It’s been around a year since I got hands-on with the latest in the Yakuza series, renamed ‘Like a Dragon’, and now Sega is back with two new titles. The first, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, is a spin-off from the main franchise and takes place during the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Featuring none other than the Dragon of Dojima himself, Kazuma Kiryu, you embark on a new story under the guise of being a secret agent.
Like a Dragon Gaiden plays much like other games in the series and reminds me of Ishin! with the free combat style and open-world exploration. It takes place in several areas: a district in Osaka, a district in Yokohama and a hub known as The Castle. In the demo, only The Castle was available, but there was plenty to fill the demo time as there were loads of mini-games and fights to enjoy.
Mini-games are as incredible as you would expect, ranging from poker and karaoke to old-school Sega titles. In addition, you can also get plenty of side-quests to really increase the depth of playability. I spent a large amount of time exploring this hub and checking out all the fun little extra things you can do, and it’s honestly one of my favourite things about the Like a Dragon games.
Of course, no Like a Dragon game is complete without some impressive combat, and Like a Dragon Gaiden doesn’t disappoint here, either. There are two styles to pick from, Secret Agent and Yakuza, and both are incredibly fun. Yakuza will feel very familiar to players, being a heavier brawler combat style, reminiscent of Kiryu’s fighting style in previous games. On the other hand, Secret Agent is totally new and possibly my favourite combat style in a game of this type. It’s fast and a joy to watch on the screen. As you may imagine, this style is full of gadgets that help you, and it’s very satisfying to use the electrified bind wires to stun and send foes flying. You can also switch up your style to best suit the circumstances.
The story promises to be a fully fleshed-out, high-octane adventure of espionage and survival.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name was released on November 9 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC. A full review will be coming soon. For more information, head to their website.