Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza returns in Like a Dragon 8 and a new offshoot
The series, now officially known as Like a Dragon in English, will have three games released between 2023 and 2024
Like a Dragon 8, the next mainstream Yakuza game, will be published in 2024 and will include the return of Kazuma Kiryu as one of two protagonists, alongside Ichiban Kasuga from Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Kiryu will also appear in a spinoff game called Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Forgot His Name, which will be published in 2023. And, yeah, it appears that the series’ English title has been altered from Yakuza to Like a Dragon (a direct translation of its Japanese title, Ryu Ga Gotoku).
The announcement was made during a livestream conducted by developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio on Wednesday, which also went into further detail about Like a Dragon: Ishin!, the remake of the 2014 samurai-era spinoff disclosed during Tuesday evening’s PlayStation State of Play presentation.
Details about Like a Dragon 8 are few, with only a brief teaser showcasing the two co-protagonists displayed. Nonetheless, Kiryu’s drastically altered visage, with graying hair sweeping down over his brow, stunned Twitch fans.
RGG Studio chief Masayoshi Yokoyama stated that there were “a lot of reasons” behind Kiryu’s new hairstyle, but that they would be kept private for the time being. He also stated that Like a Dragon 8 will have a role-playing gameplay concept akin to Yakuza: The Last Samurai. Like a Dragon, I said that this decision was influenced by plot; both games contain a lot of conversation and are centered on teamwork, and the RPG system and battle appeared to suit best.
According to Yokoyama, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will be an action-adventure game “roughly half the size” of a mainstream release in the series. It won’t be fully linear, he says, since players will be able to “walk to town, hang around, and perform side tasks.” It will, however, be “simple to play, not too long, and not too heavy.”
The Man Who Forgot His Name is set in 2018 and is considered a companion piece to Yakuza: The Last Samurai. Just like a dragon. It will explain what happened to Kiryu after he mysteriously vanished at the end of Yakuza 6. An enigmatic teaser depicts a meditating Kiryu being handed a contract by an anonymous stranger who refers to him as “codename Joryu.”
Yokoyama also debuted a new, lengthier trailer for Like a Dragon: Ishin!, noting that several of the characters have been altered in this version. The original 2014 version, which was never released in the West, included characters from the first five Yakuza games as samurai; the remake has been updated to include characters from Yakuza 0, 6, and 7 as well, to guarantee it’s a “all-star cast” pulling from the whole series up to the present.
Like a Dragon: Ishin! will be published on February 21, 2023, followed by Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Forgot His Name later that year and Like a Dragon 8 in 2024. All three titles will be available on PS4, PS5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.