Percentile Rank

Shenmue III is ranked in the 38th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 84 critic reviews
Fair Man

OpenCritic Rating

68

Top Critic Average

37%

Critics Recommend

Based on 84 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

Eurogamer
Recommended
Recommended
Nov 20, 2019

A bewitching time capsule that transports us to late 80s China, and to turn-of-the-century video games.

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Polygon
Unscored
Unscored
Nov 20, 2019

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.

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Kotaku
Unscored
Kotaku

Top Critic

Unscored
Dec 3, 2019

Its charm ultimately wins out in the end, but the finale is bittersweet. The pieces are set up for something grand but there’s a sense that most of our time was spent putting them into place for a climax that may never come. If it took this long for Shenmue III, why get our hopes up for Shenmue IV?

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Unscored
Unscored
Nov 26, 2019

For better and for worse, Shenmue III is a perfect continuation.

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Scored Reviews

Digitally Downloaded
Nov 26, 2019

Shenmue 3's real strength is in the way that it suggests a different way of looking at the very storytelling of videogames.

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Paste Magazine
9.9 / 10.0
9.9 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

Will you like Shenmue III? I can't say. This is likely the last new game I'll play before the year ends, and it's a sure win for my Game of the Year. Shenmue III spoke to me on a level few games have. I thought about giving it a 10/10, even began gearing myself up to argue that with my editor. But Shenmue isn't perfect. It defies real perfection, because life is imperfect. Shenmue III is knobby and requires tremendous, repetitive effort before it gives up the special, unique warmth.

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Niche Gamer
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Nov 7, 2019

With this new entry, only 40 percent of the entire Shenmue story has been told according to the game’s creator. While Shenmue III doesn’t move the plot as far as I’d like, I’m hungry for more.

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Slant Magazine
Dec 1, 2019

The game fulfills a vision of steadfast humanity within the framework of a martial arts revenge tale.

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MonsterVine
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Dec 9, 2019

Shenmue III isn’t for everyone, but anyone who was waiting for it will be amazed at how perfectly it captures the gameplay, atmosphere, and world of Shenmue so many years later.

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GamingTrend
85 / 100
85 / 100
Nov 22, 2019

Shenmue III feels like a remake of the Dreamcast game that never existed, for better and worse. It's got everything fans loved about the Sega classics, along with some of their baggage. Still, the best of the series is the greatest it's ever been. It can feel as bloated as the originals, and some mechanics feel unnecessary or are poorly explained. If you're curious about that fabled Shenmue charm, though? This is the best entry to date.

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DualShockers
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

A throwback to be appreciated.

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PC Gamer
83 / 100
83 / 100
Nov 26, 2019

A seamless continuation of the series that makes up for its limitations with pure heart. It's like Ryo never left us.

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Game Revolution
Nov 25, 2019

Picking up exactly where the Shenmue franchise left off in 2001, Shenmue 3 is a marvel of persistence and vision.

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Hobby Consolas
80 / 100
80 / 100
Nov 20, 2019

Shenmue III has some issues and it is not a game for everyone, but, if you enjoyed the two first games and you know what kind of game this is, it will satisfy you, as far as gameplay, setting and plot are quite good and remain loyal to Dreamcast era. It was worth waiting eighteen years. Now the question is: when will we be able to play Shenmue IV?

Review in Spanish | Read full review

VideoGamer
8 / 10
8 / 10
Nov 28, 2019

With Shenmue III, we are offered a glimpse into a gifted mind, constantly turning the everyday into play.

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Wccftech
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

Is Shenmue III dated? Absolutely, but the game proves that, like most genres, open-world adventures still have a thing or two to learn from the past. Shenmue III isn't always as player-friendly as it could be, but its lively, uniquely-handcrafted world is truly absorbing. Here's hoping this isn't the end of Ryo and Yu Suzuki's epic journey.

