Like herding cats: 'Yakuza 6' adds open-world cat cafes, busking, and more

Sega outlined many of the outrageous side activities featured in its upcoming open-world adventure game Yakuza 6, revealing that players can divide their time between investigating the criminal underworld and managing a virtual cat cafe.

The latest entry in Sega’s long-running Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan series, Yakuza 6 will bring its unique charms to Japanese audiences later this year for the PlayStation 4.

Tracing its origins back to the PlayStation 2 era, the Yakuza series has drawn frequent comparisons to Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto franchise. Backed by a gritty storyline that focuses on warring crime syndicates, the Yakuza games deliver a series of brutal third-person brawls bridged by open-world exploration sequences.

Gamers looking for a break from the action have plenty of options, however, as the Yakuza games are known for their over-the-top sidequests and minigames. Series producer Toshihiro Nagoshi gave fans an early glimpse at Yakuza 6‘s featured side missions during Tokyo Game Show this week, revealing that cat cafe management plays a surprise role in the game’s dramatic narrative.

While wandering the mean streets of Japan as series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, players will encounter stray cats in need of rescue. After rounding up several strays, players will be given the option to put their adopted feline friends to work at a cat cafe, which generates in-game currency on a regular basis.

Cat cafe management is one of several optional activities players can enjoy in Yakuza 6. Other featured minigames include busking, darts, batting cages, mahjong, and pachinko. During downtime between missions, players can also attempt to find Kiryu a soulmate by befriending bar hostesses and seducing virtual webcam girls via skilled typing.

Arcade fanatics will also find a lot to like in Yakuza 6, as the game includes fully functional arcade versions of Sega’s one-on-one fighting game Virtua Fighter 5 and competitive puzzler Puyo Puyo. Both games offer head-to-head multiplayer modes, allowing Yakuza fans to take on their friends in local matches.

Yakuza 6 will debut for the PlayStation 4 in Japan on December 8. While a North American release date is not yet known, series prequel Yakuza 0 is scheduled for a stateside launch on January 24.

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