It was revealed yesterday that the latest Yakuza game would have turn-based RPG battles, and today, chief producer Masa Yokoyama explained what makes Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s RPG mechanics different from other games in a series of Tweets.
According to Yokoyama, the battle system is a ‘live command RPG battle’, meaning that you choose the battle commands within a constantly shifting battle scenario. Usually in RPGs, the battle scenes are static, and only have motion when you choose to attack, but this game in different. To be more specific, the people move in real time, and you’re fighting within a living city.
Apart from bosses, encounters will start where you stand, so depending on your position you may be at an advantage or disadvantage. There are also some enemies who will hide and then appear in front of you. When you fight, the party characters will face the closest enemy; and as you’re fighting in the streets, if you bump into stuff like bikes or store signs, you’ll bump them down. All this is controlled via Sega’s Dragon Engine. Thanks to this, the things around the street can be used as weapons, or become obstacles, just like in previous games.
While character movement order is controlled by stats, you might not get the same result every time if you rush forward every time. For example, other enemies may attack or get in your way. Depending on the distance between you and the enemy, and the objects around, you can use them as weapons, like kicking a fallen bike, or picking it up to attack people with it. How you use objects depends on your class. There are also sweeping attacks and AoE attacks that can hit multiple enemies at once.
If you’re hit and stagger onto a road, you might be hit by a car, and of course, you’ll take damage from that. It’s things like these which is why this system is called Live Command RPG Battle. Some actions will require button mashing or other action commands, but for those who want to progress quickly, there will be an AUTO mode where party members will perform as their job class would have it. (They might not act the way you want them to though.)
At the end, Yokoyama reiterates that all of this is controlled by the Dragon Engine, and is made so that you’ll never experience the same battle scenario the same way twice. As enemies get stronger, they’ll be smarter too, such as knowing to run behind other enemies when low on health. Overall, only the battle basics were revealed yesterday, and this is just a snippet of what’s to be shown off with the new system.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon releases for PlayStation 4 in Japan, Korea, and China on January 16, 2020. The game releases later in 2020 for North America and Europe. The official website for the West is expected to launch soon, and a subtitled trailer is available here.