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PlayStation Universe
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

Shenmue 3 is an uncompromising love letter to fans of the original games, make no question about it. If you weren't on board before, then this will do little to sway your opinion, as modern conventions have been largely ignored in favour of preserving a 20-year-old experience. While it's not perfect, Shenmue 3 is about as solid of a sequel as we could have expected after all this time.

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PC Invasion
8 / 10
8 / 10
Nov 25, 2019

Shenmue III had to noticeably cut some corners, but is a true sequel with some new tricks up its sleeve. Newcomers will likely not really get what the fuss is about, but this is a very enjoyable game that I think will be appreciated more as time goes by.

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Twinfinite
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Nov 26, 2019

If you’ve never played a Shenmue game, that honestly might give you trouble. But if you have played Shenmue, then you’ll feel like you’ve come home with Shenmue 3.

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GamesRadar+
Nov 22, 2019

A magnificent, authentic, totally uncompromised sequel that crucially ignores virtually every gaming trend of the past 18 years.

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GameSkinny
Dec 3, 2019

For better or worse, Shenmue 3 is a blast from the past. It's a beautiful world marred only by its insistence to stay the same.

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GameGrin
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Dec 8, 2019

A direct continuation of a classic series that acts like it's still the early 2000s, for better or worse! For returning fans this is precisely what you wanted. It's possible for newcomers to enjoy but you should probably play the originals first.

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MSPoweruser
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2019

Shenmue 3 is an acquired taste, very acquired, but it’s everything I ever wanted it to be. As a Shenmue sequel it’s fan-pleasing perfection. As an actual game it leaves some things to be desired: combat is clunky , facial animations are unpleasing and there are numerous translation oddities. However, at the end of the day, it’s a game I’ve awaited for years and I’m far from disappointed.

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Darkstation
Nov 26, 2019

Shenmue III takes a certain state of mind because it’s unmistakably what Shenmue used to be, and not how it’s supposed to be now. I hope that there will be Shenmue IV to give closure to the story and like this, it will stay true to what it is.

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SomHráč.sk
80%
80%
Dec 31, 2019

Shenmue III isn't at all the perfect video game that everyone would love. On the contrary, Yu Suzuki's dream project is focused purely on pleasing the old fans of the series that aged along with the first two games and offers exactly what the third part of the saga would, if it came out 15 years ago. If viewed through that lens, Shenmue III is nothing but a success.

Review in Czech | Read full review

We Got This Covered
Dec 3, 2019

Shenmue IIII pushes its epic story forward while holding firmly onto dated concepts, game design, and narrative presentation, but it will likely please die-hard fans of the series. Everyone else, meanwhile, might wonder what all the fuss is about.

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Atomix
78 / 100
78 / 100
Dec 2, 2019

Shenmue III is a weird experiment that makes you feel like playing a Dreamcast game now a days. Yu Suzuki created an interesting game just for his fans.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

GamePro
76 / 100
76 / 100
Nov 21, 2019

Shenmue 3 Polarized: For some, it's the fulfillment of a dream, for others it's a frumpy game design in a nicer garb.

Review in German | Read full review

The Games Machine
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

Shenmue III is a game true to the past, perhaps too much. Yu Suzuki manages to attract die-hard fans of the original game, but will hardly conquest the heart of the new generation.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Everyeye.it
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Nov 23, 2019

With this episode Yu Suzuki wanted to pay tribute to all the fans of the series, without which, it is useless to hide it, the third piece of the mosaic would never have seen the light. If trying it you will be disappointed for the dated technical aspect and for the now outdated design choices, know that this is how the game would have been if it had been released in 2003/2004, as scheduled. And that's exactly what the fans expected.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Spaziogames
7.3 / 10.0
Spaziogames
DottorKillex

Top Critic

7.3 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

"Shenmue III is a nostalgia trip done right and a great sequel for all the fans of the franchise, but, at the same time, just an average game for all the younger players who never got to play the first two episodes"

Review in Italian | Read full review

Fextralife
7 / 10
Fextralife

Top Critic

7 / 10
Nov 20, 2019

Beautiful to look at and live in, particularly in its second half, its charm and story mostly overcome its dated roots, except for the capsule game mechanism which spoils the overall experience.

