It was announced today that the 7th title in the Yakuza franchise, titled Yakuza: Like a Dragon in the west and Yakuza 7: Whereabouts of Light and Darkness in Japan, will be released in Europe and the Americas sometime in 2020. The game's subtitle Like a Dragon is actually the name for the entire franchise in Japan, a change similar to that made to Resident Evil 7, which featured the subtitle Biohazard in the west. You can view the first trailer for the game below.
The game features a new protagonist named Ichiban Kasuga, pictured below, who is part of the Tojo crime family and went to prison for murder in 2001 only to be released in 2019, the year in which the game takes place. The game will feature a storyline focused on Kasuga's attempts to find out what happened to the Tojo crime family in his absence and how the Omi Alliance had taken over the series' long-time setting of Kamurocho. In addition to Kamurocho, players will also be able to explore the Japanese city of Yokohama for the first time in the series. Sega claims this new location will be three times bigger then Kamurocho.
The game will serve as something of a departure for series and will feature turn-based RPG combat rather the beat-em-up style of gameplay earlier titles in the franchise are known for. This "Live Command RPG Battle," as Sega called the new battle system, will be able to select the technique from a menu similar to those seen in games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. A screenshot of this brand new way to battle can be seen below.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the 8th title mainline title in the Yakuza franchises, a count which does not include spin-offs like last year's Judgment, and will arrive in the west sometime next year. If you're wanting to catch up on earlier parts of the series, the Yakuza Remastered Collection was recently announced bringing Yakuza 3, 4 and 5 west again with updated localizations and for the current-gen consoles.
What do you think about Yakuza's sudden switch to being a turn-based RPG? Let us know in the comments.