It's been a while since we've heard anything about the highly-anticipated third game in the Shenmue series, but director Yu Suzuki has finally broken the silence with the first teaser trailer for Shenmue III.

I think what I like best about this teaser is that it shows how the team at Ys Net has stayed pretty true to the game's original look. There's plenty of pretty HD scenery, but everything from the character design to the animations feels like a natural progression from the original Shenmue games rather than super-ultra-realistic-modern-graphixxx.

As noted above, Suzuki and Co. have been pretty quiet about the game since it was announced during the PlayStation E3 2015 press conference. We were kind of hoping to see some sort of gameplay at this point, but at least we know the game hasn't just disappeared into thin air. It was heartbreaking to lose the Shenmue series following the premature demise of the Dreamcast, so we're not sure we could really take having the rug pulled out from under us on this one.

According to the official announcement, this first teaser is built from a small slice of the game, showing protagonist Ryo training in a quaint village.

Over on the PlayStation Blog, Suzuki has addressed fans directly, saying that after two years of development, the team thought now was a good time to "come up for air." Obviously, Gamescom is going on this week, so Suzuki and Sony figured now would be a good time to remind folks that, yes, Shenmue III is still coming. Just a note to Sony or anyone else with deep pockets who is listening: A digital version of the original games on modern consoles would help make that wait a little easier to bear and likely win over new fans to the series. Just saying.

Also as part of this reveal, Suzuki explained that his team has "inked a deal" with publisher Deep Silver, who you likely know from games like Metro, Agents of Mayhem and Dead Island.

The development is apparently going well, as Suzuki wraps up his talk by stating that the new Shenmue game is still expected to launch in 2018. Assuming there are no more delays, though, that could mean we're still a good year out from finally getting the game in our hands. Still, we've waited well over a decade at this point, so what's a little more time so long as we know that, yes, the story is going to continue?

So what do you think, folks? Are you happy with the way things are shaping up or were you hoping for something heading in a different direction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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