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Shenmue 3's developers gave fans an update on their progress this weekend. Part of their update was a new set of screenshots from the long-awaited sequel.

The new screenshots released by developer Ys Net come with several caveats. The men in black suits are placeholders and the character model for Ryo is an out-of-date version. The buildings and environments will be reworked before the game is finished. Furthermore, the screenshots for the combat are taken from a worm's-eye view to avoid spoilers.

That said, we haven't seen much of Shenmue 3 yet so the screenshots are appreciated:

Brawl in Shenmue 3

Another fight against a man in black

Rural village

Shenmue 3 is now in its third month of development. The team has done enough work on the story that they can now start building up the game's world. Their main focus right now is testing the maps for the game:
Map testing will define the different areas to make sure they are neither too big, nor too small to get to that Goldilocks zone. This consists of looking at the layout of a certain space, and experimenting to make necessary alterations. For example, an outside area may feel too open. That space may be reduced by 20%, and the number of people there increased from 10 to 16, to affect the proper consistency and density of the area.

In Shenmue 3, martial artist Ryo Hazuki is still on the hunt for his father's killer Lan Di. He heads to Guilin, China and meets a girl named Ling Shenhua who appeared in his dreams. During the journey together, the two will face Lan Di as well as a new threat.

The PS4 and PC game was announced during Sony's E3 press conference in June. A Kickstarter campaign to fund the game reached its goal within hours. Ys Net ultimately broke crowdfunding records by the end of the campaign. They're also getting assistance from Sony in producing the game.

Ys Net has yet to announce a release date. However, they say we shouldn't expect the game until 2017 at the earliest.