Like a Dragon 8 is giving Kiryu a bigger role than Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Yakuza 8
(Image credit: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio)

Like a Dragon 8 will give Kiryu Kazuma a bigger role than in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. 

Earlier today, on February 24, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio debuted the second episode of its documentary, taking viewers behind the scenes at the studio. This time, the documentary features an interview with the voice of Kiryu, Takaya Kuroda, who revealed that his character has a more prominent presence in the forthcoming Like a Dragon 8 than in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

For the first time in a while, Kiryu plays a big role, Kuroda says of the loveable brute in the forthcoming game. "This is part of his story, so I hope everyone enjoys it," the veteran actor continues, adding that he thinks Kiryu's become more "open-minded" as he's gotten older and is more conscious of how others around him feel when he speaks.

Like a Dragon 8's reveal trailer last year announced the return of Kiryu, who now sports an incredible new grey hairdo. Whereas the character had a relatively minor role in 2020's Yakuza: Like a Dragon, appearing partway through the game to help newcomer Ichiban Kasuga, Kuroda makes it sound like he will have a much more established presence in the new game.

Considering Yakuza 6: The Song of Life was meant to be the end of Kiryu's story, he sure is sticking around a while longer than planned. The former Yakuza is intended to be in hiding nowadays, but that doesn't mean he can't reappear every now and then for a new battle, or even an entirely new game centred around him, as we're getting later this year in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name.

Yesterday, on February 23, the debut episode of RGG Studio's new documentary revealed Like a Dragon 8 has been in development since late 2021. We can expect the third and final part of the series tomorrow, but for now, we'd highly recommend watching both episodes for a deep dive into RGG Studio's new leadership, and how Kiryu's actor regards his beloved character.

Check out our new games 2023 guide for a look at all the titles that'll be here before Like a Dragon 8 launches next year in 2024.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.