Announced as part of Sony’s pre-Tokyo Game Show lineup, Sega’s Yakuza team is working on Project Judge, a hard-boiled detective thriller. Known as Judge Eyes in Japan, Sega promised that the “project” part of the title was subject to change. Project Judge has been in development for over three years and is releasing for the PS4. The story trailer, linked below, also reveals that Project Judge will come to the West sometime next year, though didn’t narrow down the release window. Japan gets to explore the depths of Project Judge‘s criminal underworld this winter, on December 13th.

Starring a hard-nosed lawyer after a fall from grace, he finds himself caught up in a mysterious string of murders. After one of his clients is accused of murdering his girlfriend and setting fire to their apartment, young lawyer Yagami finds ousted from a law firm. Turning to the streets, he is embroiled in a string of gruesome murders connected to his past. Promising “something different” from the Yakuza series, Project Judge looks to offer a more grounded take on Japan’s underbelly.

Sega’s Yakuza team has had a busy year so far. With the impending Western release of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, the Yakuza team has also been hard at work on Project Judge for three years now. Gamespot spotted a gameplay trailer, which shows off some clear lineage between the Yakuza series and Project Judge. The video is linked above; from the combat sequences alone, one can clearly see Yakuza‘s influence, from the hand-to-hand combat shown off. Project Judge will also feature the vocal talents of Takuya Kimura in the main role, an actor and singer known for his prolific work in television. Sega is no stranger to partnering with actors with an extensive resume, as the voice of Kazuma Kiryu, Takaya Kuroda has lent his voice to numerous anime and video games. You can also view the entire Project Judge presentation below.

With Yakuza 6 marking the end of Kazuma Kiryu’s storyline, Sega has long indicated that they would either tell a different story in the Yakuza universe or move on to something entirely new. Even with the Yakuza influence leaving its mark, we’ll see just how different Project Judge is when it releases this December in Japan, and sometime next year in the West.


Kyle Johnson

Japanese Gaming Specialist

Professional painter. Semi-professional weeb. I've played hundreds of games, but finished very few. I speak Chinese and Minnesotan.