Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

Posted:  Jan 23, 2024
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Cloud Saves
HDR Support

Review

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth was provided by SEGA for review. Thank you!

The Like a Dragon/Yakuza series is quite possibly one of my favorite series of all time for good reason. The developer, RGG Studios, has found a flawless balance between dramatic moments and hilarious scenes, with a lot of gameplay variety. They have shown this balance over and over in every game in the series, consistently finding moments that I am on the verge of tears over while also laughing my ass off watching a mostly naked man dancing in the corner of a club or a chicken being my bowling manager. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth finds a way to expand on this, and if this is the future of the series, it will be extremely bright.

Like the other games in the series, Infinite Wealth has a beautiful story that follows newcomer Ichiban Kasuga and the series staple Kiryu Kazuma. Somehow, they both find themselves in Hawaii searching for a woman named Akane, and they quickly end up in the crosshairs of multiple gangs and a giant conspiracy. I don't want to say more about the story so as not to spoil it, but many unexpected twists and turns, beautiful moments, and an epic climax will hit you right in the feelings. And while the English spoken language is a nice addition, and I do like the acting, nothing will beat the Japanese dub.

I recommend playing through the past games in the series to get the full effect of the story, but you can play this one and get the general gist of what has happened. But some small moments that reference events or characters from other games won't feel as powerful, which is part of the big appeal of this series. You also won't get the full effect of Kiryu's story, where his reflections on his past feel so powerful if you know the context around it.

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Then, we have the gameplay, a massive expansion over previous games. We still have the main story, engaging sidequests, and intriguing mini-games, though it uses the new turn-based fighting introduced in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. You will get EXP and level up your character and job as you battle. Each character has a job, and as you grow, you can unlock new jobs, which you can assign to characters and give them different abilities and hilarious skills. It is a fantastic and enjoyable system, especially when you can chain attacks and knock enemies into each other or other allies to attack again.

The fighting is the main draw of Infinite Wealth, and it is very refined, but there is so much more in the game, including other game modes that feel like they could have been full separate games.

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The most publicized one is Dondoko Island, which resembles Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You will take over an island, get resources, and customize it to attract tourists and make money. The money you get is specific to Dondoko Island but can be converted to money you can use outside. You will defend your turf, upgrade your tools, fish, catch bugs, and more as you grow. You can even visit other people's islands!

We also have the return of Sujimon and the introduction of the Sujimon League. If you have ever played Pokemon, you will feel at home with this mode. You will collect Sujimon, the enemies you fight, train them, and fight them in Pokemon-like battles. You can awaken and evolve your Sujimon to be even more powerful, take on trainers, and fight to the top. There are even Pokemon Go-like raids you can participate in that act as normal turn-based battles but with a guarantee of a chance to capture your own Sujimon of a specific element.

There is even a mode with a randomized dungeon that you can keep going into. Whether for training or items, you can continually go in, get more currency and items, and train your party up for tougher battles.

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I could go on about the game, its gorgeous visuals, and extremely addicting gameplay. There is so much to love here that it can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it is wonderful. As long as you take things one step at a time, playing is enjoyable, and you will get a taste of many different gameplay elements. And you will be able to play all of this on the Steam Deck most of the time.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth - Steam Deck Performance

Like other games in the series, Infinite Wealth is well-optimized and can run well on the Steam Deck while still looking phenomenal. Because of this, it is possible to play this game above 30 FPS and push quality and battery life pretty far.

I didn't have many issues with playing the game on the Deck, though I did encounter one crash. Infinite Wealth has both FSR 2 and FSR 3 options, which is wonderful, but trying to take advantage of FSR 3 Frame Generation will not be successful. Any time I turned it on, the game would crash, and I would have to disable it to keep playing.

And if you are looking to play on the Steam Deck OLED, you will be happy to know that the game does have HDR support, so you can turn that on in the Display Settings in-game!

