Following 12 months of Epic exclusivity on PC.
Shenmue 3 initially launched at the tail-end of 2019 – a mere 19 years after the previous instalment in Yu Suzuki’s legendary series – finally giving extremely patient fans the very long-awaited next chapter in the ongoing saga of Ryo Hazuki and his quest to avenge the murder of his father, one that began on Sega’s Dreamcast all the way back in 1999.
Epic’s move to snaffle up Shenmue 3 as an exclusive for its PC store, with a bit of help from publisher Deep Silver, proved even more controversial than usual, given the project had been crowdfunded to the record-breaking tune of $7,179,510 from 81,087 backers, many of who were promised and expecting to receive a Steam key on release day.
Deep Silver successfully managed to enflame matters further by refusing to refund those backers that didn’t particularly want to wait an additional 12 months for a key to play the game on their platform of choice – although developer Ys Net ultimately backtracked on that decision.
Backers that did choose to wait it out for a Steam release will now see their patience pay off on 19th November – which marks exactly 12 months since Shenmue 3’s Epic Games Store and PS4 arrival. But was it worth the accumulative 20 year wait?
Eurogamer’s Martin Robinson, a long-time Shenmue fan, certainly thought so. “A more astute critic might point out that the performances are uneven, the character models sometimes look wayward, you’re kind of limited as to what you can do and nothing of note really happens,” he wrote in his Recommended review.
“That’s not me, I’m afraid. 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 Shenmue and its sequel, both all-time classics. I think there’s good reason to rejoice in that.”