Good news! We'll be seeing more of the handsome devil, Ichiban Kasuga, after Ryu Ga Gotoku announced an upcoming title, “Like a Dragon 8.” Breaking the news during the RGG summit, the developers also unveiled another title, “Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name,” that'll be soon gracing your console. However, your focus for today is the eighth installment of the Yakuza franchise.
As an ardent fan of the Yakuza series, I must admit I've been waiting for Ichiban Kasuga's next adventure with bated breath. Mainly because Like a Dragon 7's ending kept us on tenterhooks. With Like a Dragon's 8's release glimmering on the horizon, we've gathered the nitty gritty for a detailed overview of what you should expect once the game drops. Here's everything we know about Like a Dragon 8.
What is Like a Dragon 8?
Like a Dragon 8 is an upcoming RPG by Ryu Ga Gotoku and Sega. The title is a direct sequel to “Like a Dragon 7″ and is the ninth installment in the “Like a Dragon” (Yakuza) series. Also, it is the fifteenth game under Ryu Ga Gotoku. Making the announcement during the RGG Summit 2022, developers promised their fan base that this would be the biggest game yet. I am not surprised by this remark since the franchise has consistently raised the bar with its seamless infusion of a compelling narrative and captivating gameplay in every title. If you enjoy role-playing games with a strong narrative and a variety of gameplay mechanics, this upcoming title could be a good choice for you.
Like a Dragon 8's story picks up from its predecessor. However, this time there are two protagonists, Ichiban Kasiga and Kazuma Kiryu, though Ichiban still stands out as the main character. The story expands on Kiryu's past while providing insight into Ichiban's future. The highlight of the story is Ichiban's new haircut. Instead of his famous afro, Ichiban will don a silver fox haircut. This could mean a deep narrative for the lead protagonist, especially after he was teased for his afro hairstyle in the previous title.
The developers are yet to release more details on the game's storyline. However, producer Masayoshi Yokoyama said, “The story will be set in the present day for the year the game goes on sale.” Moreover, with the series focusing on Japan's criminal underworld with a touch of quirkiness, fans should expect more of this.
Furthermore, the game's release trailer featured several character voices, so we could see other characters from the series.
Owing to the tremendous success that Like a Dragon 7 achieved with the shift from an action brawler to a JRPG, it's only fitting that Like a Dragon 8 will retain its JRPG gameplay. And that's precisely what's in store. Moreover, the game will also keep its turn-based combat system.
The striking difference is the two protagonists who'll be sharing the limelight. We assume there'll be a mechanic for switching between the roles since swapping characters is a norm for the series. In Yakuza 4, players had to switch between four playable characters, each featuring a distinct fighting style that gave a fresh look into each chapter.
Furthermore, with side quests being a highlight of the games in the series, we anticipate that the upcoming title will have you taking on various quests that tie into the main story. Also, since the trailer shows the two protagonists strutting along the streets of Kamurocho, we might be in for another adventure in the crime-ridden city.
The game was first brought to the limelight on November 8, 2021, by Mayasoshi Yokoyama through a notice that paid tribute to the creator of the series, Toshihiro Nagoshi. By then, the game was going by the title Ryu Ga Gotoku 8, which translates to “Like a Dragon 8.” However, a SEGA representative shed light on the name change, stating that it's an effort to bring the series' English adaptation closer to its Japanese original. The first title in the series held the name Yakuza, representing the franchise's criminal theme. The upcoming title will be the first in the series not to feature the name Yakuza.
During the game's official announcement, Yokoyama stated that the game's concept of featuring two protagonists was to provide an immersive storyline that featured the past and future. Hence the introduction of Kiryu in the upcoming title, despite the expectation of his story ending in Yakuza 6. Furthermore, this is the studio's largest undertaking to date, owing to the game's scale and volume.
The game will be produced by Hiroyuki Sakamoto and directed by Ryosuke Horri, Nobuaki Mitake, and Tutaka Ito. Ryosuki, Ito, and Sakamoto have both worked on the Yakuza series. However, this will be Mitake's first time directing.
SEGA released the first look into the upcoming title; admittedly, it works up an appetite. Although the trailer doesn't reveal much of its gameplay or storyline, it shows the duo protagonists walking along the luminous streets of Karamucho. The trailer also features voices from different characters. The 1-minute 4-second video ends with Kiryu saying, “Guess we don't have a choice,” and Ichiban replies by saying, “Alright, it's hero time, Kiryu-san.”
You can watch the trailer above if you have not yet watched it.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
The game is set for release in 2024 and will be available on PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Evidently, it'll be a while since we see Ichiban in action. However, we'll be getting two games, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name and Like a Dragon: Ishin, to warm us up this year before it finally drops.
For more information on Like a Dragon 8, be sure to check in with the official social handle here. If anything even remotely newsworthy drops between now and it's eventual 2024 release, we'll be sure to let you know right here on gaming.net.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Like a Dragon 8 when it eventually drops? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.