Are Shenmue 3's characters supposed to look like marionettes? Depending on your answer to that question, you'll either find Shenmue 3's blocky character models to be either endearingly retro or embarrassingly archaic. Either way, you're sure to have some opinion about the first look we've had at Yu Suzuki's long-awaited sequel in many moons.

Clearly the characters don't look as anatomically correct as one expects a semi-realistic crime drama to look in the modern era, but perhaps that dated presentation is part of its charm? After all, Suzuki told us back in 2015 that nostalgia is a central component to this much delayed sequel.

"One of the themes, the main feelings that you get from the game is a feeling of nostalgia," Suzuki said in an interview with Eurogamer. "That's one of the special qualities of Shenmue, and the fact it was one of the first open world games. That theme, that feeling of nostalgia, continues in all the games."

Indeed, this early Shenmue 3 footage does recall a bygone age.

Shenmue 3 was announced to many fans' surprise at Sony's E3 2015 press conference where Suzuki revealed the impending sequel as a primarily crowdfunded endeavour. In recent times publisher Deep Silver has picked up the project, which might sound suspicious given its crowdfunded nature, but localising a game doesn't come cheap and Deep Silver has some experience in the matter as it's bringing Yakuza Kiwami to the west later this month.

Originally developer Ys Net was hoping to release Shenmue 3 by the end of this year, but you can't rush quality and now it's slated for a launch in the later half of 2018.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984. Based in Portland, OR he operates as Eurogamer's US news editor.

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