The year is still brand-spanking-new, but August will arrive before you know it—and Shenmue 3 will arrive with it. New interviews with the heads of the project indicates Shenmue 3 might be packed with content than anyone initially expected of the Kickstarted game.
Last month, Shenmue 3 director Yu Suzuki and producer Hiroaki Takeuchi attended G-Fusion Tour 2018, a gaming event held in Chinese port city of Xiamen. The duo shared some brand-new information about Shenmue 3 during the interviews, which were subsequently translated, summarized, and posted last week by Shenmue Dojo. Forum member "Spaghetti" handled the translation, though they stress it's a machine translation and therefore might contain inaccuracies. The gist seems clear, though: Shenmue 3 isn't lacking for new content.
For example, Shenmue 3's new battle system is described by Suzuki and Takeuchi as "varied, richer, and more playable," while being welcoming to players of all skill levels. The new system is also supposed to show "a lifelike representation of Chinese martial arts."
Mini-games are a big part of Shenmue's appeal / culture, and while some games won't return, new ones are in the cards. Returning champions include Lucky Hit, Excite QTE, capsule toy collecting, and forklift driving ("Forklifts or we riot" is the unofficial mantra of Shenmue fans).
Whereas Suzuki first planned for Shenmue 3 to be approximately 70% reused ideas and 30% new ideas, the split is now reportedly closer to 50-50. Shenmue 3 should also take longer to complete than Shenmue and Shenmue 2; Suzuki describes his previous games as "single-week games," whereas Shenmue 3 is supposedly a "multi-week game." If the interview translations are accurate, Shenmue fans might receive quests with branching outcomes, as well as storylines that continue past the completion of the main story.
While the interviews with Suzuki and Takeuchi are rich with enough new Shenmue 3 information to excite long-suffering fans of the franchise, Suzuki's talked up the scope of Shenmue 3 for at least a year. Previous updates for Kickstarter backers mention additions like graphical improvements and a character count that's in the triple digits.
Looks like Shenmue 3's PC port might be able to justify its 100 GB download size. Well, maybe not. 100 GB is kind of huge. Still, it's becoming clear why the game was delayed into this year. Shenmue 3's release date is set for August 27. It's coming to PlayStation 4 and PC.