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Easy Allies
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Dec 9, 2019
Shenmue 3 - Easy Allies Review - YouTube video thumbnail
Destructoid
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2019

I was torn writing this review as I went back and forth multiple times on whether or not Shenmue III's adherence to the past was worth the squeeze. In spurts, it's not. But as I walked back to Shenhua's cottage to turn in for the night after a hard day's work, earning back the money I had gambled away, it hit me: people just aren't making many games like this anymore. We may never even get something like this again if Shenmue IV isn't greenlit, which would be a shame.

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IGN Spain
7 / 10.0
IGN Spain

Top Critic

7 / 10.0
Nov 21, 2019

The story we never thought would come is already here, outdated in many aspects and mechanics, but maintaining all the necessary charm to not disappoint the fans.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

IGN Italy
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2019

Speaking of a video game of such importance, it is difficult to separate the nostalgia effect from the actual quality. While Shenmue III proposes itself exactly as it wanted to be, on the other hand it stumbles into a series of smears that go far beyond anachronism. The desire to appear in everything as the ideal sequel to a series frozen for eighteen years proves to be a double-edged sword. As much as Shenmue III manages to find internal coherence in its compact rhythm, one cannot overlook the obvious conceptual limits that undermine its overall quality. Yu Suzuki's title does not go beyond the "miracle" of his own existence, and as satisfied as it may be, even for the most dedicated fans it will be impossible not to admit an unpleasant aftertaste of lost opportunity.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Windows Central
Nov 30, 2019

Shenmue III is a good game, but feels quite dated.

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Push Square
7 / 10
7 / 10
Dec 16, 2019

Shenmue III is a game lost in time, but that's probably the greatest compliment you can pay this long-awaited sequel. Newcomers will be utterly bemused by its slice of life-style idiosyncrasies, but for franchise fans this is the faithful follow-up that they've been waiting almost two decades for.

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Gameblog
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nov 19, 2019

All the ingredients are there to make of Shenmue III is a great Shenmue game : rivetting story, copius side content, beautiful backgrounds and great characters. But it's also a bit dragged down by its dated production values. Gamers who the first two Shenmue games and who can overlook technical shortcomings will have a great time. Bring on Shenmue IV!

Review in French | Read full review

GamingBolt
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Nov 23, 2019

Shenmue fans couldn't have hoped for a sequel more compatible with the previous entries. They will immediately feel right at home.

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Gamersky
7 / 10.0
Gamersky
金闪闪老里

Top Critic

7 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

Shenmue III is a fan-based classic JRPG that you may love deeply or alternatively makes you feel frustrated. Although most of its game mechanics are out-dated in 2019, I do find some joy in terms of getting along with those vivid characters and living in the vivid world. At least I hope Suzuki could finish the whole story of the franchise one day.

Review in Chinese | Read full review

Hardcore Gamer
3.5 / 5.0
3.5 / 5.0
Nov 27, 2019

Some players may want to mainline Shenmue III in order to see all the story has it has to offer as quickly as possible.

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Saudi Gamer
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nov 25, 2019

Shenmue 3 have delivered what the fans wanted, from it's highly detailed world to its various mini games. However, it's still suffers from its tedious fighting system and bad voice acting, even with a small budget, things could have been better.

Review in Arabic | Read full review

3DNews
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Dec 1, 2019

Previous Shenmue games were bringing innovations, but Shenmue 3 relies on nostalgia. It's not better or worse than the first ones, it's basically the same but prettier. In a way, that's enough.

