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Shenmue 3's launch trailer says time stopped in 2001, and it sure seems that way

Shenmue fans will tearfully rejoice when the franchise breaks its 18-year hiatus with Shenmue 3's November 19 release, and the launch trailer promises fans not much has changed. The launch trailer opens with the text "18 years ago the clock stopped," and aside from the obvious visual overhaul, it's easy to believe that statement.

Shenmue looks better in 2019 - much better - but it still won't hold up against the likes of modern AAA franchises. Elsewhere, Shenmue 3 in its launch trailer looks like it was developed in-tandem with Shenmue 2 - from the, erm, distinctive voice acting to the acrobatic fight scenes, it's all Shenmue. And those aren't knocks, as Shenmue devotees will likely appreciate such a faithful successor for the nostalgic value.

GamesRadar's Justin Towell echoes the sentiment that Shenmue 3 is an old soul made specifically for fans of the series, writing in his preview of the game, "It feels like a game from 2002. And that's exactly why I love it and cannot contain my excitement. Fans of Shenmue are about to get something else that pretty much nobody else is getting at this point in time: a sequel to a much-loved classic that doesn't destroy its legacy. I've no idea how this has happened, but I daren't question it."

Children born when Shenmue 2 released are now adults, three US presidents have served, and about a thousand Assassin's Creed games have released in the 18 years since we last sought to avenge Ryo Hazuki's father. But believe it or not, it's 2019 and Shenmue 3 just got a launch trailer. It's real.

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