What a surreal moment this is: we’ve waited over 15 years, but here’s our very first look at Shenmue III on the PlayStation 4. We’ve got to be honest with you, it’s hard to believe that we’re even writing this.
So, the good: the environments are excellent. Yu Suzuki’s adventure series is famous for its meticulously detailed worlds, and the glimpses we get of China in this trailer look pretty bloody inviting indeed. We’re particularly fond of the oversaturated colours, which are something of a franchise hallmark, and give the whole thing an ethereal feel.
The less good: the non-existent facial animations are jarring in 2017 – in fact, every motion that a character makes looks stilted and frankly old-fashioned. This is probably because we’ve been spoiled by games using motion capture in recent years, but these are the standards that Shenmue III will be held to, and it’s clear there’s an enormous amount of work to be done.
So there’s reason to be both excited and concerned, then, but there’s also over a year of development left to go. Exactly how far Ys Net will be able to progress in that timeframe remains to be seen, but the fact that this project exists at all is still a bit of a dream come true.