Review in Russian | Read full review

BaziCenter
7 / 10
7 / 10
Dec 18, 2019

Shenmue 3 might not be a right choice for modern day gamers, but for die hard Shenmue fans who have waited for it for almost two decades, it's a must have.

Review in Persian | Read full review

Screen Rant
Nov 21, 2019

Shenmue III has finally arrived, and it is exactly what fans of the series have been asking for.

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Gamer Escape
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nov 28, 2019

So what does all this mean for Shenmue? Well, I think fans are going to enjoy this one, but I don’t think this is going to introduce a new generation of gamers to the series.

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RPGamer
3.5 / 5.0
3.5 / 5.0
Dec 23, 2019

Fans of the previous games will love the third instalment, and those who disliked the previous two games will not find anything here to change their minds.

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VGChartz
7 / 10
7 / 10
Jan 6, 2020

Shenmue III ironically becomes a breath of fresh air by remaining rigidly focused on what it used to be.

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GameSpace
6.7 / 10.0
6.7 / 10.0
Dec 5, 2019

I'm disappointed with this game, it has perfectly kept the spirit of the original Shenmue but in doing so has not brought any of the new innovations of the industry. It hasn't advanced its own formula and has instead opted to create the game as I imagine it was first designed back in the early 2000s. If they make a Shenmue 4 I sincerely hope they take more risks and don't just make a carbon copy of what they've done before.

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PowerUp!
6.7 / 10.0
6.7 / 10.0
Jan 14, 2020

Fans of the series are going to find everything they love here – a game that refuses to be anything else apart from itself, even if that is rooted in the past.

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GameCrate
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Nov 21, 2019

To put it politely, Shenmue III has the potential to charm existing fans of the Shenmue saga, if only in how much it painstakingly recreates the stilted beauty of its two predecessors. However, if judged on its merits alone and/or by a non-Shenmue fan, this game just feels like a whole bunch of wasted Kickstarter money. If there's one thing that Shenmue III proves, it's that bringing new fans into the fold was never Ys Net's goal.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

But sentimental value only goes so far. Shenmue III should have been the final game in this trilogy, all loose ends tied up and (re)vengeance served. Instead, Suzuki-sama hopes to continue Ryo's story and with little improvement made over the past two decades and I fear that a fourth game will stick to this same stagnant formula. Disappointed as I am with this news, my real hope is that he can pull off a fourth and final game sooner than later. Because as much as I love this series, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feeling let down with this revival and worry about ever seeing the end of this tale.

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Worth Playing
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Nov 26, 2019

Shenmue III is a game for the fans … and only for the fans. It feels like what would have happened if the Shenmue series had continued on the Dreamcast. This is delightful if you were hoping for a continuation of the franchise, but unfortunately, the appeal stops there for most casual players. If you're a fan of playing old, quirky games, you'll find something to like here, but if you can't tell Shenmue from Shamu, you probably won't understand the hype. It's nice to revisit a long-dead franchise, but if Shenmue IV gets made, one can only hope that it's slightly more ambitious.

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Gamefa
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Nov 26, 2019

Shenmue III could be a much better game if it wasn't for technical issues or gameplay's lack of depth in some part of the game, but in the end, i can say Shenmue III is still an enjoyable experience for fans of series wainting many years to dive again into a "Shenmue" game. Bring lower your expectation and enjoy a beautiful story and fun activities.

Review in Persian | Read full review

SECTOR.sk
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Dec 18, 2019

New Shenmue is almost same as previous games. But nostalgic reminiscing has some flaws.

Review in Slovak | Read full review

PSX Brasil
65 / 100
65 / 100
Jan 8, 2020

Shenmue 3 is a game created for fans that have been expecting a new title for almost 20 years. Although certain elements were modernized, such as smoother controls and graphics, the progression of the story and the overall structure returned to being as slow as it was in Shenmue I. In fact, the two parts that exist in the game are very similar in structure - it seems that you play it twice. The combat system, which now has RPG elements, doesn't look very good either. It is not a horrible game - far from it, but after waiting all this time we would like to see a natural evolution in its mechanics or story, and not the same thing again.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Luis Alamilla
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2019
Shenmue 3 Review video thumbnail
Gamerheadquarters
6.4 / 10.0
6.4 / 10.0
Dec 2, 2019

Shenmue III is alright, it’s the next step in the story and it stumbles along the way with some odd pacing amongst poor visual issues.

