Do You Need To Play Through The Yakuza Series To Understand Like A Dragon: Ishin!?

Do you need to play through the other games to enjoy this title?

by Shaun Cichacki

As gamers prepare to jump into Like A Dragon: Ishin! for the first time, they may be wondering if they need any prior knowledge of the franchise to enjoy what has been put on the table for this entry. While there are some familiar faces, are they the same people, or are they someone else?

Let’s jump back in time to the Edo period of feudal Japan, and don the traditional garb as we learn more about what gamers should expect when they jump into this ground-up reworking of a formerly exclusive entry in the long-running franchise.

Do You Need To Play Yakuza To Enjoy Like A Dragon: Ishin!?

The best part about Like A Dragon: Ishin! is that it can bring in a completely new generation of fans, as it holds no proper boundaries to the normal Yakuza/Like A Dragon franchise. While familiar faces like Kiryu and Majima are around, they’re going by completely different and historical names.

Fans that have played through previous entries in the franchise will be delighted to see returning faces, but those jumping into this game as the breaking grounds won’t need to know their full backstories. The Kenzan! and Ishin! titles, formerly only available in Japan and Asian countries, were more dramatic retellings of events that happened in the Edo period and only share character likenesses with the main entries.

While it’s enjoyable to see and know who these characters are, and why they act the way that they do, it’s not completely necessary to play through the standard Yakuza titles before jumping into Like A Dragon: Ishin!, even if the Yakuza franchise is quite an exciting playthrough. However, players that haven’t played through the standard mainline entries should give them a shot if they loved what they saw here, as the stories told in those are hardly rivaled by any other franchise available.

Like A Dragon: Ishin! will be available on February 21, 2023, for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

- This article was updated on February 15th, 2023