After the events of the second game in the series, Kiryuu Kazuma, “yakuza with the heart of gold”, has once again tried to leave the world of organized crime behind him. He has built an orphanage on the remote island of Okinawa, which he manages together with his adopted daughter Haruka. But it seems that life will never be peaceful for him. Shady politicians are conspiring to take away the land on which his orphanage is built. A person whom Kazuma believed dead has miraculously returned from the grave. And once again Kazuma finds himself in the middle of a battle between organized crime divisions. He has to go back to Tokyo, to the Kamurocho district, for his third adventure.
The third Yakuza game retains the basic premise of its predecessors: it is an action RPG set in a free-roaming environment. As before, the core of the gameplay are hand-to-hand battles and building Kazuma’s abilities by acquiring and distributing experience points (divided into Mind, Technique, and Body). Kazuma can still freely roam the city, go to restaurants, seduce pretty hostesses, and even play old Sega games in arcades. New mini-games have been added, such as playing poker, singing in karaoke bars, etc.
The combat system is similar to the one in the first two games, but with more techniques and more refined weapon handling. Kazuma can now equip up to three different weapons at the same time; he can also repair and create weapons. At certain points Kazuma will also have to chase enemies through the city, balancing his stamina and trying not to bump into pedestrians. It is also (finally) possible to freely rotate the camera as Kazuma explores the city.