As it turns out, Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon was a bigger turn for the series than realized. It starred an all-new protagonist in a non-Kamurocho setting and even sported the Japanese name of the series (Like a Dragon) as the subtitle. The seventh game can be seen as developer RGG Studio’s attempt to restart the Yakuza series on a new foot. Now, the company is dropping “Yakuza” from the name altogether. The next Yakuza game, Like a Dragon 8, was announced earlier today during the RGG Studio showcase, and it’s heading to PC in 2024.
Oh, I guess there is one element RGG can’t simply leave behind after all. Kazuma Kiryu, who handed the protag reigns to Ichiban Kasuga after exiting with Yakuza 6, is returning. Like a Dragon 8 will see both bare-knuckle brawlers in dual protagonist roles. Ichiban, of course, comes back dressed in his burgundy disco suit and poofy haircut. And that’s a really good thing. While his role as lead in Yakuza 7 was a major change, Ichiban Kasuga won the hearts of series fans with his aloof, nerdy personality.
But now, Kiryu has returned, and he’s looking quite different. Though his stone-chiseled facial expression hasn’t altered from “always disappointed,” he’s not completely the same. With straightened gray hair, Kiryu is looking like he’s about to infiltrate a pop group. According to RGG, there is a reason for the look. My guess? He’s trying to stay incognito by posing as a disappointed mop. Yakuza is weird enough that it might just be true (it probably isn’t).
Like an angry mop
Like a Dragon 8 is still early in development, and it won’t continue the Yakuza saga until 2024 when it lands on PC. RGG offered very little additional info along with the announcement. However, the developer is promising the game will be the biggest Yakuza adventure yet. Based on the trailer, it also looks like we’re returning to the mean streets of Kamurocho. The flags seen on the sides of the buildings brandish the name, and it’s hard to mistake all that glowing neon.
The teaser trailer doesn’t provide any hints to the story, either. But something certainly happens that drives these two characters together. In the video, we hear Kiryu say “Guess we don’t have a choice.” Ichiban laughs, and replies “All right, it’s hero time… Kiryu-san!” That is a very Ichiban thing to say.