Recommended Settings - 40 FPS

For the majority of my playthrough, I consistently tried to push to see how many frames I could get without any limits, and I am happy to say 40 FPS works wonderfully. In almost every area and fight, 40 FPS is achievable and feels so smooth. There are a couple of moments where it could drop, including a big fight towards the end of the game and running through a crowded place like the mall, it can drop, but the majority of it will be playable at 40 FPS and look incredible while doing it, thanks to FSR 3. These spots can bring battery drain to 22W - 23W, but the majority will stick below 17W.

Overall, I felt this was the best compromise as visuals still looked fantastic and the increased framerate made the game feel wonderful. There are those moments of slowdown, but most of them were completely unavoidable without making the game look terrible, so I felt this was the best way to play.

Battery Build

Then, we have the battery build. This was going to be my recommended settings, but there were too many spots that had some dips and instability, even when running around. Despite that, the game still looks great and runs at 30 FPS 95% of the time. Running through the city or the mall will bring some drops, but almost every battle, except for the one near the end, will be a stable 30. You should be getting around 14W - 16W drain, so expect around 3 - 3.5 hours battery on OLED and 2 - 2.5 hours on LCD.

Quality Build

Finally, we have the quality build. The game is very well optimized, which means I could do almost the max settings, but unfortunately, it wasn't able to handle a stable 30 FPS without FSR. So, with FSR 3 on Quality, we can set everything to high and the render scale to 100%. This gave us a crisp image that looks phenomenal, while providing a stable 30 FPS. It is going to be a drain on the battery though, so expect around 1.5 hours battery on LCD and 2 - 2.5 hours on OLED.

Accessibility

Infinite Wealth has a bunch of different settings that range from accessibility to quality of life. We can turn action prompts (QuickTime events) off, change battle speed, toggle vibration and auto camera, change camera sensitivity, change subtitles, and even choose the cutscene quality. There are also settings to lower the blood level, change the audio sliders, and swap the spoken language between English, Japanese and Chinese.

The game does support 16:10 resolutions, but like other games in the series, this will only work in-game. During menus or cutscenes, bars will appear at the top and bottom like it was a 16:9 resolution. There is also full controller and cloud save support.

Conclusion

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is one of the first two 2024 games I have played, and somehow, it has already become a contender for the game of the year. The engrossing, dramatic story, addicting and hilarious gameplay mechanics, and a plethora of different gameplay elements work hand in hand with the amazing visuals to create a memorable experience I couldn't get enough of. Even now, as I am writing this, I am thinking of going back to 100% everything, and I may just have to now.

On the Steam Deck, Infinite Wealth succeeds in being an incredible experience. It is very well optimized and can almost handle max settings with little compromise. While there are some areas that will cause drops, and I do wish FSR 3 Frame Generation was working on the Deck, this was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I would consider Infinite Wealth one of my contenders for GOTY, and January isn't even over yet. If you enjoy this series or need a reason to start playing, this will be it.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth continues the series' amazing gameplay and story, while also being perfectly playable on the Steam Deck.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$69.99
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Other Builds
Framerate Build
SteamOS

Limit

30

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

10

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Texture Filtering: 16x

Shadow Quality: Medium

Geometry Quality: High

Realtime Reflections: Off

Motion Blur: Off

SSAO: On

Render Scale: 90%

Depth of Field: On

Reflection Quality: Medium

AMD FSR 3: Balanced

AMD FSR 3 Sharpness: 0.5

AMD FSR 3 Frame Generation: Off

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

13W - 17W

63c - 70c

3 - 3.5 hours

Quality Build
SteamOS

Limit

30

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

No

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Texture Filtering: 16x

Shadow Quality: High

Geometry Quality: High

Realtime Reflections: On

Motion Blur: Off

SSAO: On

Render Scale: 100%

Depth of Field: On

Reflection Quality: High

AMD FSR 3: Quality

AMD FSR 3 Sharpness: 0.5

AMD FSR 3 Frame Generation: Off

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

17W - 21W

77c - 82c

2 - 2.5 hours

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