At this year’s Tokyo Game Show, we got 20 minutes with the brand-new mainline entry in the Yakuza series. Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth is a follow-up to 2020s Yakuza 7: Like A Dragon. It puts us back in the shoes of both Ichiban and Kiryu and takes place after the events in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. Infinite Wealth finds our heroes washed up on the shores in Hawaii, a remarkable change in setting from the previous games.
In our demo, the very first thing I noticed was somehow developer Ryu Ga Gotoku has found another level. Just when I thought Yakuza 7 was cranked up to 11, the team here has somehow raised the bar even higher. Throughout the demo, you play as Ichiban who is now the proud owner of a Hawaiian shirt and Segway scooter.
How Does Infinite Wealth Play
The open world area in Infinite Wealth is completely different from the Kamurocho we have come to expect. The team at RGG has attempted to re-create areas of Hawaii and the change is welcomed as it makes the game feel new again. Pressing down on the D-pad brings out the Segway. It has a battery that needs to be charged, which costs money. You can unlock a few customizable options for the Segway too, the color of the scooter and the design of the wheels. Traversing around the large area is fun, it is a nice new addition.
The turn-based combat from Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon is back again with some deeper mechanics like team-ups. Almost everything from the previous game has returned and been expanded upon in some way. You will work in a team of four with companions who you will meet along the way, some returning, and some new.
The team at RGG has their first real chance to create American representation in their games and how they approach it is quite hilarious. One quest had me catch a corrupt cop, during our encounter, he would pull a gun out and shoot me. During that battle, one of my companions had a mechanic job class, his special move was to bring the cop on a joyride and crash it. So much of what happened in a short span was incredibly over the top. I loved every minute.
A Deeper, More Expansive RPG
As well as in the previous game, jobs are back and they will become your character’s class. Jobs can be changed and assigned to teammates. The more you level up your job, the more you are able to maximize the returns in combat.
Of course, there will be new mini-games. The only one I did get to try was a re-creation of Sega’s Crazy Taxi where you ride around on a bike making “Crazy Deliveries.” We did get to see another mini-game where you meet girls via an online dating app. It seems like RGG is building and expanding on everything they did in Yakuza 7, and with every new ingredient, the final product is more entertaining.
We can not wait to play through Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth when it launches on January 26th, 2024. It will be a cross-gen game for both PlayStation and Xbox with a full release on PC.
Stay tuned to Lordsofgaming.net for all things Yakuza, we will have more later this year