The adventures of Ichiban Kasuga (and friends) will continue in Like a Dragon 8, the next entry in the beloved Yakuza series. The 8th mainline installment drops the Yakuza title completely in favor of its Japanese naming convention and will borrow many familiar mechanics from its acclaimed predecessor, Like a Dragon (aka Yakuza 7). Now that Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio have officially announced Like a Dragon 8, there’s plenty to be excited about. But what do we know about the upcoming installment?
When is the Like a Dragon 8 release window?
Like a Dragon 8 will launch sometime in 2024. Sega announced two other games in the series including Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name and Like a Dragon: Ishin!, both of which are launching in 2023. This means you’ll have plenty to hold you over until Like a Dragon 8 comes out.
Who is the Like a Dragon 8 developer?
Ryo Ga Gotoku Studio is the team that has worked on recent Yakuza installments, including the acclaimed Like a Dragon and Judgment games. This developer will also work on the forthcoming Like a Dragon 8, as confirmed by Studio Director Masayoshi Yokoyama.
How does Like a Dragon 8 connect to Like a Dragon Gaiden?
Sega announced a side-story game titled Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. This game will bridge the gap between Yakuza 6: Song of Life and Like a Dragon 8, and will take place from longtime protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s perspective. “Gaiden” literally means side-story in Japanese, so its title makes sense.
This will hopefully give more backstory, which will help provide context since Kiryu will play a role in the new mainline installment.
Is there a Like a Dragon 8 trailer?
There is a trailer, yes! It’s only a teaser trailer, so it doesn’t feature any gameplay or story elements, but it does confirm the inclusion of Ichiban Kasuga and longtime Yakuza protagonist Kazuma Kiryu.
You can also check out a (Japanese-only) video shared by gaming magazine Famitsu in July. In it, MMA fighter Mirai Asakura posted a YouTube video showing a tour of the Ryo Ga Gotoku offices.
Asakura’s video shows developers at work on Like a Dragon 8, including a few shots of their computer monitors, where several of the game’s characters can be seen. In these shots, you can see Like a Dragon 8 star Ichiban Kasuga with his hair tied back, rather than in his signature afro. The video also reveals that Mirai Asakura himself will appear in the game and shows his 3D modeling session at the studio.
What is the Like a Dragon 8 story?
It’s too early to know the exact details of Like a Dragon 8’s story, but we do know it will serve as a continuation of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. According to an IGN report (via Famitsu), Yokoyama said “I can’t go into any details about Yakuza 8 yet, but I can reveal it will be a continuation of the story of 7, set a few years later.”
Yokoyama added “the story will be set in the present day for the year the game goes on sale,” which should be around 2023.
We do know that Like a Dragon 8 will introduce a brand-new town to the series, but exactly where it is hasn’t been revealed yet. That detail comes from the same YouTube video and Famitsu article that showed off Ichiban’s new style, as translated by Google.
Though the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon wrapped up nicely, there’s plenty of room for more adventures starring protagonist Ichiban Kasuga, and side characters Yu Nanba, Koichi Adachi, and Saeko Mukoda.
In fact, Kasuga’s voice actor Kazuhiro Nakaya revealed that Ichiban will serve as the series’ protagonist for the next decade, so it’s best to get used to him since he’ll be around for a while.
Why is it called “Like a Dragon” instead of “Yakuza”?
In Japan, the series has always been called Ryū ga Gotoku, which translates to “Like a Dragon” in Japanese. Even the developer is called Ryū Ga Gotoku Studio, so given the series’ recent success in the West, it seems the team feels comfortable enough to utilize its original Japanese name.
“Yakuza” is also a tricky marketing term, so it makes sense to swap over to Like a Dragon, which is a more distinct search phrase.
What will the Like a Dragon 8 gameplay be like?
Yakuza: Like a Dragon marked a turning point for the long-running series, as it was the first entry to implement a turn-based battle system, rather than utilizing the familiar beat ‘em up mechanics from previous installments.
Like a Dragon 8 will retain the turn-based system from its predecessor, while the Judgment series will continue using the beat ‘em up combat mechanics. We also know that Ichiban Kasuga and Kazuma Kiryu will appear as playable characters in the new installment, each with their own parties, hopefully offering plenty of variety.
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