Everything you need to know about Shenmue III

Everything you need to know about Shenmue 3
Everything you need to know about Shenmue 3

Although it might not be the first game series that comes to mind when you think of open-world adventures, it’s hard to overstate the importance of Sega’s uncompromising epic, Shenmue.

Launching on the Dreamcast in 1999, Shenmue was a truly groundbreaking title, letting players loose on a stunningly realised world, complete with fully-voiced NPCs who would go about their lives independent of the player’s actions.

Shenmue III logo

Although it might not be the first game series that comes to mind when you think of open-world adventures, it’s hard to overstate the importance of Sega’s uncompromising epic, Shenmue.

Launching on the Dreamcast in 1999, Shenmue was a truly groundbreaking title, letting players loose on a stunningly realised world, complete with fully-voiced NPCs who would go about their lives independent of the player’s actions.

Now, 18 years after Shenmue II, the series has finally returned with Shenmue III, the long-awaited continuation of this epic revenge saga. If you’re confused about Shenmue, don’t worry, here’s everything you need to know going into the highly-anticipated third game.

When is the release date?

Shenmue III arrives on PlayStation 4 and PC on 19 November 2019.

What’s it about?

Everything you need to know about Shenmue 3 - Exploring

Shenmue places you in the shoes of a young martial artist Ryo Hazuki, who embarks on a quest for vengeance after witnessing the murder of his father. The journey takes Ryo from Japan to China, as he tracks down the villainous Lan Di and uncovers the mysteries of the Qing Dynasty.

Shenmue III picks up where Shenmue II left off, with Ryo and his companion Shenhua arriving in the mountain village of Guilin, China. The pair is hot on the trail of Lan Di, but a new antagonist is also about to enter the fray – the sinister Niao Sun.

Why has it taken so long?!

Everything you need to know about Shenmue 3 - Combat training

When Shenmue launched on the Sega Dreamcast almost two decades ago, it had the dubious honour of being the single most expensive game ever made. While the series creator Yu Suzuki had planned Shenmue to be an ongoing saga with many sequels, the relatively short lifespan of the Dreamcast hamstrung the series’ popularity. As the PlayStation 2 began to dominate the console market, the development of Shenmue III fell into difficulty and the game was eventually cancelled.

As the years without a sequel went on, demand from Shenmue’s dedicated fan base grew louder, and in 2015, Suzuki took to Sony’s E3 stage to announce a Kickstarter campaign to revive Shenmue III. The game hit its funding goal within 2 hours and went on to raise over $7 million. With additional funding from Sony and Deep Silver in tow, Suzuki and his team set to work developing the long-awaited sequel.

What’s the gameplay like?

Shenmue is a famously ambitious series, and its gameplay incorporates elements of many different genres making for a truly unique action-adventure experience.

The first thing to know about Shenmue is that the series won’t hold your hand. In order to fully immerse you in the role of Ryo, you will start the game armed only with a handful of clues, and the rest is up to you.

Unravelling the mysteries of Shenmue III will require a lot of investigative work, starting with the residents of the various towns and cities you visit. Consult Ryo’s notebook for leads and then it’s time to get sleuthing.

Of course, with this being a revenge story, there will be plenty of combat too. The combat is a hand-to-hand affair – you won’t be picking up weapons like in Yakuza, instead you’ll be relying on Ryo’s ever-expanding arsenal of martial arts techniques. You’ll be able to ready yourself for story encounters in the dojo and expand your repertoire with around 100 technique scrolls.

Everything you need to know about Shenmue 3 - Forklift

We’ve barely scratched the surface of what Shenmue has to offer. Along the way you’ll pick up jobs (expect the iconic forklift to make a return), play arcade games, compete in a fighting ring, race turtles, collect gashapon, and much more. The Shenmue series is famous for surprising its players with unexpected activities, so you never know where this adventure may lead you!

Does it have multiplayer?

No, Shenmue III is a single-player experience.

Which edition should I get?

Pick up the Shenmue III Day 1 Edition at GAME and you will also receive a gorgeous steelbook case. Pre-orders will also receive the Snake Spirit Starter Pack and ‘Blazing Kick’ Advanced Technique Scroll, to give you the upper-hand in combat.

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