Shenmue 3's Stiff Facial Expressions Not Finalized, Director Says

Facial expressions were temporarily removed for the trailer.

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Earlier this week, fans were treated to the first teaser trailer for the long-awaited Shenmue III. While the video featured some beautiful environments, what left the biggest impression on many was the game's character models, which looked stiff and expressionless. Fortunately, game director Yu Suzuki assures that these models are only temporary.

In an interview with Game Spark (as translated by Gematsu), Suzuki confirms what many fans had assumed: most of the character models featured in the trailer were placeholders. According to the game's executive producer, Hideaki Morishita, the developers have higher quality models in the works but weren't able to have them ready in time for the trailer. Suzuki also confirmed to Game Watch that facial expressions had been implemented in the game, though they were temporarily removed for the trailer. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as protagonist Ryo Hazuki humorously had the same facial expression throughout the entire video.

Shenmue III is being developed by Ys Net. The game is expected to release for PlayStation 4 and PC in the second half of 2018. Deep Silver, the company behind Dead Island, Saints Row, and Homefront, will be publishing it worldwide.

Shenmue III was initially announced during Sony's E3 2015 press conference. The title would quickly become the most-backed game in Kickstarter history, raising more than $6.3 million from nearly 70,000 backers. It takes place following the events of Shenmue II, which released in the US exclusively for Xbox in 2002. This time, Ryo travels to China in his continued search for his father's killer.

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