Shenmue III has been a long time coming, but soon fans will finally be able to continue Ryo Hazuki’s adventure. It’s been over 18 years since Shenmue II’s September 6, 2001 launch on the Dreamcast, and after the console’s death and the commercial failure of the first two games, a third seemed unlikely. But now, Shenmue is finally coming back.
Shenmue III will release on PlayStation 4 and PC on November 19, which, as this new launch trailer (entitled “The Story Goes On”) reminds us, is a bit of a miracle. “18 years ago the clock stopped,” an opening text reads. “Time vanished into an unfathomable future. But passions never waver. A moment in motion, a story renewed.”
The trailer features Ryo and Ling Shenhua, as well as series antagonist Lan Di, who was responsible for the death of Ryo’s father in the original game. It shows many of the elements fans are nostalgic for–including some fairly wooden voice acting–and hints at elements of the Shenmue plot that are being carried over into this third entry in the series.
The initial Kickstarter for the project opened on June 15, 2015; now, over four years later, the game (which broke Kickstarter records) is finally complete. Director Keiji Okayasu returned for the project, and while there has been some controversy over the game’s Epic Games Store exclusivity, fans have been eagerly anticipating this release. Last year, a Shenmue I & II HD Collection was released, marking the first time the original game had ever been made available on a system other than the Dreamcast; unfortunately, a planned full Shenmue remake never happened. From the beginning, Shenmue was envisioned as a multi-part epic, and Shenmue III is not planned as a conclusion to the series–if it does well, we could see a Shenmue IV.
If you’re excited for Shenmue III, be sure to check out our hands-on report and interview with series director Yu Suzuki.
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Author: James O’Connor