The Yakuza series has come a long way since its inception in 2005, with its unique blend of beat ’em up action, heartfelt storytelling, and a touch of Japanese culture. However, it wasn’t until the release of Yakuza 0 in 2015 that the series truly found its footing, becoming a fan-favorite worldwide. Since then, the series has undergone several changes, including a new protagonist and a shift from PlayStation exclusivity to multiplatform releases. The latest entry in the series, Like a Dragon Ishin, has finally made its way to PC, and it’s clear that the franchise’s transition to the Unreal Engine has been a good move.
The Yakuza series has always had a distinctive visual style, and Like a Dragon Ishin is no exception. The game takes place in the late 19th century during the Meiji Restoration, a period of rapid modernization and societal change in Japan. This setting allows the game’s developers to showcase a more traditional Japanese aesthetic, with beautiful architecture and landscapes that are full of color and detail. The Unreal Engine’s capabilities are put to good use, with crisp textures and lighting that bring the world to life.
One of the most significant changes in Like a Dragon Ishin is the shift to turn-based combat. While previous entries in the series have focused on real-time brawling, the latest game takes a more strategic approach to fighting. This change has been controversial among fans, but the new system is surprisingly deep and engaging. The combat is reminiscent of classic Japanese RPGs, with a party of characters taking turns to attack, defend, and use special moves. Each character has their own unique abilities and strengths, so there is a lot of room for experimentation and team building. Overall, the new combat system is a welcome change that adds a new layer of depth to the game.
In addition to the combat, Like a Dragon Ishin also features a vast open world that players can explore at their leisure. The game’s world is filled with side quests, mini-games, and other distractions that make it feel like a living, breathing city. The Unreal Engine allows the game’s developers to create a realistic and immersive world, with detailed character models and environments that are full of life. The attention to detail is impressive, with everything from the way characters move to the sound of footsteps on different surfaces adding to the game’s sense of realism.
Another noteworthy aspect of Like a Dragon Ishin is the game’s storytelling. The Yakuza series has always had a strong focus on narrative, and the latest entry is no exception. The game’s story is full of twists and turns, with a large cast of characters that are all well-developed and memorable. Like a Dragon Ishin tackles some heavy themes, including loyalty, betrayal, and social injustice, all of which are handled with sensitivity and nuance. The game’s writing is top-notch, with dialogue that is both witty and poignant.
Overall, the transition to the Unreal Engine has been a great move for the Yakuza series, and Like a Dragon Ishin is a shining example of what the engine is capable of. The game’s visual style is stunning, with a level of detail and realism that is unmatched by previous entries in the series. The new turn-based combat system is a bold move that pays off, adding a new layer of depth to the game’s mechanics. The open world is full of things to do, and the game’s story is a masterclass in narrative design. If you’re a fan of the Yakuza series, or just looking for a well-crafted RPG, Like a Dragon Ishin is well worth checking out on PC.