The teaser trailer teased unfinished models.
If you checked out the first Shenmue III teaser and came away feeling a little disappointed by the look of the character models in the video, you’re not alone. It’s a concern that many Shenmue fans share, and that’s prompted project director and series creator Yu Suzuki to state, when speaking to Game Spark, that the character models used in the teaser trailer are basically incomplete.
In response to fan concerns, Suzuki stated that the models of Shenhua and Ryo as well as other characters were “mostly temporary.” He continued, stating that “Shenhua still has to be fixed up a bit,” while others are close to completion. He pointed out several other characters that needed to be “fixed up” as well.
It turns out that the character models that are nearing completion are definitely being worked on, but unfortunately they weren’t ready in time for the teaser trailer to be made. In fact, the trailer was put together prematurely according to executive producer Hideaki Morshita because the team felt that they needed one since there wasn’t one released with the announcement of the new contract having been signed with Deep Silver.
According to Morishita, there are “parts that are still lacking or parts that are not sufficient.” For instance, facial expressions have been worked on in the past, but they haven’t been implemented properly just yet. According to Suzuki during the same interview, they were implemented a month ago but were removed temporarily.
So if you were concerned that the game wasn’t looking quite as polished as it should have out of the gate with its first teaser trailer, there is an explanation. There’s also still plenty of time left for the game to be worked on, as it lands on PlayStation 4 and PC in 2018, and released as both physical and digital editions.