SEGA held a press conference in Japan today just ahead of next month’s Tokyo Game Show to reveal the next installment of their critically acclaimed Yakuza series, and it seems this entry will be quite a departure from what fans have come to expect.
Yakuza 7 (or Ryu ga Gotoku 7: Whereabouts of Light and Darkness, as the title roughly translates to) will center around Ichiban Kasuga following previous series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s retirement in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. The story follows Kasuga who, after finally being released from prison after 18 years for a crime he didn’t commit, finds himself stranded in Yokohama with his ex-boss and clan out to kill him.
This means that Yakuza 7 will break the series tradition of being set in the familiar fictional city of Kamurocho and instead take players to the real Japanese city of Yokohama. Yakuza 7’s biggest change comes in its gameplay, which the team has dubbed “live command RPG battles”, essentially, Yakuza 7’s combat will ditch the beat-em-up style battles of the prior entries for a new turn-based RPG approach that series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi is already committed to changing in future titles if fans aren’t fond of it.
With the end of the story of Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza 6, the release of the new series spin-off with Judgment, the recent announcement of the Yakuza Remastered Collection, and now Yakuza 7, it seems like the Yakuza series is only getting bigger and bigger. Yakuza 7 will release in Japan on January 16th, 2020, and SEGA has also confirmed that it will come West later in 2020.