Yakuza Ishin Gets Rebuilt from the Ground Up as Like a Dragon: Ishin!

The Japan-exclusive title finally arrives overseas!

by Marc Magrini


The Yakuza franchise has seen many changes and additions over the years. From the main series turning into a turn-based RPG to spinoffs featuring brand-new characters, this Japanese series has plenty to offer fans of deep storytelling and intense action. For some time, one of these games never managed to make it to the west. Yakuza Ishin is perhaps the most requested Yakuza title that hasn’t made it out of Japan, and for a time it seemed as though nothing more would come of it. This all changed in Sony’s recent State of Play, showcasing a localization of the title under the name of Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Like a Dragon: Ishin! — A Remake of Yakuza Ishin

Like a Dragon: Ishin! features characters from the Yakuza series with new names and new roles. Kazuma Kiryu stars in this title as Sakamoto Ryoma, a blood-soaked samurai on a path of justice. Characters like Majima, Goda, Watase, Saejima, and Nishikiyama also appear in similar roles to their mainline counterparts. The game builds upon the style of previous Yakuza titles, opting for the classic action beat-em-up gameplay instead of the new turn-based RPG style. From the announcement trailer, it’s clear that all of these traits are being retained in this worldwide remake.

Like a Dragon: Ishin! is slated to release in February 2023. Following the State of Play, Sega’s official Twitter account announced the game would be coming to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, as well as PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles. It’s unknown if the game will feature a release on other platforms, but more information will be shared about it at the RGG Summit on September 14. Interestingly, when looking at the game’s combat, it does not seem to feature the use of the Dragon Engine that most recent titles — including Yakuza Kiwami 2, Yakuza 2’s remake — were built on. It makes sense, seeing as how the original title was released on the PS4 in Japan already, but it’s still interesting to note. Despite this, Like a Dragon: Ishin! features notably improved textures and will likely have further performance and graphical options on next-gen platforms.

Further information about Like a Dragon: Ishin! will be shared very soon. Though the game does not have a specific date set just yet, it’s planned to release in just a couple of months, so fans won’t need to wait much longer to check it out for themselves. If this title does well, who knows — maybe fans can expect the rest of Yakuza’s Japan-only catalog to come overseas.

Like a Dragon: Ishin! will release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC in February 2023.

- This article was updated on September 13th, 2022

Trending on AOTF