Release Countdown to November 19th

Friday, June 7, 2019

Deep Silver's Shenmue III Pre-Order Page & River Li Image


Deep Silver has opened a new and sleek-looking Shenmue III pre-order page on their website, which can be accessed at shenmue3.deepsilver.com. It provides links to a number of retailers around the world, based on the country and system selected. Languages supported on the page's drop-down are English (UK), English (US), German, Spanish, Italian and French (but not Japanese, which is expected as Deep Silver is global publisher excluding Japan).

While the media section of the page does not contain any new slides (and the "View Trailer" link currently plays the Prophecy trailer from Gamescom 2018), there are a few points of interest worth highlighting.

New River Li Image


The site gives an outline of the types of locations in the game:
"Shenmue III lets players explore a gorgeous, charm-laden, and danger-filled China. From festive towns to dark and dank enemy lairs".
"Festive towns" would obviously point to Niaowu, with its brightly-lit lanterns. While no specifics are given, could the "dark and dank enemy lairs" mentioned in the site's description refer to the Chi You Men's den in Baisha..?

Speaking of Niaowu, one of the background images on the page shows a vista of Niaowu and the River Li at night. It can be recognized as the same general area the ferry passes through in the Prophecy trailer, but from a new angle on the other side of the river. (I have lightened the image slightly to help bring out more of the detail).



Free Battle & Special Skill Systems


A description of the game on the page makes mention of two particular systems: the Free Battle system and Special Skill system:
"Powered by innovative and skill-adaptable Free Battle and Special Skill systems, Shenmue III is the sequel fans have been waiting for".
My guess is that "skill-adaptable" element refers to the Automatic Transmission mode (as Yu described at MAGIC 2019) available for fighting that automatically sets up the controls to allow the player to easily use their most effective moves during fights. The "Special Skill" system is presumably the move acquisition system where players build up their skill tree by obtaining Skill Books and training.

Movie Digest


The website confirms that there will be a digest movie to introduce players who aren't familiar with the first two games to the story:
"Shenmue III includes a special 'recap digest' movie created by Yu Suzuki that retells Ryo Hazuki’s story from the beginning."
This is something Yu mentioned back in a 2017 Famitsu interview with Yu Suzuki:
"I am thinking of creating a visually-based digest that introduces the past story. I haven't yet decided whether this will take the form of a movie or not, however."
The website text also mentions learning about past events from people Ryo will meet on his journey:
"Players can also speak to non-player characters they encounter to learn all about the events of the first two Shenmue games".
Although this description is under a section headed "What if I haven't played Shenmue and Shenmue II?" from the way this is phrased, it sounds like this sentence applies equally to all players and describes Ryo starting to learn the truth about various past events - such as what really happened while his father Iwao was at Bailu village when he was younger.

Disabled in the Code: Xbox Button


Fans have discovered by inspecting the webpage code that provision has been made for displaying an Xbox One button as well, although it has been completely disabled in the code. Here is how the button displays if the code is adjusted to force it to be shown (along with the other two systems):

Of course, this shouldn't be taken as confirmation that Xbox One will be supported - the most likely scenario is that the webpage code has been copied from a general template, plus the button is not linked to any data. (However the fact that there is a trace of an Xbox One button, even if disabled, is sure to lead to some speculation!).

Update: Deep Silver has responded to the online speculation by discounting any plans for an Xbox One version:
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Admire the Shenmue III pre-order page below.

Link to Deep Silver's Pre-Order page for Shenmue III
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