The current-generation of consoles is currently filled with huge sprawling open-world games, but the developers behind Shenmue 3 said its game won't directly compete against those titles.
Aside from being the most expensive video game developed during its time, Shenmue was the most ambitious, revolutionizing the open-world genre with a living, breathing world. Non-playable characters would have their own daily routines based on the game’s day-and-night system, and the open-world environments were filled with activities to partake in.
Speaking to GamesCentral, director Yu Suzuki believes Shenmue 3 remains a ‘unique’ game in a time where gamers are not accustomed to playing story-focused games with few action elements.. Due to the team's budget constraints, Shenmue 3 won't compete against huge open-world games and will instead focus on other elements that aren’t money-hungry on resources. “I believe the open-world of Shenmue is very different from the other open-world games that exist," said Suzuki. "Although Shenmue was the first open-world title it is still very unique and so we can focus on other things that do not depend solely on money. So I think there is a lot of playable and very unique elements in the open world that mean I don’t need to compete against other big open worlds.”
Suzuki said getting Deep Silver as a publisher was crucial to help them have more resources in developing Shenmue 3. "Even after we completed the Kickstarter project I have been looking for other partners to join us and as you know we have now partnered with Deep Silver. So I’m now comfortable in saying, ‘Don’t worry, I can make the whole game you imagined!’ Even if the sense of size cannot compare with the biggest open world games, that is impossible without a much bigger budget."
At present, Suzuki wants Shenmue 3 to retain 70 percent of the elements that defined the original games, while the rest are for newer concepts and natural changes to adapt to the current generation of consoles. “The style of game will be very similar to the original, but we will of course be adding some new features as well,” said Suzuki. “At the moment we are trying to keep it to 30% new and the keep the other 70% of the game similar to the original. But the design is constantly changing and I am always coming up with new concepts that we can try to add to the game if there is the opportunity.”
While Suzuki is open to ideas for adding new elements, he believes changing the core gameplay isn’t necessary and doing so might upset the fans. However, some changes were necessary to fit the modern era as well as the current technology for developing games.
“When we started to work on Shenmue III I realized I needed to pick up some of the elements of the original games to please fans, but other elements have become changed or removed. I adapt the story to fit the modern era and to my own changing influences. But also I have to make sure that it is a good fit for Shenmue. So certain aspects of the story have remained constant but Shenmue III has become a new game over time.”
What do you think about the upcoming Shenmue game? Do you think it will live up to expectations? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.