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Like A Dragon Direct reveals LAD: Infinite Wealth weaves the old and new with the utterly bonkers

And it's out in January 2024

Ichiban rocks a surfer costume in LAD: Infinite Wealth.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Sega

Sega's Like A Dragon Direct happened in the early hours for us UK netizens last night, which meant I woke up today to an absolute heap of flaming hot Yakuza news. Not only is Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth launching on January 24th next year, it's taking Ichiban and co. to the sunny island of Hawaii! Kiryu's back and in a battle with his biggest adversary yet. And you can become an unhinged Pokémon master, among many, many other things. We're so back. We're so effing back.

Kiryu stares at someone behind the camera, who says "Shit, you're getting old, Kiryu-Chan", in LAD: Infinite Wealth.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Sega

Last night's LAD Direct dropped two big trailers, basically. The first of note is a ten-minute story trailer, which offloads a tonne of new details and does nothing to expand on how one could obtain infinite wealth. Maybe it's a metaphorical thing? We find out why Ichiban had his Johnson out on full show on a beach during the Summer Geoff Fest reveal: he's off to Hawaii, in search of his mother who seems to be out there. Perhaps infinite wealth could be found in a mother's arms? That would be fittingly Yakuza, I think. Still, an old enemy - an absolute bastard from the previous LAD - delivers the news, so I can't help but feel something isn't quite right.

Aside from making me point at the trailer and yell, "The boys!", and "The boy!", at both Ichiban being reunited with his pals and Kiryu, I wasn't expecting to let out a soft, "the... boy". Turns out Kiryu is suffering from cancer. Amidst all the chaos of finding Ichiban's mother and the inter-clan warfare it'll bring, Kiryu's chapter may finally come to a close. Daigo, Saejima, and Majima - all longtime legends - make an appearance, perhaps for one final hurrah. Either way, I can't wait to see how the story zigzags between the new in Ichiban and the old in Kiryu.

Ichiban achieves a "Super Crazy Delivery!" in a LAD: Infinite Wealth minigame.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Sega

Then there's the gameplay reveal trailer, which hits us with a quickfire round of new, absolutely bonkers things with the marked coolness of a Rockstar Games narrator. The turn-based fighting is back, but this time you're free to move your character during their turn for positional advantages. You can take tours of Hawaii to learn new jobs (classes): samurai, cowboy, pyrodancer, a housekeeper with a powerful hoover, MORE. Goodness me. There's a bit where Ichiban feeds a chicken a watermelon to develop their bond. There's Crazy Taxi but you're a Deliveroo person on a bike. You can now recruit your enemies, level them up, and have them fight against other like-minded trainers.

Granted, the game isn't out yet. But I'm consistently blown away by RGG Studio's ability to never lose sight of the history they've built and laughter being a constant thread through it all. Please don't ever change.

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