Like a Dragon 8: Release date, trailers, gameplay and more
No one expected the adventures of Ichiban to end after just one outing, and we were right to assume so. This shaggy-haired goofball with a heart of gold (and fists of steel) is back for another adventure through the streets of Kamurocho and beyond. However, it looks like another somewhat unexpected face from the series’ past is joining him in some capacity. After the series took on the subtitle of Like a Dragon, which has always been the name of the game in Japan, this moniker has now entirely replaced the old Yakuza brand.
like a dragon 8 will be the direct result of Yakuza 7: Like a dragon, which introduced us to the series’ newest protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, as well as the shift from a 3D action brawler to a turn-based JRPG. This major change paid off as this game was the series’ best-selling game to date, so a sequel was almost inevitable. However, you can never really know where this series will go next, narrative or mechanical, so we braved the back streets of Kamurocho to gather all the information we could on like a dragon 8.
With the initial announcement, we only had an exit window for like a dragon 8which is slated for 2024. That makes sense since the series usually hits an almost annual release cadence, and we’re already getting two more games, Like a Dragon: Ishin and Like a dragon Gaiden: the man who erased his name, in 2023.
Despite being two or two years off, like a dragon 8 is not going to abandon the last generation consoles just yet. It is announced for PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
The trailer of like a dragon 8 is fairly brief but has a rather surprising reveal, considering the supposed direction the series was headed.
The trailer opens on the familiar streets of Kamurocho with Ichiban’s signature figure strutting towards the camera. According to the quality of the translation function on YouTube, there are many voices talking to each other, saying things like “It’s been a long time, Ichiban.” Most of the dialogue the translation doesn’t even try to parse, due to the large number of voices. However, you can clearly hear Adachi, Nanba, Saeko, and (we think) Joon-gi and Zhao as well, although it’s hard to tell.
At this point, a second figure joins Ichiban. This time we get subtitles because that second digit says, “I guess we have no choice.” To which Ichiban replies, “Okay, it’s hero time…Kiryu-san!” If the voice hadn’t revealed it, we finally see the faces of our two protagonists: Ichiban and a gray-haired Kiryu.
Although Kiryu appeared in the previous game, it wasn’t in a prominent role. He was basically a boss fight and a summon whose purpose was to show the passing of the torch from him to Ichiban as the new leader of the series. That, however, may no longer be the case if his role in the game is as important as his placement in this trailer.
Multiple tracks aren’t something new to the series, with Yakuza 0 trading equally between Kiryu and Majima and Yakuza 4 having four playable characters. How this game will handle it, or if our assumptions about Kiryu are completely wrong, will be revealed later.
like a dragon was the breaking point of the series. From then on, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios (RGG) explained that the Like a Dragon series would continue to use turn-based JRPG gameplay, while the new series, Judgement, would continue the traditional 3D brawler action mechanics the series was built on. So while we haven’t seen a bit of gameplay yet, it’s almost guaranteed that like a dragon 8 will feature an updated and expanded version of the playstyle we had in Like a dragon.
Outside of combat, expect to still have a dense urban area to explore, with Kamurocho almost certainly included as one of the explorable areas. There will no doubt be the basic mini-games spread around town, such as karaoke, arcade games, batting cages, bowling, and maybe a few new activities to have fun with.
Certain types of business or management games are also another feature that most games include and that you can usually spend a lot of time on. Whether it’s running a cracker business or a real estate company, these side businesses are surprisingly well presented and developed.
2024 is still a long way off in the future, and RGG has two more Like a Dragon games to market and release before like a dragon 8, so don’t expect pre-orders to appear for this one anytime soon. Once they do, however, we’ll be here with the details for you.