The upcoming video game Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the latest and greatest in the Yakuza franchise from Sega, now officially has a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). If you're at all familiar with the franchise, it should likely come as no surprise that Yakuza: Like a Dragon has earned an "M" for Mature rating, but even so, the specifics are truly something to behold.
The game, which follows low-ranking yakuza Ichiban Kasuga after returning to his clan following an 18-year prison sentence, has all the usual hallmarks: blood, violence, sexual themes, use of alcohol, and so on. The full rating is absolutely worth a read, but perhaps the most striking part of the ESRB rating is that the game includes "a special move (Extreme Bondage Attack) depicting a woman in lingerie tying up the targeted enemy."
"This is an action role-playing game in which players follow the story of a low-level yakuza (Ichiban Kasuga) involved in a feud between rival clans. Players perform quests, level-up combat skills, and fight enemy clans in turn-based combat. Players select attack moves/spells from a menu before watching characters punch, kick, and throw each other; spells/special moves include blasts of fire and over-the-top assists (e.g., a man attacking with a giant grater). Finishing moves can trigger slow-motion effects and camera zooming that highlight violent acts. Blood effects accompany several moves (e.g., stabbing/slashing). Cutscenes also depict intense acts of violence: a man poking out the eyes of a rival with his thumbs; a character shot in the head; a bound man beaten with pipes and bats—blood effects sometimes embellish these acts. The game contains some sexual material: characters discussing selling porn videos to underage kids; a special move (Extreme Bondage Attack) depicting a woman in lingerie tying up the targeted enemy; characters cleaning up soiled tissues in a brothel (e.g., “Bodily fluids really aren't my thing.”). During the course of the game, players can visit bars to order alcoholic beverages, regaining health during battles (character status is sometimes listed as "sh*tfaced"); characters are sometimes seen stumbling and slurring their speech when drunk. The word “f**k” appears in the dialogue."
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series X. No definitive release date has been announced, but it is set to be an Xbox Series X launch title and otherwise has a "2020" window attached to it still. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming Yakuza video game right here.
What do you think of what we've seen of Yakuza: Like a Dragon so far? Are you excited to pick it up when it releases this year? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!