Shenmue 3 continues to sound like the ideal Shenmue sequel.
Shenmue 3 might not be the most mainstream of upcoming releases, but it’s definitely one of the most fiercely anticipated, thanks to a legion of Shenmue fans that have been waiting for a proper conclusion to Ryo’s story for almost two decades now. Being the cover story in the most recent issue of EDGE, the game’s received a nice info dump on everything from its setting, to its story, to its combat, and a lot more- the major points have been put together in a thread on ResetEra.
To those who might have some concerns about the fact that Shenmue 3 might be looking to adopt modern mechanics and elements and thus move away from the identity of the series, you needn’t worry. While speaking with EDGE, director Yu Suzuki confirmed that the game isn’t going for an open world approach, which he feels is something that wouldn’t work in a Shenmue game, and is instead opting to have a structure that is similar to its predecessors.
The game, according to Suzuki, will start out slow. Ryo will find himself in a remote Chinese village, where residents will be wary of him, seeing as he’s a stranger and looked at as a “city boy”. NPCs, as such, won’t be receptive (or even responsive) to Ryo in the beginning, and players will have to build up relationships with them individually and over time to gain their trust, following which they’ll be more willing to speak with him and help with out in situations. Until Ryo gains their trust, he’ll have to rely on being accompanied by Shenhua, who is someone the villagers are more familiar with, and thus more willing to speak to. Each villager will also follow individual day and night cycles and schedules, similar to previous Shenmue games, while there’s also a dialogue system in place.
Meanwhile, details were also given out on the game’s story. Yu Suzuki wants Shenmue 3 to be a much more introspective story, which focuses more on the character of Ryo as it explores his past (who will, by the way, be voiced by the same voice actor as before). There’s also an affinity system in the game, through which Ryo will build relationships with NPCs (including Shenhua, of course). The combat mechanics have also been overhauled, and are less focused on learning and repeating skills, and more about managing attack power and stamina. Stamina is something that will be required for everything from sprinting to fighting, and players will be required to keep it replenished by eating food- as per the cover story, the game will require players to eat food before they do anything physically strenuous.
There will be over 100 techniques in the game, with several from the first two games also returning. There’s also a fight club where players will be able to go up against several characters in combat, while there is, of course, a training dojo as well, where training will be done through minigames. Capsule toys are also returning, while controls are being carried over from Shenmue 2 pretty much as is (though camera control with dual analog sticks will, of course, now be supported).
Shenmue 3 is scheduled for launch on August 27 for the PS4 and PC. Recently, it was confirmed that the game would be twice as long as previous Shenmue titles. Meanwhile, the developers also confirmed that English voice acting for the game is nearing completion. Read more on that through here.