Longtime Yakuza series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is back in force, starring in two freshly announced games. I’ve already reported on Like A Dragon 8, which stars Kiryu and new series main character Ichiban Kasuga, but devs Ryu Go Gotoku Studio also revealed that another game is coming in 2023. It'll explain what happened to Kiryu in his temporary absence from the series and is called, and I’m not making this up, Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. To prove it to you, you can watch the trailer below.
Definite John Wick vibes, am I right? This could be very cool indeed. Kiryu seems to have left the world behind since the end of Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life, but he's started taking on some dodgy sounding jobs under a new identity. Like A Dragon Gaiden carries on his story between that game and his reappearance in the newly announced Like A Dragon 8, which is releasing in 2024. Ryu Ga Gotoku said the sidestory would help fans who came into the series with Yakuza: Like A Dragon to get acquainted with Kiryu, and to explain where he’s been for those who’ve been with Yakuza for the long haul.
Kiryu’s going by the name of Joryu in Like A Dragon Gaiden. According to Ryu Ga Gotoku, the game will be similar in size to Lost Judgment’s DLC The Kaito Files, and maybe even a bit bigger. That’s about half the size of a standard Yakuza/Like A Dragon game. Not to worry though, because Ryu Ga Gotoku confirmed that you’ll still be able to run Kiryu, or Joryu, around town to soak up various sidequests. It’s intended to be a sidestory to Yakuza: Like A Dragon, so playing through should get everyone up to speed with what’s been happening with Kiryu’s monastic and potentially criminal exploits before Like A Dragon 8 rocks up.
It’s been a busy few days for the Yakuza series, or Like A Dragon now, as it seems it’ll be retitled to match the Japanese name. The Ryu Ga Gotoku summit today showed more of Like A Dragon: Ishin!, a remake of a feudal Japanese spin-off that’s releasing in February 2023. That one was first announced at yesterday's Sony State Of Play event. We found out at the summit that it’ll function as a kind of Yakuza All-Stars, plonking in familiar faces from various games in the series who weren’t in the original version. There’ll also be some songs and other things you might recognise. Of course, Ryu Ga Gotoku also revealed a teaser for Like A Dragon 8 today, which stars both Ichiban and a returning Kiryu.
Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name releases in 2023. It’ll be available on Steam, as well as the PlayStations and the Xboxes.