Certain Shenmue 3 (opens in new tab) backers will have access to an early area of the game starting this weekend, which will feature some story elements, fighting, mini-games, and more. You could be one of the lucky few to experience the highly-anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed Shenmue 2 early if your pledge tier includes the Trial Version reward and you managed to complete the backer survey by September 20.
The Shenmue 3 backer trial will last one in-game day in Bailu Village, and when you beat the demo's big baddie or the in-game clock strikes 9PM, it's over. Luckily, you'll be able to replay the demo as many times as you like. You won't be able to save or load anything, so progress won't carry over to the full version, but Ys Net says the trial demo should only last about an hour.
Ys Net advises you equip your PC setup with a traditional controller to play the backer demo, as while keyboard controls are supported, "keyboard functionality is still being upgraded and recent upgrades have not been applied to the trial version."
If you qualify, you'll get an email this weekend with instructions on how to access the demo. No matter which version you pre-ordered, the backer demo is only available on PC and you'll need an Epic Games account to play. Ys Net says you'll want to free up at least 20GB of storage for downloading and installing the demo. You'll also want to check out the complete system requirements (opens in new tab) just in case.
Whether or not you get access to the backer demo, you should totally check out this in-depth feature from our sister publication, Edge Magazine (opens in new tab).