It may have a bad reputation, but DLC can be incredible. Consider, for one moment, The Old Hunters expansion for Bloodborne: it’s a brilliant extension of an already timeless title, which adds exciting new environments, enemies, and armaments to the fray. Of course, add-on packs have a bad reputation because they’re so often flagrant cash grabs, and while Shenmue III’s anticipated Story Quest pack doesn’t quite fall into that category – it’s, well, bad.
Here’s the thing: we were planning to bring you a review of Ryo Hazuki’s re-encounter with Shuqin Zhang today, but we didn’t have the patience to see this short story through. Accessing the content alone is a nightmare: you need to have reached Niaowu or start a new save in that area. Unfortunately, you’ll have to follow a series of steps to trigger the content, and even then there’s no real guarantee it will appear; forums are awash with theories as to why.
The real problem is that this content was clearly designed to be played in parallel with the main campaign, as returning to it once you’ve beaten the story is an exercise in obscene patience. After an alarmingly brief reunion, Zhang will ask you to communicate in Chawan Sign, which fans of Shenmue II will immediately recall. He suggests you align teacups at bars and restaurants and insinuates that finding the right one will further your quest.
And so, you head out into the dense city of Niaowu looking for places you can perform Chawan Sign, with Ryo Hazuki lamenting the location until you find the right one. This would be fine if you were playing the main story, because you’d be exploring the city anyway, but it’s beyond irritating when you just want to see the new content. To make matters worse, when you do eventually find the right location, you’re given an unbelievably vague map and told to go to the highlighted area.
This is where we, as lifelong Shenmue fans, decided to call it a day. The content feels like it’s been stripped from the main campaign and then shoehorned back in, and we just don’t have the time and patience to see it through months after finishing the main story. It may only cost a couple of quid, and it may plot the return of a popular character, but this isn’t how we wanted post-release plot to be implemented. Maybe we’ll come back one day, but developers take heed: this isn’t how you do DLC.
Have you tried to give Shenmue III's post-release plot pack a try yet? Did you get further than we did, or find it a waste of time? Try Chawan Sign in the comments section below.
I’ve never played any Shenmue games but this sounds awful. I’ve personally never been a fan of DLC in the first place.
Shock horror, Shenmue contains obtuse gameplay mechanics 😉
I was a big fan of Shenmue 1& 2 but after the launching of 3 i can say the game is totally make no sense it would be better to leave it as it was without this ridiculous story and gameplay.
I JUST NOTICED THE SUBTITLE I’M DYING
I've been huge shenmue fan and stopped playing soon after reaching the first village, I'll just wait until all DLc is released, looks like I did the right thing, unfortunate for others.
Given that I am just now getting back into the game, I may buy this. I only got as far as training for my first mandatory fight before switching over to Death Stranding, so I am definitely not too late to pick up this DLC and experience it proper (hopefully?).
It is a shame that there isn't an easier way to access this after already finishing the game, though.
@Th3solution I'm OK with DLC if it's implemented properly, like how it was in Spider-Man for example, all the DLC is post game content and it's story takes place after the main narrative
but DLC like this one is a pain, you shouldn't have to restart a game to play the DLC because you happen to have gone past the point it takes place
at least FFXV even though they mishandled the DLC let you access it whenever you pleased from the main menu even if you passed the point it was meant to take place
Does DLC still have a bad reputation? Id say this gen has been alot better with it. Better than the days of Asuras Wrath and Dead Space 3 where the true ending was hidden behind DLC
@KratosMD Well, I mean I picked it for that reason. Yes, it takes a few minutes to access, but I spent two hours trying to get this going before I gave up.
@Shirayuki unfortunately thats true. I always wait until sales for season passes.
I agree with you @KratosMD, what reason did @get2sammyb pick Bloodborne for? Bloodborne's DLC is horrible in that you cannot access it after completing the main game. I still have the final boss fights to go but I don't want to start the DLC yet so the main game remains unfinished. It is a good thing I looked up that the DLC cannot be accessed after the main game is finished without starting over.
That's why I hate DLC the only good DLC in my book is the Free one like the updates from Monster Hunter World, I'll never ever gonna buy any DLC I rather wait for the complete game or don't buy it at all
It's a shame the DLC is sh*te. The worst DLC is the stuff that feels like it's been stripped from the main game; which seems to be most DLC, unfortunately.
I love DLC when it is done right have enjoyed many games after finishing them with DLC Stories after! but this sounds nuts.
@KratosMD also agree, while Bloodbornes dlc was great to play, everything soulsborne shouldn't be an example of accessibility.
Witcher 3 takes the cake. You can even access it through the main menu and never has dlc been that good.
As a huge shenmue fan, the idea of dlc just doesn't sit right.
@JoeBlogs it's ea so there will probably be lots dlc coming soon hopefully
@BarefootBowser I dont mind DLC i dont even mind a mappack with a shooter as long as it is decently priced with good content. Horizon, Bloodborne, The Witcher no problems here.
@Danloaded Particularly when the sale often arrives before the first piece of season pass content.
The Witcher 3 had DLC done right... Shenmue 3 has DLC done wrong... In fact, the series has gone straight to Hades.
No. I just played it and this is completely false.
'Sammy' if you can't be bothered just don't report on this. I started up my New Game Plus in Niowu, did the first couple of things to get started which took around 10 minutes, went past Hotel Niowu and the DLC started up. The Chawan sign task is exactly what you do in the first game, and hunting for the shop with the 'vague map' took me around 5 minutes.
Please do not state you are a 'life-long Shenmue fan' then moan about having to investigate and do Shenmue-like things.
Disgusting story. Poor journalism. Take it down.
hopefully the complete edition comes out next year with everything on the disc.
Back in the Dreamcast days, the Shenmue people looked good .. now they all look like monsters. Monsters... all of them.
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