Like a Dragon: Ishin — Everything We Know
Just in case you missed it, Yakuza developer Ryu Ga Gotoku is rebooting Like a Dragon: Ishin, a samurai-based brawler that casts its focus on 1860s Japan, a time during which the end of the shogunate helped revolutionize the country. Much like Judgement and the long network of Yakuza chapters, said reboot will be developed using the Dragon Engine, and will, for the very first time, be available to purchase outside of Japan on launch.
So, how much do we actually know about the upcoming release from Ryu Ga Gotoku? Well, a fair amount, thanks to the studio lifting the veil on a whole bunch of details since its late 2022 announcement. Curious to know more? Here’s everything we can tell you about it.
What Is Like a Dragon: Ishin?
Like a Dragon: Ishin is an upcoming action game by Ryu Ga Gotoku. It is also a remake of the 2014 original, which never actually went on to be localized outside of Japan. According to the developer, the rise in demand for a localized version crept up in 2017, which in turn led the team to begin work on a remake. But what else do we know about it?
Set in the 1800s, Like a Dragon: Ishin will serve the samurai period with grace, centering its attention on the fall of the shogunate and the drastic changes in Japanese culture. Once again, players will embrace the world as Sakamoto Ryoma, a backwater samurai who goes into hiding following an accusation that paints him as a murderer.
“Centuries of peace are coming to an end,” the official blurb reads. “Across the nation, factions assemble in anticipation of civil war. Imperial loyalists unite under the banner of “sonno joui”—revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians. They fight to overthrow Japan’s military dictatorship and shut its borders to foreign influence.
Meanwhile, the ruling government, the Bakufu, has assigned special police forces to maintain order—provided they can manage to coexist without drawing blades on one another. And in the capital city of Kyo, a man who will change the course of history seeks justice…and revenge.”
It goes without saying that if you’ve played either the Yakuza or the Judgement sagas, then you’ll no doubt know what to expect from Like a Dragon. And if you’re new to this sort of niche genre, then it can only be described as an action-focused brawler—a game that goes hand in hand with a story-driven experience that’s loaded with cinematics and Yakuza-like activities.
Ishin will host four distinctive combat styles: The Swordsman, The Gunman, The Wild Dancer, and The Brawler, each of which will come with their own special attacks, combos, and abilities. Between bullets and brawn, you will decide how to approach battles and ultimately develop the story.
Like a Dragon: Ishin was announced back at the State of Play event in September 2022. At the time of its reveal, Ryu Ga Gotoku confirmed that the game would be a full-blown remake, and would be available for countries outside of Japan for the first time ever.
“After the 2014 release of Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin!, the number of overseas fans requesting a localization increased, and at the same time, SEGA’s US marketing team also started to request this game be localized, so we thought the time was right,” RGG’s Masayoshi Yokoyama told Twinfinite. “For about 1-2 years after release, there was barely any anticipation for the title, according to marketing research held in North America. But from around 2017, the Ryu ga Gotoku series as a whole started to get recognition, and the demand for Ishin increased.”
To cut the long story short, Ryu Ga Gotoku kick-started the project into ignition following the rise in demand in 2017. As of 2023, the game has been under the hammer for the best part of four years. It will be coming to ex-gen and current gen consoles and PC on February 21, 2023.
“At the time, the studio had two options: to localize or remake, but this was also at a time when new hardware like the PS5 and Xbox were emerging, so after finishing up development for Yakuza: Like a Dragon, we started to work on a remake,” Yokoyama concluded.
The good news is that there is, in fact, a trailer highlighting all of the core details of Like a Dragon: Ishin. Interested in seeing all the action for yourself? You can catch a glimpse of what’s to come in the upcoming action-adventure game in the video above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Like a Dragon: Ishin will be coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam on February 21, 2023. Will there be a Switch port? To put it short, no. That said, there isn’t anything to say that it won’t be coming to the handheld device in the future. As for when that could be, though, is still anybody’s guess.
As far as launch editions go, Like a Dragon: Ishin will release with two: standard, and the digital deluxe edition. You can see what comes included in the latter in the section below.
Digital Deluxe Edition
- Like a Dragon: Ishin
- Kijinmaru Kunishige, a dark sword with a white hilt
- Tsuyano Usukurenai, a sword soaked in blood
- Black Ship Cannon, a cannon taken from Western ships
- Shinsengumi Captain’s Set
- Ryoma Growth Support Kit
- Sword Upgrade Materials Kit
- Gun Upgrade Materials Kit
- Third Division Armament Expansion Kit
- The Dragon of Dojima Skin
Bad luck, Game Pass and PlayStation Plus subscribers. Like a Dragon: Ishin won’t be coming to either platform as a day-one exclusive. There is, however, a glimmer of hope to be found here though, as past Yakuza and Judgement instalments have, in fact, found a home on either of the two in recent years. So there is some hope yet.
For more information on Like a Dragon: Ishin, you can follow the official social handle here. We’ll be sure to let you know if anything interesting pops up right here on gaming.net.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Like a Dragon: Ishin when it launches? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.