Shenmue III will see sullen protagonist Ryo Hazuki’s story reach the 40 per cent point. The news will presumably baffle non-fans, but it’ll come as no surprise to series veterans, who’ll know that series creator Yu Suzuki always anticipated the saga to span a whopping 16 chapters. The first two titles in the series covered six of the chapters, although one portion – a boat journey from Japan to Hong Kong – was ultimately cut.
With no guarantees of a fourth game, many will be quick to question Suzuki’s decision not to wrap the narrative up while he has the chance. From our perspective, we’d rather see the developer stick to his original plan – even if it means we may never see the end.
The good news is that the project has come together, and it feels like a full Shenmue game – something that developer Ys Net originally had its doubts about. “At the very beginning of the project, we thought that we may not be able to do a full Shenmue,” Suzuki told USgamer.net. “But now I can say I'm confident it's a full Shenmue. This is Shenmue.” Oh, it's a Shenmue game alright.