For many a Shenmue fanatic, the fact that Shenmue 3 [official site] is still actually happening is enough to overwhelm. By the time the third series entry lands next December, 16 years will have passed since the conclusion of the last, thus it's had an inordinate amount of time to stew in the cauldron of cult status. Can it live up to the hype? Who knows, but the latest screens showcased at the Monaco Anime Game International Conferences (MAGIC) at the weekend suggest it might be on the right track. Let's check them out together after the drop.
If you played Shenmue at the turn of the millennium, and its sequel in 2001, how're you feeling about number three so many years on? I missed the boat (or forklift truck, should I say?) the first time round, however watching on from the sidelines has been an interesting experience so far. Raising $6,333,295 on Kickstarter - a total which is now currently sat at $6,564,903 via the game's Slacker Backer campaign - coupled with a pretty ridiculous amount of expectation from its fan base means much rests on the shoulders of developers Ys Net.
Heading a presentation at this weekend's MAGIC, game director Yu Suzuki showed off these scenes from Shenmue 3's opening area Bailu Village:
Unfortunately the screens are pretty low-resolution. PlayStation tweeted higher-res versions of most, but they're still pretty small.
Suzuki also showcased some early footage during the presentation, as put together by Shenmue Dojo:
Shenmue 3 is expected to release in December 2017.