When Kiryu’s tale “ended” in Yakuza 6, it left me in absolute tatters. A faked death finally saw him freed from the shackles of the yakuza with one big catch: he couldn’t ever see his family again. Since then, we’ve had the plucky Ichiban take on the mantle of Tojo Clan nastiness in Yakuza: Like A Dragon (7), with its sequel Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth (8) set to wash up on Hawaii’s shores next year. What do we know about Infinite Wealth? Kiryu is set to return as a protagonist alongside Ichiban, with an all-new haircut. And more importantly, what has Like A Dragon Gaiden got to do with any of this? Well, it’s a shorter stop-gap between the events of Yakuza 6 and Yakuza 8 that fills us in on what Kiryu’s been up to this whole time.
But aside from moreish minigames and a fantastic Agent persona with web-slinging abilities, Kiryu’s epilogue is a far cry from Yakuza’s best stories. By no means is it bad, it just isn’t the best introduction to the series for newcomers, and even longtime fans will struggle balancing his resurrection with its heavy feelings of repetition.