A series of new screenshots for Shenmue III have been released on the game’s Kickstarter page today, giving fans a new look at how progress is going for the highly anticipated sequel. Do note, though, that the images are a work in progress, so they may well be subject to change – but boy, do they look pretty. Depicting, among other things, protagonist Ryo Hazuki duking it out with a few assailants, miniature forklifts and oriental temples, it appears as if the adventure title is still on course for a late 2017 release.
Today’s update follows the news earlier this week that developer Ys Net is on the cusp of entering full production, with series creator Yu Suzuki stating to Famitsu that “development is entering the final stage.” “I have been completely absorbed in development Shenmue III recently and often stay at the studio throughout the night to make it the best game possible,” says Suzuki in the Kickstarter post, adding that “my life has become Shenmue both day and night, and I’m happy.”
As for the current state of play, the project update reads:
R&D for various game elements is on course as the development team shifts its focus towards production. Main game scenarios are nearing completion, motion capture tests are well under way, and voicing tests with the cast have begun. Yu-san and the production staff are happy to say they are enjoying the work as they continue to diligently make progress on the mini-games, events, and battles.
As per Suzuki’s previous comments, PC pre-orders are now open, with funds generated by it and the PlayStation 4 versions going towards stretch goals. Shenmue III is due to launch on both platforms in the latter half of 2017. Additional surveys for backers will be sent out around summer time to ascertain reward preferences and shipping information. With any luck, we should get out first glimpse of some gameplay footage early next year.