'Like A Dragon: Ishin' Isn’t the Last 'Yakuza' Game – But The Series Is Getting A Rebrand
After months of hype, Like A Dragon: Ishin! is officially on store shelves. It follows in the steps of 2020’s Yakuza: Like A Dragon, although this time the action revolves around Sakamoto Ryoma on a historical adventure set in ancient Kyo. But is Like A Dragon: Ishin the last Yakuza game? The two aforementioned games are clearly part of the long-running Yakuza franchise, though neither game references the moniker in their title.
Thankfully, fans of the franchise have nothing to worry about, as SEGA still plans on expanding the series. Here’s what we know about the future of the Yakuza franchise.
Is 'Like A Dragon' the last Yakuza game?
Technically, Like A Dragon: Ishin! is part of the Yakuza franchise even though it doesn't bear its name. However, anyone who has grown fond of the series will be happy to know that it’s not entirely disappearing. Instead, it’s undergoing a rebrand. All Yakuza games moving forward will be named Like A Dragon. This means that while technically the Yakuza name is dead, the legacy will live on under the Like A Dragon brand.
According to SEGA, the change will allow the team to better align the game’s name to the game’s storyline, which often doesn’t deal directly with the Yakuza crime syndicate. It also makes the English titles closer to that of the Japanese versions (which are called Ryū ga Gotoku and roughly translate to Like a Dragon). That means 2020's Yakuza: Like A Dragon was the final game to use the Yakuza title.
What is 'Like A Dragon: Ishin'?
Like A Dragon: Ishin is the first game in this rebranded Yakuza lineup, with several others already planned for the future. This includes Like A Dragon: The Man Who Erased His Name (which arrives in 2023) and Like A Dragon 8 (which arrives in 2024).
Ishin is based on an old Japanese title from 2014, but it has been polished and reworked before launching for a western audience. It might look a bit different from other games in the Yakuza series, thanks to its historical setting, but it still offers many of the same tropes the series is known for – such as a nuanced main storyline that’s filled with a delicate balance of comedic moments and dramatic reveals.
The game is pulling in favorable reviews so far, with critics praising its heaps of side content, memorable cutscenes, and impressive graphics and art direction.
Like A Dragon: Ishin is now available on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The next game in the franchise, The Man Who Erased His Name, does not yet have an official release date, although most analysts expect it to arrive at the tail end of this year.