Yakuza: Like a Dragon gameplay looks interesting; Confirmed for a Western release

When Sega announced that the next installment of Yakuza, Yakuza 7 or Yakuza Like A Dragon in the West, was adopting a turn-based combat system. Well, let’s just say that some people weren’t too thrilled with the idea. However, now that Sega has officially released some gameplay (in addition to their earlier Yakuza Online April Fools joke) it would seem that some of the noise has died down.

Mostly thanks to the Tokyo Game Show happening this week, there’s been a steady flow of information regarding the game.  In this recently released trailer, we can see how the combat works a clearer now. As you can see that the 3D brawling is still intact, with the turn-based input being the only real change here.  Combat still looks as frantic and over the top as ever, as evident by being smashed in the face with a purse or knocked into ongoing traffic, only to be run over by a car.


We’re also treated to a sampling of the mini-games that will be available in the game. Which includes a go-kart and racing around a track? Ok, that looks cool, but I hope the tradition of Sega features past arcade classic continues here as well.

Honestly, it looks like all the stuff that made the past Yakuza titles so enjoyable has been retained. I was skeptical in the past, but this looks great and I doubt Sega is going to drop the ball on this.

Sega also released some more info on the main characters of the game.


Ichiban Kasuga – A low-ranking member of a low-ranking family, Kasuga is asked by his patriarch and father-figure, Masumi Arakawa, to turn himself in for a murder committed by the family captain, Jo Sawashiro.

He is released after serving 18 years in prison, only to discover that the Tojo Clan has been eradicated from Kamurocho and in its place is the Omi Alliance of Kansai – and that Masumi Arakawa may be behind all of it. Seeking the truth, he heads to meet with his former patriarch.

Masumi Arakawa – Patriarch of the Arakawa Family. Formerly the chairman of a branch family of the Tojo Clan, he betrays his superiors by providing internal Tojo Clan intel to the police as they enact the “Kamurocho 3K Plan.” The combination of his betrayal and police effectiveness wipes the Tojo Clan from Kamurocho, allowing the Omi Alliance to move in and grant him the rank of Acting Captain in honor of his accomplishment.

Jo Sawashiro – Lieutenant of the Omi Alliance, Captain of the Arakawa Family. Well-known for his vicious nature, even while serving as captain of the Arakawa Family during its Tojo Clan days. He despises Ichiban Kasuga, and the 18 years of prison time that Kasuga serves in his name doesn’t change that. When Masumi Arakawa becomes the Omi Alliance acting captain, he is elevated to a lieutenant.

Yu Nanba – A Homeless Former Nurse. Nanba’s fall from grace was swift when he lost his nursing license for selling illegal foreign drugs. With Ichiban Kasuga near death from a gunshot, Nanba uses his medical expertise to save his life and decides to tag along on Kasuga’s journey.

With TGS 2019 ongoing, expect to see and hear a lot of impressions of the game from various outlets and sources. Sadly, we aren’t at the event but we’ll be rounding those impressions up and discussing them on this week’s Spectator Mode Podcast.


Yakuza 7 is scheduled to be released on January 16, 2020, in Japan for PS4. A Western release has been confirmed, we just have a release date yet. Though you can spend the time waiting while checking out the Yakuza Remastered Collection, which includes releases 3-4, with Yakuza 3 already available to play.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grind. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Yes, I am a black gaming journalist.