Overall, Shenmue 3 is an experience that fans of the series are likely to enjoy. Will it bring in many newcomers though? Not nearly as likely. But the game makes it pretty clear it’s not too interested in that anyway. This is a Shenmue game for Shenmue fans, and while much of it’s gameplay definitely could have benefitted from more modernization in an objective sense, having so many of the essential elements of the original games completely intact like this do give it a sense of purpose and character that most modern iterations of older franchises lack.
If you’re looking for a modern interpretation or an evolution of an older franchise, you’re better off looking somewhere else. But if you want to play a new game that refuses to bend to the will of modern expectations to deliver a more pure fan-driven experience, for better and for worse, Shenmue 3 has got you covered.
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