Shenmue 3 reviews have started to go live following the game’s long-awaited release on Tuesday.
The title’s arrival marks the end of a near-20-year wait for the third instalment in the series, following the release of Shenmue 2 for Dreamcast in 2001.
Available on PS4 and PC, the RPG is the highest funded video game in Kickstarter history, having raised over $6.3 million from 69,320 backers to help bring the project to life.
Shenmue 3 review round-up
- VGC (4/5) – “Shenmue 3 was always about delivering a sequel its diehard fans wanted… On that basis alone, it’s a miraculous success… We can only hope that the wait for Shenmue 4 won’t take as long..”
- VG247 (3/5) – “Despite the fact that it’s a game designed with decades-old sensibilities, I enjoyed my time with it. It doesn’t have the conclusion we’ve been waiting two decades for and it barely drives the story forward at all, but the climactic battle is as satisfying as that 70-man tussle in the first game’s harbour.”
- Eurogamer (no score) – “Yes, Shenmue 3 can look and play like a Dreamcast game. But it looks and plays like a Dreamcast game that’s as off-kilter, maddening, magical and majestic as the original Shenmue games, both all-time classics. I think there’s good reason to rejoice in that.”
- Polygon (no score) – “It’s not the lack of elegant dialogue or the glitches that make this game so disappointing, but the idea that a series that was so obsessed with what would be possible from gaming in the future has turned into a way for people to attempt to revisit the past.”
A much smaller team created Shenmue 3 than the ones that worked on its Dreamcast predecessors, analysis of the latest title’s credits reveals.
Further analysis suggests around 10 people worked on both the new game and one of the originals, and around six people worked on all three projects.
Designer Yu Suzuki has pledged to continue making Shenmue games “as long as there are those who wish to see Shenmue live on.”