The new Like a Dragon spin-off, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will be a smaller game in comparison to other entries of the franchise. This game was first announced by Ryu Ga Gotoku’s own livestream event, RGG Summit 2022. This event showed off a number of upcoming games, including a highly requested localization of Like a Dragon: Ishin! and the first look at Like a Dragon 8. Among these titles was also Like a Dragon Gaiden, which will focus on a returning Kazuma Kiryu.
Like a Dragon Gaiden is touted to be an interquel, set in between the conclusion of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and the upcoming Like a Dragon 8. This game will be focused on a retired Kiryu, who has taken up being a monk under the codename of Joryu. This title is also billed to be how Kiryu gets involved with the events of Like a Dragon 8, with the gameplay going back to the action-brawler style fans are familiar with. RGG Studio confirms that this interquel’s playtime will also be shorter, being smaller in scale.
In an interview with Famitsu, RGG Studio’s Masayoshi Yokoyama stated that Like a Dragon Gaiden is likely to be half the length of a mainline title. Despite the smaller scale, the team is working on making sure there is enough for a player to do like the other games. While he notes that the story is still being adjusted, he estimates a rough playtime could be around 10-20 hours. Yokoyama explicitly states that it will be longer than Lost Judgment‘s DLC, The Kaito Files, which according to the HowLongToBeat website, will take a player roughly 7-10 hours to finish.
Based on this estimate, Like a Dragon Gaiden could be as long as some of the earlier titles in the franchise. According to the same site, some of the later games like Yakuza 0, Yakuza 5, or Yakuza: Like a Dragon could take roughly 30-45 hours to beat the main story, depending on the player. In comparison, the first Yakuza game can take up to 14 hours to finish the main story, so despite the smaller scale, there could still be a good amount of content to experience.
With Like a Dragon Gaiden‘s smaller scale and focus on the original combat, it helps not only give fans more of what they loved about the series but with a tighter and smaller scoped title. It also helps fill in the blanks on what Kiryu has been up to, acting as a great teaser of what is to come in the next numbered title.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in 2023.
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