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Yakuza 7’s turn-based combat “April Fool’s joke” comes true

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Yakuza 7

Yakuza 7 will have turn-based combat. No, this isn’t an April Fool’s Joke.

It certainly seemed like it when Sega first showed off gameplay footage on April 1, though. The first Yakuza game without Kiryu is ditching both the Dragon of Dojima and the series’ trademark real-time combat.

That initial video showed Ichiban Kasuga, the hero of Yakuza 7, taking on goons in JRPG-style combat. There were even status effects! One of Kasuga’s buddies set a dude on fire, and the woman in his party charmed a guy! That sneak peek even ended with a glimpse of a potential boss fight, as the party prepared to take on a dude driving an excavator.

Takashi Mochizuki, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was at the event and tweeted that the game will be out in Japan, Korea and China in January of 2020, with a Western release following later that year.

“Nagoshi: classic Yakuza game format reached one complete style so wanted to try totally different to jump,” Mochizuki tweeted. “Our experts of action game creation made this RPG with their flavor; hope fans welcome this change. If not, happy to change back to action game for future releases.”

Yakuza 7 turn-based combat

Yakuza fans have certainly had plenty of Ryū ga Gotoku’s trademark action combat in recent years. Since Yakuza 0’s release in early 2017, Sega has published Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Yakuza 6, this year’s spin-off Judgment, and a remaster of Yakuza 3 (with updated versions of 4 and 5 on the way).

So, if you’re not a fan of turn-based combat, it might be a good time to just… catch up on all those other games?

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Andrew King is a journalist, critic, poet, stand-up comedian and museum caretaker living in Illinois.