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Yakuza: Like A Dragon Release Date, Characters And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the highly anticipated a re-imagining of the Yakuza franchise, has been out in Japan since early 2020. It has yet to reach American shores, mainly because it's being optimized for the Xbox Series X before making the journey — but it's coming, and the date of its arrival isn't far off. 

Like a Dragon follows Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking Yakuza member who serves an 18-year prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit. Kasuga returns to modern-day society to discover his clan was destroyed by someone he respected. So, he takes up his bat and goes to mete out some vengeance among the Japanese underworld while discovering the truth about why he spent so much time languishing in prison.

The game has done pretty well in Japan, selling 400,000 units within the first two months, so U.S. gamers are definitely waiting to see what the hoopla is about. Here's what we know about Yazuaka: Like a Dragon so far.

What is the release date for Yakuza: Like a Dragon?

According to the Microsoft Store, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is set for a November 12 release in the U.S. (complete with an English voice dub) for Xbox One and PC. Fans already know it's going to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X, so the solid release date on its listing is quite interesting. The game will work with the Smart Delivery system, so you can play across the entire Microsoft family.

Like a Dragon will also make its way to Steam and the PlayStation 4. Steam has it listed as "Coming Soon," and an Amazon listing for the PlayStation 4 version uses a Dec. 31, 2020 placeholder date. Sega also reportedly announced that the title will be a next-gen Xbox Series X timed exclusive, but it will come to PlayStation 5 at a later date.

You can preorder Yakuza: Like A Dragon now, though only for PC and the current console generation. The base Day Ichi version costs $59.99. The Hero Edition costs $69.99 and comes with a Job Set and Management Mode Set. The $89.99 Legendary Hero Edition bundles all the DLC, including the Job Set, the Management Mode Set, Crafting Set, Karaoke Set, Ultimate Costume Set, and Stat Boost Set. All preorders receive the Legends Costume Set, which contains costumes that honor legendary heroes from the Yakuza series.

Which characters are in Yakuza: LIke a Dragon?

According to the Like a Dragon Announcement Trailer description, Ichiban Kasuga is the first new main protagonist the series has introduced since the beginning. After getting out of jail, Ichiban draws a group of outcasts to his side as allies, including a rogue cop named Adachi, a homeless, ex-nurse named Nanba, and a hostess with a mission named Saeko. 

However, Masumi Arakawa, the patriarch of Arakawa Family, looms much larger within the narrative. Arakawa asked Kasuga to take the fall for someone else's mistake, and he soon discovers his former mentor is behind the destruction of the Tojo Clan and the rise of the Omi Alliance. Kasuga will seek out Arakawa to uncover the truth. Not only will Arakawa play a prominent role in the narrative, but he's voiced by actor and internet celebrity George Takei.

What is the gameplay like in Yakuza: Like a Dragon?

Unlike previous Yakuza games, which were mainly action titles with some Japanese RPG elements, Like a Dragon utilizes a turn-based combat system. The Verge reported in 2019 that the Japanese version of the game has a play area that is three times larger than the district featured in previous mainline Yakuza titles. There's plenty to see and do. 

PC Gamer says the gameplay in the Japanese release includes a job system. Additionally, you'll find ways to level up the bonds between characters called "drink links" and a business management mode with "epic shareholder battles." There will also be racing mini-games such as Dragon Kart and Can Quest. Like a Dragon is set in Yokohama, within nine districts that each have their own threats and flavor.

Apparently, many of the fun and absurd parts of Kasuga's fights are all in his head. Sounds like players will have a lot to unpack when Like a Dragon comes out in November 2020.