The first true post-Kiryu Yakuza game has just been shown off in Tokyo, and Yakuza 7 is changing up more than just its location.
Set this time in Yokohama, and featuring new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga (this game was actually very softly announced in March, this is just a more formal and informative reveal) the game marks a repaid departure for the series, with its trademark head-crunching action combat replaced by a more pedestrian turn-based system.
Here’s the debut trailer:
And here, if you’re still in a state of disbelief, is a shot and some blurry video of the new battle system:
— GAME Watch (@game_watch) August 29, 2019
The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki was at the unveiling, and was able to pass on the reasoning behind the radical gameplay shift:
Nagoshi: classic Yakuza game format reached one complete style so wanted to try totally different to jump. Our experts of action game creation made this RPG with their flavor; hope fans welcome this change. If not, happy to change back to action game for future releases.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) August 29, 2019
Makes sense! It’s absolutely wild, but it makes sense. There’s always been a weirdly comfortable fit between the series’ long-winded cinematics and furious gameplay. Guess we’ll see which of those two things fans liked more when we get a game entirely missing one of them.
The game is out in January on PS4 in Japan, China and Korea, while the West will get it later in the year.