Summary: For better and worse, Shenmue III feels just like the Shenmue games that launched nearly 20 years ago.
Fans of Shenmue won't be disappointed.
Many of its systems feel like they were taken out of the early 2000s.
Poor voice acting and a roundabout plot make it feel somewhat irrelevant to the broader storyline.
Top Critic Average
A seamless continuation of the series that makes up for its limitations with pure heart. It's like Ryo never left us.
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.
A bewitching time capsule that transports us to late 80s China, and to turn-of-the-century video games.
A magnificent, authentic, totally uncompromised sequel that crucially ignores virtually every gaming trend of the past 18 years.
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.
Exploring small towns is still fun and rewarding until you have to engage in battle and dialogue. Then it falls apart
Shenmue III hasn't changed much from its Dreamcast-era roots--and it can't reach its full potential as a result.
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.
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?