Ichiban Kasuga in Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Will Yakuza 8 be turn-based? We already know the answer

By Steven Rondina

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Aug 27, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Yakuza 8 is in development, but is the next installment in the series going to be turn-based? The answer is already out there, and we have it for you.

Yakuza developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio took a bold step with Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Former protagonist Kiryu Kazuma is one of the most recognizable protagonists in gaming today and the series had a boom of popularity thanks in large part due to its beat ‘em up gameplay. Despite that, there was a hard reset of the series with its latest game.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon introduced a new hero in Ichiban Kasuga and a completely new gameplay engine. While some fans are hoping for a return to the series’ traditional beat ‘em up gameplay, is there any hope of that with Yakuza 8, or will it be another turn-based RPG? Here’s what’s we know.

Will Yakuza 8 be a turn-based RPG?

Yakuza 8 will be a turn-based RPG, according to interviews with the developers. This marks another departure from the Yakuza series’ action roots.

In the buildup and immediate aftermath surrounding Like a Dragon, developers waffled over whether Yakuza 8 would continue on as an RPG or go back to being an action game. As time went on and the latest game enjoyed commercial success in western markets, that tune changed. Moving forward, the series will continue on as a turn-based RPG with Yakuza 8 included in that.

That may be frustrating news for longtime fans of the series. The move from an open-world beat ‘em up game to a JRPG drew criticism at the time and still has some Yakuza fans feeling disappointed years later. The series’ classic style isn’t completely gone, though.

According to the heads of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the classic Yakuza gameplay will continue on in the Judgment series. The series was first released in 2018 with the title Judgment, a spin-off that takes place within the same world as Yakuza with much of the action centered in Kamurocho. This was followed by the 2021 sequel, Lost Judgment.

The series marks a departure from Yakuza in terms of its tone and themes, but brings forward much of its traditional gameplay and style. Fans who want some old school Yakuza adventures can look to the Judgment series.

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