PlayStation 4’s Project Judge is the latest title from the makers of the Yakuza series. Where Yakuza has explored the lives of organized crime members, Project Judge will be a detective story crossed with a courtroom drama.
As private detective Takayuki Yagami, the player will use “investigative skills” to “unveil the truths hidden at the core of Project Judge’s plot.” Publisher Sega hasn’t provided specifics on these skills, but early screenshots show spying, dialogue trees and jump kicks, so it’s safe to assume Project Judge isn’t a subdued crime procedural.
Project Judge will star famed Japanese actor Takuya Kimura as Yagami, along with Akira Nakao, Kenichi Takito, Shosuke Tanihara and Pierre Tak as various other characters; the band Alexandros will provide its theme. The cast, the visuals, a three-year development cycle and the economics of AAA video games suggest Sega sees Project Judge as the seed to a larger series.
Project Judge is spearheaded by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios, which is headed by Sega chief product officer Toshihiro Nagoshi. The makers of the Yakuza series continue to expand their focus: This October, the team will release Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise in the U.S., a Yakuza-style game based on the classic Fist of the North Star anime and manga.
Project Judge is set for a release on PS4 in the U.S. in 2019. Readers with access to a Japan PlayStation Network account can download a demo today.