The Yakuza franchise is about to embark on a new adventure with its upcoming title, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. This game promises to take players on an unprecedented journey outside of Japan, as they explore the captivating tourist hotspot of Hawaii, specifically Honolulu City. Developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, this installment boasts the largest map in the series, featuring a sprawling landscape that is more than three times the size of its predecessor, Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s Isezaki Ijincho. With thrilling locations, compelling gameplay, and a unique storyline, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is set to captivate players and bring the Yakuza experience to a whole new level.
RGG Studio has meticulously crafted the Hawaii map in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, creating a virtual representation of Honolulu City that is nine times larger than the iconic Kamurocho district. This expansive world is teeming with life and promises an unparalleled experience for players. Among the notable locations to visit is Aloha Beach, a vibrant shoreline where players can indulge in swimming and soak up the sun. For fans of the Yakuza series, the Anaconda Shopping Center offers an arcade gaming haven and a chance to grab a quick snack. The Chinatown area is a bustling district filled with steaming food stalls, markets, and the luxurious Nirvana Bank Hotel catering to the elite. Waiki Town is a must-visit for those seeking souvenirs, District 5 provides a chance to engage with the local mafia, and Little Japan offers a taste of home with its delectable sushi options. With its diverse range of locations, the world of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is truly a sight to behold.
The announcement of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth not only introduces players to a new world but also marks the departure of the beloved protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu. In a story trailer released in September, it was revealed that Kiryu had been battling cancer in addition to facing the challenges of old age. RGG Studio’s decision to retire Kiryu from the lead role led to the rebranding of the new era of Yakuza games as “Like a Dragon” in the West. This shift in character focus also brought about significant changes in gameplay. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth adopts a turn-based combat system, similar to the renowned Persona series. Players can unleash their creativity in battles, utilizing environmental objects as weapons, summoning powerful allies called Poundmates, and executing cinematic tag-team moves. Moreover, food items provide temporary stat boosts, adding an extra layer of strategy to the gameplay. Hoverbikes, pizza delivery mini-games, and Karaoke sessions are additional features that make the experience of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth even more immersive and enjoyable.
Masayoshi Yokoyama, the head of RGG Studio, has described Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth as a “monster class” game. In an interview, he expressed his concern that some players might hesitate or delay playing the game, and he wanted to create a hype that would encourage them to experience it fully. To combat this issue, the studio aimed to create a festival-like atmosphere within the game, enticing players to complete it within a shorter timeframe, even at the potential cost of their health. Yokoyama’s hope is that players will immerse themselves in the world of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth and be captivated by its rich narrative and engaging gameplay.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is set to release on January 25, 2024, across multiple platforms, including PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. As the launch date approaches, anticipation builds among fans of the Yakuza franchise and eager gamers. The combination of the expansive world of Honolulu City, the captivating storyline, and the innovative gameplay mechanics makes Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth a highly anticipated title. Get ready to lose yourself in the immersive world of Yakuza and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.