The Like a Dragon (formerly Yakuza) franchise is expanding with the newest title, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Set to release in January 2024. I was lucky enough to get hands-on with the demo of the upcoming mainline title at EGX 2023.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth picks up after Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name (and in fact, this game is teased during the story, and a demo is provided). It’s a direct sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon. In this action RPG, you play as Ichiban Kasuga (the protagonist from Yakuza: Like a Dragon), Kazuma Kiryu (the franchise’s original protagonist), and several new and old allies to form a team.
The plot centres around Kasuga searching for his biological mother while Kiryu is trying to find the same person for the Daidoji faction and protect her from various antagonists.
For the first time, the game takes place internationally in Hawaii as well as familiar locations in Japan. The demo took place in Hawaii, and it was refreshing to explore a new location. Hawaii was beautifully rendered and represented. As with all Like a Dragon games, mini-games and side activities are aplenty. You can spend a lot of time exploring and getting sidetracked. At one point, I ended up on a tram talking to a guy about photography, taking photos of people in the street. In addition to the usual, like karaoke and Mahjong, there are also mini-games inspired by other Sega franchises. A delivery mini-game inspired by Crazy Taxi, for example. There is also supposed to be a whole resort management side-game with crafting and resource gathering. However, I didn’t come across this during the demo.
Combat in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is turn-based for all characters in your party. You can pick and chain moves. One of my favourite aspects of this combat system is how characters can partner up for outlandish and extravagant combo moves together. Each character can choose from a selection of roles, which can determine playstyle and provide unique perks. For example, Kiryu can briefly break from turn-based combat and engage in open combat using the familiar brawling style.
The demo had plenty of opportunity to test out the combat, and it worked smoothly. and was fun to test out different moves and styles.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth releases on 26 January 2024 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC. For more information, head to their website.