Journey deep into rural China as you take on the role of Ryo Hazuki, a Japanese teenager hellbent on finding his father’s killer—a story of adventure, mystery, friendship, martial arts, and ultimately, revenge!
Director Yu Suzuki conceived Shenmue as a saga spanning multiple games. The first two games were developed by Sega AM2 and published by Sega for the Dreamcast in 1999 and 2001 respectively. The original Shenmue was the most expensive video game ever developed at the time, with an estimated production and marketing cost of over US$47 million, though this also covered some of Shenmue II and groundwork for future Shenmue games. Despite attracting a cult following and appearances in several “greatest video games of all time” lists, the games were commercial failures and Shenmue III spent over a decade in development hell.
In 1987, following the events of Shenmue II, teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki has journeyed from Yokosuka, Japan, to the mountains of Guilin, China, in search of his father’s killer, Lan Di. There he met Ling Shenhua, a mysterious girl who previously appeared in his dreams. After learning the legend of her village, which foretells a united path between them, Ryo and Shenhua embark on a new journey which reveals their shared destiny. Lan Di returns, with a new antagonist, Niao Sun.
Shenmue III begins in Bailu Village in Guilin. According to the game’s Kickstarter page, the second area, Choubu, is “a riverside village with lots of shops, souvenir stores, hotels and temples”, and the third area, Baisha, features a “siege game reminiscent of the Warring Kingdoms“. Ryo can make phone calls to Japan to catch up with characters from previous installments. Shenmue III does not conclude the story, as Suzuki hopes to create more sequels in the series.