The release of Sega’s next Yakuza game called Yakuza: Like a Dragon is only a few weeks away now (if you’re in Japan) with a new gameplay trailer released recently to show off more of the game ahead of its launch. This gameplay trailer is in Japanese, but even if you’re not fluent, you can still see some stark differences between Like a Dragon and past Yakuza games such as the new protagonist and the shift in combat style.
Ichiban Kasuga leads the fights in the Like a Dragon trailer above as he and his teammates fight their enemies in turn-based battles using special attacks. He’s joined by several supporting characters who’ve been introduced before and have unique abilities specific to their styles like smacking people with purses or resting up to restore some health.
The turn-based RPG combat is probably the biggest difference between Like a Dragon and past Yakuza games, though the new game still has many of the features expected of the series. The game won’t take place in Kamurocho like past Yakuza games did, but you’ll still find some of the same activities like throwing darts and playing other mini-games to kill time or earn some extra cash between doing your main story quests. Even with the turn-based combat replacing the street brawls of past games, it’s evident from the gameplay trailer’s fights that the game is keeping its dramatic and over-the-top fight scenes you’ll find in pretty much any other Yakuza game.
Like a Dragon was officially announced back in September after originally being referred to simply as Yakuza 7. It’s the first mainline game in the series following the Judgment spin-off which did take place in Kamurocho but also had players controlling a different protagonist.
“Yakuza: Like a Dragon is much more than just a new chapter in the Yakuza series. Much like the new English title itself, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a complete reimagining of the franchise, a landmark to coincide with the series’ 15th anniversary,” Sony said about the game when it was first announced. “With the bulk of the game taking place in the large-scale, painstakingly-realized setting of Ijincho in Yokohama, players will explore an entirely new side of Japan never-before-seen in the series. Not only that, but Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s combat system has undergone a major overhaul, combining Yakuza’s established brawling action with a turn-based RPG battle system.”
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is scheduled to release for the PlayStation 4 in Japan on January 16th with a Western release planned for some time in 2020.