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Metro GameCentral
6 / 10
6 / 10
Nov 21, 2019

A literal dream come true for fans and while most others will struggle to understand the appeal it's impossible not to admire Yu Suzuki's vision and tenacity in not only making the game but making it his way.

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Game Informer
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Nov 26, 2019

Exploring small towns is still fun and rewarding until you have to engage in battle and dialogue. Then it falls apart

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VG247
Nov 19, 2019

Despite these annoyances, 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.

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GameMAG
6 / 10
GameMAG

Top Critic

6 / 10
Dec 6, 2019

Shenmue III is like a ship lost in time, which looks archaic not only against the background of modern game mechanics and the far-stepped Yakuza series, but also the first two games of the series. Creation Yu Suzuki viscous, slow, with a huge number of restrictions and the halo of nostalgia, which will be understandable only to fans. For everyone else – this is an average story about martial arts and love, which you can try on cold winter evenings after drinking and setting off fireworks, even if after that you will have only one finger. For Shenmue III, this will be more than enough.

Review in Russian | Read full review

Just Push Start
3 / 5.0
3 / 5.0
Nov 22, 2019

In a lot of ways, this review could probably go on for a lot longer highlighting how dated and lifeless this game is, but the fact of the matter is it is meant to appeal to fans. It’s hard to comment on how they’ll feel, but this is objectively a bad game and while it has elements of being so bad it’s good, such as the emotionless voice acting, making it hard to see the value in.

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Cheat Code Central
3 / 5.0
3 / 5.0
Nov 22, 2019

Shenmue III deserved something better. The developers should have found a way to meld what makes Shenmue distinctly Shenmue with bringing the game mechanics into 2019. I’m all for remasters of old games and keeping those same clunky mechanics with those old games, including the punishing difficulty. However, I want my sequels to old games to adapt and grow with the times.

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Impulsegamer
3 / 5.0
3 / 5.0
Dec 6, 2019

'A middle of the road game, out of fashion, and twenty years late. Nevertheless, Shenmue 3 will please players that enjoyed its prequels.'

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AusGamers
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Dec 10, 2019

Which players had to carry out as dutiful employees for several in-game days.

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CGMagazine
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Nov 25, 2019

Shenmue III is the monkey-paw wish of videogames — it is exactly what fans have wanted, to the point where it feels like it belongs in a different era.

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GameSpew
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2019

I’m glad that Shenmue 3 exists, and I hope the series continues so fans get the conclusion they deserve. It’s just a shame that it has rooted itself in the past.

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Gamerweb.pl
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Nov 29, 2019

Shenmue III is the Benjamin Button of video games, except it won’t get any younger as the time goes by. Offers some interesting quirks, but overall it was release 20 years too late.

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Thumb Culture
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Nov 27, 2019

So, here we answer my questions from the start of this review… Shenmue 3 couldn’t possibly have lived up to the hype and expectation surrounding it. This doesn’t mean the game is bad, it’s just people wanting perfection. It’s very much a game as I thought it would be, something given to the fans by a developer who clearly wants this story told as much as the fans want to be a part of it. This was clearly based on the speed at which the Kickstarter fund reached $1 million. Anyone thinking of starting out with Shenmue 3 because perhaps they aren’t old enough to have played the originals, go back and get the HD remaster, DO NOT start the story here. I promise you will not enjoy the game if you do. Shenmue 3 is a game out of times, it feels like a game created 15 years ago and locked up inside a time capsule until today. But as someone who has spent the best part of 30 years enjoying games, I say welcome back old friend! I give Shenmue 3 a Thumb Culture Silver Award as there is no doubt this game is going to be loved by the fans, but is most definitely not a game for everyone.

