Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a PC RPG game developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by Sega. The game was originally released in Japan on the PlayStation 4 platform on January 16, 2020. The international release took place on November 10, 2020 simultaneously on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S, and in 2021 on PlayStation 5.
Like a Dragon is the eighth main game in the Yakuza series and the first part of the main line, where the main character is not Kazuma Kiryu, but the new protagonist – Ichiban Kasuga, the youngest member of one of the yakuza families, who spent 18 years in prison, taking the blame for a crime he did not commit and when he was released in 2019 was betrayed by his family.
Unlike past games in the series, Like a Dragon is an RPG. The player takes on the role of Ichibana Kasuga, a former member of one of the yakuza families. As in previous games, the character moves through the open world, where he can complete main and side tasks, as well as play various mini-games and take part in battles with random opponents.
The combat system has also undergone changes: in the past main games it was similar to that in the games of the Beat ’em up genre, while Like a Dragon uses a turn-based combat system, as in the games of the JRPG genre. Instead of controlling only the main character in battles, the player takes control of a squad of up to four people, each member of which has his own skills.
Development and release
Before the official announcement of the game, the developers shared various details of the project several times. So, on April 1, 2019, a video was published that showed the battle of the new protagonist and his companions against a street gang, which was shown as turn-based combat in the style of JRPG games. Due to the date of publication, the video was perceived as a joke. The game was officially presented on August 29, 2019, and it was also announced that the game will be released in Japan on January 16, 2020 on the PlayStation 4. At the same time it was announced that the previously shown turn-based combat system is real and replaced the previous one. In Japan, the game is distributed as Ryū ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue (龍 が 如 く 7 光 と 闇 の 行 方 方 ga gotoku sebun hikari to yami no yukue), while worldwide it is distributed without a number called Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
In May 2020, an application with the cover of Yakuza: Like a Dragon was seen in the Steam database, although a version for personal computers had not yet been presented at that time. On May 7, 2020, at an Inside Xbox event, it was announced that the international version will be released in 2020 immediately on Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 4, while for Series X Like a Dragon it will become a game in the starting lineup. It was also announced that Like a Dragon will be the second game in the series after the original Yakuza to receive English voice acting and the first to receive subtitles in French, German, Italian and Spanish. After release, support for Russian and Brazilian Portuguese was added to the game – the game was also translated into these languages for the first time in the series.
The game was originally slated for release on November 13, 2020, but later the release date was pushed back 3 days earlier to November 10 to match the Series X / S release date, and the PlayStation 5 release date was also announced on March 2, 2021. For both families of consoles there is a free update – users who purchase the game for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will receive updated versions for Series X / S and PlayStation 5 for free .. However, cross-platform saves are available only on the family of Xbox consoles.
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The game received generally positive reviews from gaming publications: on the Metacritic rating aggregator, the average score of versions for personal computers and Xbox Series X / S was 83 points, the version for the PlayStation 4 – 84 points, the PlayStation 5 version was rated at 86 points, and the version for Xbox One – 89 points. The game scored 86 points on the OpenCritic portal.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon was the top-selling game in its first 4 days on sale in Japan with 156,993 physical copies sold.