Shenmue 3

Teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki is back

Games Master - - Feature -

Maybe you’ve for­got­ten just how enor­mous a deal Shenmue is. In 1999 this open-world ad­ven­ture, exclusive to Sega’s un­der­per­form­ing-but-still-bril­liant Dream­cast, was the most ex­pen­sive game ever – but the end prod­uct more than lived up to its $50mil­lion-odd cost. Fans, there­fore, didn’t for­get. Their over­whelm­ing sup­port raised a record-break­ing $6 mil­lion on Kick­starter, and means Yu Suzuki – the leg­endary de­vel­oper re­spon­si­ble for the first two Shen­mues, as well as Vir­tua Fighter, Out Run, and Af­ter Burner – can once again han­dle di­rec­tor du­ties.

Set im­me­di­ately af­ter Shenmue II in 1987, Ryo heads from Ja­pan to China’s Guilin moun­tains in a quest for his fa­ther’s killer, Lan Di. Re­mem­ber, Face­book was not in­vented at this time. Here he meets Shen­hua Ling, with whom he shares ‘des­tinies’, if his prophetic dream is to be be­lieved. She’ll ac­com­pany him far and wide – to the river­side vil­lage of Choubu, for in­stance, which fea­tures tem­ples and sou­venir shops, and the an­cient siege town of Baisha. In th­ese hubs you’ll play retro ar­cade ma­chines, slots, and darts, make phone calls back home to catch up with char­ac­ters from the first games, and – at one point – visit a glade filled with fire­flies. Don’t worry, though: you can still beat-up an­gry lo­cals.

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