Yakuza: Like a Dragon is out next week, bringing with it a brand-new protagonist in the form of Kasuga Ichiban. Reviews have gone live for Sega and RGG Studio’s new franchise entry, which swaps the bare-knuckle brawling of previous games for turn-based action and strategy.
Reviews have so far praised the change of pace and Ichiban, with many critics agreeing that the new face of the story-driven series is an absolute delight and ready to forge a legend on par with the Dragon of Dojima.
In GameSpot’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon review, we scored it a 9/10. Critic Michael Higham said that the game “is a passing of the torch, and a fantastic entry in a beloved franchise that proves that it’s in good hands with Kasuga Ichiban.”
We’ve got several reviews listed below as well, and you can also check out GameSpot sister-site Metacritic to see what other critics have to say.
- Game: Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (PS5, Xbox Series X/S Versions Coming)
- Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
- Release date: November 10
- Price: $60 / £52 / $68 AUD
Eurogamer – No score
“Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a good game – sometimes it’s okay, sometimes it’s great, sometimes it made me groan. It runs the full gamut of emotions, from boredom to disbelief. The will to reinvent itself is there, and that means not everything works – whether you’ll enjoy it or not depends on what aspects you care about the most.” — Malindy Hetfeld [Full Review]
Rock Paper Shotgun – No score
“I’ve spent the last three years or so lapping up the original six Yakuza games, having only recently finished up the last entry with teary eyes. Up until now, I thought Yakuza: 0 would always be my favorite, but the way things are going Kasuga is poised to wrench away its crown. He will no doubt pop it on with a big grin and a triumphant cross of the arms.” — Ed Thorn [Full Review]
IGN – 7/10
“Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s colorful turn-based combat, engaging lead characters, and detail-rich setting make for a refreshingly different and mostly thrilling installment in the long-running Japanese crime series. However, pathfinding annoyances and a number of escalating difficulty spikes in its closing chapters made completing its story feel like much more of a repetitive slog than any of the previous games. While I applaud the developers for daring to transform its established brawling into more tactically complex team-based battles, the grueling progression system it brings along with it means that Yakuza: Like a Dragon ultimately takes some bold steps in a new direction for the series but neglects to completely maintain its balance.” — Tristan Ogilvie [Full Review]
Polygon – No score
“What Ryu ga Gotoku Studio has created is an ambitious new entry in a franchise that has managed to endure for over 15 years. Series veterans might be turned off by this new direction, but it manages to retain the same essence as its predecessors. And by the end, Ichiban Kasuga and Yakuza: Like a Dragon both prove to be a worthy successor to the franchise.” — Kazuma Hashimoto [Full Review]
GamesRadar – 4.5/5
“Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a confident step in a different direction for Ryu Ga Gotoku’s series. An impactful combat system filled with whacky abilities stands tall against the action-based formula RGG perfected over nearly two decades, and newcomer Ichiban Kasuga and his friends come together as an excellent cast to leave a lasting impression. Like a Dragon might fall into genre traps of a prolonged main scenario and pretty lackluster dungeon design, but the ever-charming side stories maintain that perfect Yakuza combination of funny and meaningful.” — Hirun Cryer [Full Review]
Trusted Reviews – 4.5/5
“Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a triumph, and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio should be commended for redefining such a seasoned franchise, despite the backlash it might have received. Leaving Kazuma Kiryu behind hasn’t been easy, but Ichiban Kasuga and company have crafted a compelling path into the future that I cannot wait to see continue.” — Jade King [Full Review]
Siliconera – 9/10
“Much like Kasuga’s dragonfish tattoo feels like a quirky but faithful successor to Kiryu’s dragon, Yakuza: Like a Dragon rebuilds the franchise by leaving a lot of it in place. The new protagonist doesn’t feel like he has seven games of story in him, but his eagerness to join the fray could carry the next few entries. And hey, if you want another game with the classic combat style, there’s always a chance of a Judgment sequel.” — Graham Russell [Full Review]
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.