SHENMUE III (YS Net/Shibuya Productions/Deep Silver – PS4, PC – 2019) – The Shenmue series has always been a beloved but niche franchise for gamers, with the original games coming out almost twenty years ago on Sega’s Dreamcast system. They picked up some new fans later on when the games were ported to Xbox in 2002. The open world gameplay was groundbreaking for the time and the epic story was mysterious and riveting.
Unfortunately, it was left as a cliffhanger after the second game and fans lost hope of ever seeing a conclusion to Ryo’s journey. In a surprise announcement at E3 in 2015, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki proclaimed that he was indeed making Shenmue III and that there was a Kickstarter for the funding. It made over six million dollars and excitement grew to a fever pitch.
There hasn’t been a whole lot of information coming out of the Suzuki camp other than some screenshots and a few trailers. Supposedly, the game has been pushed into a 2019 release date. However, fans itching for some Shenmue action will be pleased to note that Sega announced a high definition rerelease of the first two games with improved graphics, better control scheme, and a Japanese and English voice over option. Hopefully there will be some more info released at this year’s E3 about the progress made on Shenmue III.