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What We Know About Like a Dragon 8 and Gaiden, New Yakuza Games

Kiryu and Ichiban share the spotlight in the RPG Like a Dragon 8 while Gaiden bridges gaps in Kiryu's story, extending the Yakuza universe.

As part of Tokyo Game Show 2022, developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio held their own showcase called the RGG Summit. The makers of Yakuza showed an extended trailer of Like a Dragon: Ishin, a remake of the historical spinoff that never came to the west. However, the big announcements for the RGG Summit were two new Yakuza games — Like a Dragon 8 and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name.

The showcase starred key voice actors alongside RGG director Masayoshi Yokoyama to talk about the new games. And some additional important details came out of it. Let’s breakdown what we know about each new Yakuza game.

Like a Dragon 8 (Yakuza: Like a Dragon Sequel)

Like a Dragon 8 is the direct sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon (sometimes referred to as Yakuza 7). The reveal trailer showed both characters Kazuma Kiryu and Kasuga Ichiban walking together under Kamurocho’s iconic red welcome sign. In the trailer, you can hear several voices from different characters. Then Kiryu says, “Guess we don’t have a choice,” to which Ichiban replies “Alright, it’s hero time…Kiryu-san!”

Like a Dragon 8 continues the series’ direction with turn-based RPG combat for its core gameplay. The story has dual protagonists starring both Ichiban and Kiryu as they’ll be working together. The real news story here is Kiryu’s new haircut. My man finally has some gray hair, but now he’s let his hair down like he’s leading Persona 4‘s investigation team.

While there’s no definitive release date yet, Like a Dragon 8 is set to launch sometime in 2024 and will be on previous and current gen platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

Since this one’s name is a mouthful, we’ll just call it Like a Dragon Gaiden. This is a separate game that tells the story of Kiryu after the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, and it’s intended to bridge the gap between that and the latest Yakuza: Like a Dragon games.

Like a Dragon Gaiden is said to be a traditional Yakuza-style action-adventure game. It won’t be a full-fledged game in terms of length — Yokoyama said it isn’t as long as a mainline entry, but it will be longer than something like The Kaito Files DLC for Lost Judgment. He also said it should clear things up for those who didn’t play the previous Yakuza games in the Kiryu saga.

The trailer shows Kiryu meditating in a samue. He took up the codename Joryu. An older man talks to him about leaving his previous life behind, striking a nerve with Kiryu when he mentions family. A new character approaches, who says he’s the 100th desciple of the Daidoji Temple. Kiryu replies saying it’s just a front for the Daidoji faction and has some contentious back-and-forth. But as is Yakuza tradition, there’s a job that needs to be done. The mystery man says a certain individual needs to be escorted.

While there’s no definitive release date yet, Like a Dragon Gaiden is set to launch sometime in 2023 for previous and current gen platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC.

Like a Dragon: Ishin (Yakuza Ishin Kiwami)

As announced during PlayStation’s State of Play, Like a Dragon: Ishin is a remake of Yakuza: Ishin which was only released in Japan back in 2014. It gets the Kiwami treatment and is rebuilt with Unreal Engine 4. You can watch the extended trailer above, which shows a cutsecene of a house raid, reveals more of the story, and introduces each character individually.

Ishin is a period piece spinoff that takes place during the Edo era in Japanese history. The events of the game’s story happen in the 1860s, and it’s as if all the characters in the Yakuza franchise were cast to play historical figures. It’s a sort of Yakuza all-star lineup with familiar faces and voices being attributed to new names.

Since the original version of Ishin came out before Yakuza 6, this remake has been updated to include characters that came afterward. The bosses of Yakuza 0 and the supporting characters from Yakuza: Like a Dragon are now included in the Ishin cast. We can expect some changes to the original story.

The Like a Dragon: Ishin release date is February 21, 2023 and is coming to previous and current gen platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, and PC.

About the Author

Michael Higham