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IGN
5.9 / 10.0
Kyle Hilliard

Top Critic

5.9 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2019

Rejoining Ryo Hazuki's quest to avenge his father is exciting, but Shenmue 3 feels like a game that has ignored the innovation and progress of the last 20 years of video game development.

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New Game Network
56 / 100
56 / 100
Dec 9, 2019

Shenmue 3 feels instantly outdated, but at the same time is seemingly uncompromising in its vision. Despite some fun mechanics, lots of distractions, and a restrained take on combat, my nostalgia could only partially gloss over the weak characters, story and progress gating.

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ZTGD
5.5 / 10.0
Ken McKown

Top Critic

5.5 / 10.0
Dec 10, 2019

A game that feels like it time travelled to 2019 from the Dreamcast era and I think that is just fine with the fans. They got what they wanted and I am thrilled for them, but anyone coming in to see what all the noise is about is likely going to come away confused as to why it took 18 years to create the game in front of them.

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GameSpot
5 / 10
5 / 10
Dec 3, 2019

Shenmue III hasn't changed much from its Dreamcast-era roots--and it can't reach its full potential as a result.

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USgamer
Nov 25, 2019

Shenmue 3 suffers from hamfisted exposition, tedious repetition, monotonous grinding, and a heap of other fundamental flaws that are inexcusable in 2019. However, its environments are so confident in their sense of place that exploration is a capable redeemer, and the game is at times, on that ground alone, worth playing.

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God is a Geek
5 / 10.0
5 / 10.0
Dec 6, 2019

Shenmue III could've been made 18 years ago as it feels very similar to the previous two entries, with no real improvements, making it feel rather outdated.

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COGconnected
50 / 100
50 / 100
Nov 30, 2019

I didn’t head into Shenmue 3 with high expectations due to its budget but the game still failed to meet even those lowered expectations.

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Jump Dash Roll
5 / 10
5 / 10
Dec 24, 2019

Shenmue III is a faithful recreation of a Shenmue game. However, it's not necessarily something I think anybody should play unless you're desperate to uncover the next chapter in the saga of Ryo Hazuki.

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TechRaptor
5 / 10.0
TechRaptor
Dustin Triplett

Top Critic

5 / 10.0
Nov 29, 2019

Shenmue 3 doesn't tarnish the memory of the series, but it doesn't exactly move it forward either.

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Gamers Heroes
45 / 100
45 / 100
Nov 24, 2019

It's the continuation of a story nearly 20 years in the making, with the beloved characters, mechanics, and design that made the original games so popular within that niche. Unfortunately, for everyone else, Shenmue III is archaic in design, limited in content, and flawed throughout.

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Bazimag
4.2 / 10.0
4.2 / 10.0
Nov 29, 2019

It seems like almost bankrupting Sega didn’t teach anything to Yu Suzuki and Shenmue III is the product of that unwillingness to change, a truly awful video game by any standard. Some Shenmue die-hards will call this a masterpiece or say that this is what Shenmue is supposed to be but that simply doesn’t change the fact this game fails in almost all departments and doesn’t even advance the story of the series.

Review in Persian | Read full review

Tech Advisor
Nov 26, 2019

For 99 percent of people, we'd recommend giving this a miss. There are better games out there and what Shenmue 3 does do well, largely the world and the process of digging into it, is ruined by the many many things it doesn't quite pull off. If you're a big fan of immersing yourself in a world or you loved the earlier Shenmue games, go wild, but your money would be spent better elsewhere.

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RPG Site
3 / 10
3 / 10
Jan 9, 2020

Shenmue III is meant to be for fans that have waited almost 20 years for the continuation of this story. It was never meant to appeal to anyone else.

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