The next major entry in the Yakuza series has been revealed in Japan, and Sega is seriously shaking things up. Ryu ga Gotoku 7, which will undoubtedly be called Yakuza 7 in the West, has a new main character, a new setting, and a totally new combat system.
Yakuza 7 was previously teased with the working title Shin Ryu ga Gotoku, where shin means “new.” After Yakuza 6: The Song of Life brought protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s story to an end, the series will continue with new lead Ichiban Kasuga, another former yakuza who took the fall for a crime he didn’t commit. He is also, apparently, a big Dragon Quest fan.
The action shifts from Tokyo to the nearby port city of Yokohama. According to Japanese games site Game Watch, which has been reporting on the press conference, the play area will be three times bigger than the district of Kamurocho that featured in every previous mainline Yakuza game.
The biggest change, however, looks to be the combat system, which switches away from Streets of Rage-style brawling to a menu-based approach that’s more reminiscent of Persona or Final Fantasy. The Yakuza games have always essentially been JRPGs, and now the connection is even clearer. You can see how it works in the Game Watch video below:
周囲の環境も汲みながらコマンド選択をしていくことが楽しいバトルに！#龍が如く #龍が如く7 pic.twitter.com/UWAM1TEa6u
Ryu ga Gotoku 7 will be released on PS4 in Japan on January 16th, 2020, and will come to North America and Europe as Yakuza 7 later in the year. It’ll be playable at Tokyo Game Show next month.