The long-awaited new sequel will be called Yakuza: Like A Dragon in the West and has a brand-new lead character and combat system.
Fans always knew the next Yakuza would be a major departure for the franchise, as it’ll be the first mainline entry not to feature Kazuma Kiryu as the protagonist, but it turns out that’s far from the only change…
Yakuza 7 will be released in the West next year as Yakuza: Like A Dragon and features new character Ichiban Kasuga as the main hero (or more probably anti-hero).
All that was known before, but what comes as a surprise is that the game’s much loved real-time combat is being replaced with a turn-based system.
According to a translation of the official Japanese website by Gematsu the new combat system is referred to as ‘live command RPG battle’, which, as it implies, means it’s influenced by old school Japanese role-players like Dragon Quest.
Weirdly, the new system was hinted at earlier by Sega via the April’s Fool video below, but most people thought, understandably, that it was just a joke.
But as you can see, even from the Japanese menus, you seem to be able to select attacks, items, and other options just like an old school role-player.
The website also reveals that the game will take part in Yokohama, which will be three times the size of Kamurocho from the previous games.
There is a Western website here but it seems to be down most of the time, either because of technical problems or because it was put live too early.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon will be released in Japan, as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, on 16 January next year. The Western version will also be released in 2020 but there’s no specific date as yet.
In related news there’s also likely to be a sequel to spin-off Judgment at some point, which did much better in the West than Sega were expecting.
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