It’s been a couple of months just after the worldwide release of Judgment, but now the Ryu Ga Gotoku team is ready to show what’s next for the direct sequel to the Yakuza franchise. While they did announce Yakuza 7 in the works last March, they recently revealed story details, gameplay, and release dates. Let’s jump right to it.
A new “dragon” appears
Yakuza 7 starts at Kamurocho in 2001. We’re formally introduced to Kasuga Ichiban who, just like Kazuma Kiryu from the previous games, is part of the Tojo clan and undoubtedly loyal to a fault. By the way, according to creator Toshihiro Nagoshi, he also likes Dragon Quest.
With a request from his boss, Kasuga takes the fall for someone else’s crimes and spends 18 years in jail. However, when he finally gets released, the only thing welcoming him back is betrayal. He finds himself in Yokohama which is where his journey truly begins.
Revamping of the gameplay
While the premise doesn’t seem far off from your usual Yakuza game, the team decided to experiment and change the gameplay completely into an RPG command style. Fans who follow the franchise closely will remember that last April Fool’s Day video from the studio that showed RPG elements. Of course, everyone thought it was a joke, but I guess the joke was on us after all.
The reception of the gameplay though is somewhat mixed. Yakuza is traditionally a brawler type game, so the change to turn-based RPG seems pretty drastic. On the flip side, this game is also a departure from Kazuma’s story so it might be a good time to change things in terms of gamplay as well. However, Nagoshi does mention that if the fans don’t like the style, they can change it back to the way it was for future releases.
— GAME Watch (@game_watch) August 29, 2019
Personally, I’m not a brawler type but I found myself comfortable in Yakuza’s battle system. I’m actually worried on how this “dramatic RPG” would really be like when the game comes out. It also seems somewhat reminiscent of Persona 5’s style. However, it might be too soon to judge so let’s just wait and see.
The seventh installation of the Yakuza series will be available for PS4. It will be released as Ryuu Ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue (trans. Like a Dragon 7: Whereabouts of Light and Darkness) in Japan, China, and Korea on January 16, 2020. The game will retail at ¥8,390 without tax. Its worldwide release will be done later in the same year.
YouTube: PS4専用ソフト『龍が如く７ 光と闇の行方』ティザートレイラー