The wait for Shenmue 3 has been incredibly long, however, the latest trailer for the game seems to indicate that the wait was worth it for longtime fans of the series. Shenmue 3 was unexpectedly announced at Sony's E3 2015 press conference, and has since gone through a rocky development cycle. The game has been delayed a number of times and faced considerable backlash from Kickstarter backers when it was announced that the game would be releasing on PC via the Epic Games Store despite backers being told that it would initially come to Steam.
Nevertheless, Shenmue 3's November 19 release date is approaching, and fans will, at last, be able to get their hands on the final installment in Yu Suzuki's legendary trilogy. The first Shenmue released exclusively on the Sega Dreamcast in Japan back in 1999. A western release would follow in early 2000. The second game, Shenmue 2, released in Japan and Europe on the Sega Dreamcast in 2001. North American fans were eventually able to get the game when it launched on the original Xbox in late 2002. Shenmue garnered a massive cult following that's remained as passionate as ever even after all these years. The series popularized many modern systems and mechanics that were never seen in video games at the time, like quick-time events, a large lived-in world to explore, and a wide array of side activities. Players can reacquaint themselves with the series or hop into it for the first time before Shenmue 3 via the Shenmue 1 & 2 HD collection from Sega.
In Shenmue 3's newest trailer, posted on Deep Silver's YouTube, fans will notice that the game is definitely a product of its time. It shows nothing too groundbreaking by today's standards but those who've stuck with the series since its start should feel right at home with what's on display. The main character, Ryo Hazuki, can be seen wandering lively city streets, interacting with NPC characters, and playing minigames. This is all accompanied by pretty poor voice acting, which is joyfully reminiscent of the first two games.
Combat looks to be one of the most refined features in Shenmue 3. While fighting isn't always at the forefront of the series, it'll be interesting to see how Ryu grows overtime before his ultimate confrontation with the trilogy's main baddie Lan Di. Shenmue was always heavily inspired by Sega's arcade fighting games, most notably Virtua Fighter. Those titles are quite outdated when compared to what's popular nowadays, so it'll be interesting to see if the refinements made pay off when players get their hands on the game.
Shenmue 3 doesn't seem like it's going to be a groundbreaking game, however, it does like look like it's been finely tuned with fans in mind. Graphical improvements and mechanical refinements seem to be at the forefront, as the game retains much of the corniness that might've been more fitting had Shenmue 3 released closer to the original two titles. No matter the outcome, the journey from Shenmue 2 to Shenmue 3 has been long and winding, so fans should definitely be excited to get their hands on the final product when it launches later this year.
Source: Deep Silver/YouTube