While Sega are busy blowing up balloons and filling bowls with Hula Hoops for the launch of their remastered rereleases of Shenmue I & II in only a few hours, the makers of Shenmue III have kicked in the door yelling about their own Shennues: a release date for their crowdfunded sequel. Shenmue III will launch on August 27th, 2019, Ys Net and Deep Silver have announced. Yes, August next year - so far out that you don't even have a 2019 calendar hanging above your desk to add this to. And yes, I'd be astonished if a date announced over a year in advance does not change. But for now, here's a new trailer.
And so it was prophecised: Ryo Hazuki will romp around an open-world brawler-RPG punching men in the back of the head.
Shenmue III was partially funded through a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, seeing as Sega had little interest in making it themselves, and backed up by publisher cash. It was originally slated to launch in December 2017, which seemed wildly ambitious even at the time.
The timing of today's announcement is pretty decent. In a few hours, Sega will bring the series to PC for the first time since its debut on Dreamcast in 1999. Then you can see if you're that bothered about the third. Comparisons to Sega's Yakuza games, which I've fallen for since Yakuza 6, have me curious. Yeah, sure, I'm up for pottering around an open world, following NPCs as they go about their daily routines, larking about with minigames, and doing quick-time events for everything from punching faces to kicking footballs at faces.
Shenmue I & II hit Steam in ooh just over two hours. Shenmue III will be along a touch later.