PAX Aus 2023 has kicked off and amongst dozens upon dozens of games to check out on the floor is one of the heavy hitters in SEGA’s Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. As a big fan of the franchise, checking it out a month before release was exciting and the hype is even more real than before.
Gaiden follows what Kiryu (code-named Joryu for the sake of anonymity) has been up to in-between Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The full game will follow his escapades being somewhat of an agent spy while implementing his Yakuza roots and know-how. This demo on the PAX Aus 2023 show floor was all about getting into the gameplay meat and potatoes, taking place in a secret city on a giant sea vessel where blackjack, poker, mahjong and a great combat Coliseum await.
Quickly upon his arrival, Kiryu butts heads with the Yakuza. It’s here that you’ll get to throw your weight around. Mixed together with the traditional brawler-style combat that the franchise is trademarked for are fresh abilities that come with Kiryu’s new spy tech.
Typical fist blows and kicks become the deployment of drones and bombs. The most novel of the bunch is the use of a rope for grappling and throwing both objects and enemies around the shop. All of this is very un-Yakuza and Like a Dragon. Though that’s okay, simply because of how joyously chaotic it is.
Yes, there’s the expected abundance of side activities and minigames such as casino gambling, something I imagine is only the start of the full offerings. What had me reeling and most excited for in the demo, however, was the Coliseum, now playable with other characters both minor and significant.
Gauntlets of battles against 100 enemies ensue, with each individual having their own unique abilities. Of course, you can play as Majima and use their daggers to deal some devastating damage. Or, you can play as a scrawny, lowly shop attendant and limply attack. Why? Just because.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is just over a month away, slated to release on PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on November 9. We can’t wait to check out what Kiryu gets up to next.