For many, the upcoming release of Shenmue 3 is a dream come true. It's been 18 years since the original release of Shenmue 2 on the Sega Dreamcast, and for ages, it looked like we would never see another instalation in the action-adventure series.
But thanks to unrelenting and passionate fans, the persistence of director Yu Suzuki, and a successful Kickstarter, we're finally seeing Shenmue 3 release on November 19, 2019 (assuming it isn't delayed...again).
Continuing on from its predecessor, Shenmue 3 will keep following the story of teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki as he searches for his father's murderer in 1980's China, only to get caught up in dozens of mini-games, chores and side quests along the way.
Can't wait to catch up on Ryo Hazuki's latest exploits on modern consoles? Here's everything we know about Shenmue 3 so far.
[Update: A brand new Shenmue 3 trailer has been released at Gamescom 2019 giving us our best look at what to expect from the game yet. Read on to watch it for yourself.]
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The third instalment in the Shenmue action-adventure series
- What can I play it on? PS4 and PC (first on Epic Games Store)
- When can I play it? November 19, 2019
Shenmue 3 trailers
The most recent trailer from Gamescom 2019, titled A Day in Shenmue, gives us our best idea yet of what we can expect from the game. It shows some elements that will be familiar to fans of the previous Shenmue games—ordering food and playing arcade games. There is, of course, some ass kicking in a training arena too.
The PC Gaming Show 2019 trailer
The trailer shown at the PC Gaming Show for Shenmue 3 revealed more information about what we can expect from playing the game. It appears that this version of the game will focus much more on martial arts combat than previous entries. Ryo seems to be studying under a new kung fu grandmaster to learn new martial arts skills at a new dojo.
You will use these arts to both defeat your enemies and save civilians in cinematic moments. This trailer also revealed that the game will launch first on PC through the Epic Games Store.
Check it out:
The Prophecy trailer
This recent Shenmue 3 trailer gave us a closer look at the game's story and finally revealed an ambitious release date of August 27, 2019. This has since been delayed a few more months to November 19, 2019.
Take a look:
The first teaser trailer for Shenmue 3 showed us small slice of an in-development build of the game, and gave us a sneak peek at the new look of the main characters, new characters, as well as the re-imagined Shenmue world.
Check it out below:
Shenmue 3 news and features
Though we're not expecting to hear much about Shenmue 3 at Gamescom 2019, it's possible we may see a new trailer during Opening Night Live as Koch Media/Deep Silver have been confirmed as some of the publishers making announcements.
The PC trial for Shenmue 3 is coming to the Epic Games Store in the second half of September but it will only be accessible to Kickstarter and Slacker backers who pledged $100 or more when the game was raising funds for development.
The demo will be around an hour long and will take place in the first area of the game, Bailu village. While it'll be possible to replay, it will eventually expire and the progress players make in the demo will not carry over to their final copy of the game.
A solid date and some finer details are yet to be nailed down but it's expected that these will be confirmed soon.
The Epic Games Store now has Shenmue 3 listed and along with that listing are the minimum and recommended system requirements for PC players. Better make sure you have 100GB of storage available! The download size for the PS4 version of the game is yet to be confirmed.
- Windows 7 64-bit or later
- Intel core i5-4460 (3.40 GHz), Quad-core or better
- 4GB RAM
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti or better
- Direct X11
- 100GB storage
- Direct X9.0c compatible sound card
- Windows 10 64-bit
- Intel core i7-7700 (3.60 GHz)
- 16GB RAM
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
- Direct X11
- 100GB storage
- Direct X9.0c compatible sound card
News that Shenmue 3 on PC would be an Epic Store exclusive for a year before making its way onto Steam brought some kickback from unhappy Kickstarter backers who felt that they were being strong-armed into playing a game from a storefront they don't wish to support. As a result, refunds were called for and it seems Epic is willing to honor, and fund, the refund requests.
In a tweet CEO, Tim Sweeney, confirmed the policy in a show of good will towards players.
Epic is funding the cost of all Kickstarter refunds resulting from Shenmue III’s move to the Epic Games store, so that refunds won’t reduce Ys Net’s development funding. https://t.co/mSGdbzYPJ52 July 2019
We got hands on time with Shenmue 3 during E3 2019 and, we have to say, it was a bit disappointing. While there are new features such as Ryo being able to train specific skills through balance or timing challenges, we found the game hasn't really aged well. Characters are stone-faced, combat is clunky and limited, while the game's graphics leave a lot to be desired. As fans of the original series, we were disappointed (but not all that surprised) to find Shenmue 3 is stuck in the past.
Epic Store exclusivity
In an update to backers on Kickstarter, Ys Net has revealed that Shenmue 3 is going to be an Epic Store exclusive for awhile:
"Development for Shenmue III has been moving forward using Unreal Engine and the support we have received from Epic has been excellent. But most importantly, in looking for the most enjoyable experience on PC, it was decided together with Deep Silver after much discussion that the Epic Games Store would be the best distribution platform option."
Sorry, Steam fans.
Originally, we were due to get our hands on Shenmue 3 in December 2017 but, unsurprisingly, the release date was delayed into 2018. Publisher Deep Silver then announced the release window was once again being pushed back to 2019. It was finally revealed in August, 2018 that Shenmue 3 will release on August 27, 2019, and then delayed again until November 19, 2019. Better late than never, right?
Speaking to GamesRadar, Suzuki said: “I decided to go all-in with making the world-building distinctive. There are a lot of open-world games out there, but I don’t believe many, if any, are quite like Shenmue.”
Mini games and QTE will return
It looks like mini games will be making a return – while new games will be added. A poll on the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter suggested the YS Net was trying to survey which were the favorites among fans. If you're a Lucky Hit fan then you'll be pleased to know that it seems to be returning – and apparently you can win special prizes from playing it and other mini games.
In addition, Suzuki has confirmed quick time events will also be returning, so get your reflexes ready.
- Read more: Most anticipated games 2019
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.