dialogue to localise. Hence the wait.

Cover image for YouTube videoFight, Explore, and Play in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

In other Yakuza news, Yakuza Kiwami, the modern remake of the series' first entry, will make its western debut 29th August on PS4.

The most recent installment to make its way to our region was Yakuza 0, a series prequel that Eurogamer contributor Chris Schilling deemed "the best Yakuza to date and one of the finest Sega games in years."