Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is making some big changes to the Yakuza formula for the series' seventh installment. In new statements made over the past few days, the developers of Yakuza 7 have given more details on what players can expect from its turn-based combat system and the overall structure of the game. The change in combat style is bringing some additional RPG elements along with it, and the developers say the game will take longer to complete than past installments.
On the most recent Sega Nama broadcast, general director Toshihiro Nagoshi explained how Yakuza 7's combat system differs from traditional RPGs. According to a translation by Gematsu, Nagoshi says the new battle system has a different tempo than simply selecting your attacks each turn and then watching events unfold. An "action-like" element for final blows and party members joining to attack nearby enemies both sound like mechanics that can break up a turn's rhythm. According to Nagoshi, the game "will be completely different" from old school RPG combat. Nagoshi also revealed that there will be an auto-battle feature.
Twitter user Nibel, a reliable source for translations of Japanese game news, summarized information from an interview Ryu Ga Gotoku developers did with Famitsu. The developers say the time it takes to complete the game, including the main story and all substories, will be longer than previous Yakuza games. Though the new turn-based combat will have a different pace than traditional RPGs, Yakuza 7 is taking some additional inspiration from classic RPG design by adding equippable items, job assignments for party members, and soft gates on some areas in the form of tougher enemies.
Yakuza 7 will be released on the PS4 in Japan on January 16, 2020 and is slated for North American and European release later on in the year. On top of all the mechanical changes, the game is introducing new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga to the series and shifting the bulk of its action away from the fictional Kamurocho district to the city of Yokohama.