Like a dragon, Gaiden proves that size isn’t everything

Open-world and sandbox games come in countless forms. From superhero titles like Spider Man 2 to science fiction epics like Starfield, the most popular games are often also among the biggest. The reasons are obvious. Gamers are always hungry for content and getting a bigger game for the same price is an attractive offer. If a game that spans a kingdom is good, wouldn’t one that spans a continent be better? Interestingly, at least sometimes the answer is no. The newest Yakuza Title, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Cleared His Nameis a good argument for why size isn’t everything when it comes to in-game cards.

Thousands of planets versus a few city blocks

Kiryu looks at the castle
Image source: Ryu Ga Gotoku via The Nerd Stash

A few blockbuster open world games were released in 2023. She Starfield, Spider Man 2, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom LibertyAnd Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Cleared His Name. Some players will object to calling the latest Yakuza Play “open world”, as the name “sandbox” is probably more appropriate. It takes place in a relatively small, content-rich environment, and although you can perform activities in any order, transitions from one area to the next are linear. In fact, this is almost perfectly true Baldur’s Gate 3 as well as. Ultimately, however, the difference between sandbox and open-world games is minimal. What matters is what we can learn from them.

If you make a game bigger, it can easily become worse. One of the most common criticisms Starfield is that its 1,000+ worlds are largely sparse and largely repetitive. With such overwhelming scale, developers have no choice but to resort to techniques like procedural generation to fill their games with locations, objects, and enemies. Skyrim And Fallout 4 are much smaller, but also richer in content. You never have to travel far to do something, and those “somethings” are rarely repeated. While Starfield Although many players were disappointed, Kiryu’s story is the best yet.

Like the more personal world of a dragon Gaiden

Kiryu meditates in Like a Dragon Gaiden
Image source: Ryu Ga Gotoku via The Nerd Stash

The size of the map in Like a dragon Gaiden is small and concentrated in Sotenbori, Osaka and Isezaki Ijincho, Yokohama. You’ll also spend some time at The Castle, a container ship converted into a Vagas-style playground for adults. Although the main story tells a wild tale of corruption, power and revenge, the many side quests arguably surpass the game. Although limited in scope to the equivalent of a few city blocks, Like a dragon Gaiden feels huge. It’s easy to see why. Instead of superficially bloating the game by expanding the walkable area, the developer focused on filling the city with as many activities as possible.

In Like a dragon Gaiden, You can eat ramen, drive toy cars, beat up street thugs, sing karaoke, save cats from trees, woo hostesses, help YouTubers grow their audience, search for collectible cases, play retro video games, and participate in dozens of other activities. In Chapter 2, Kiryu gains access to the Akame Network, a system of jobs throughout the city that he can accept at any time. These range from single-sequence quests that you can complete with one or two button presses, to elaborate side missions that take you on a tour of the city before you’re done. Due to the comparatively small map, the game is both more addictive and entertaining.

Yakuza shows that less is more

Kiryu smokes in Like a Dragon Gaiden
Image source: Ryu Ga Gotoku via The Nerd Stash

The smaller size of Like a dragon Gaiden and the other Yakuza Games create a deeper and more authentic experience. This makes the world feel more alive. The density of side quests and mini-game content doesn’t just encourage players to play. It gives them real reasons to explore and interact with the world. It’s lucky that The Elder Scrolls 6 will likely involve a return to a smaller, more customized setting. The contrast between Like a dragon And Starfield is a painful matter.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Cleared His Name is available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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