For anyone wondering what happened to Yakuza series icon Kiryu Kazuma after the events of Yakuza 6, Sega and RGG studio have announced Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, an interquel that will fill in the blanks when it releases in 2023.
Set around the same 2018 time period as Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which introduced new series lead Ichiban Kasuga, the Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name trailer introduces us to a totally new character Joryu.
Well, actually it’s Kiryu who’s given up his name and stepped away from his past, intent to live out his days meditating as a disciple at the Daidoji Temple. What could possibly draw him back in? How does he end up returning to the main series for Like a Dragon 8? Well, players of Yakuza: Like a Dragon will certainly have some understanding of what happened to Kiryu, but this story has been built out into a whole new video game.
Following on from the announcement of the Yakuza: Ishin remake – Like a Dragon: Ishin – during the PlayStation State of Play last night, and the reveal of Like a Dragon 8, it’s clear that the series will now be called Like a Dragon around the world. Called Ryu Ga Gotoku in Japan, and with the studio named Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, this translates to English as Like a Dragon, so you can consider this Sega righting the wrongs of Western branding from the early 2000s.
Looking back on Kiryu’s last adventure, in our Yakuza 6: The Song of Life review, we wrote:
“Yakuza 6 is a beast of a game, and it sends Kiryu off in style. The graphical upgrades are mouth-watering, and the seamless interior exploration makes an already immersive world even more engrossing. Combat feels very different from any other Yakuza game, and while it’s a little sluggish and unsatisfying at first, upgrades and stat buffs help make Kiryu feel like as much of a bruiser as he’s always been. While some important side-characters don’t get their moment in the sunset here, Kiryu Kazuma gets one last heart-breaking journey that parallels the highs and lows of his previous adventures. Kiryu may be gone, but with a new engine and flashy new combat, the Yakuza series is nowhere close to going away.”