What makes Shenmue 2's open world so special?

Martin Robinson writes "There's so much of it, it feels impenetrable. Shenmue 2's Hong Kong isn't the biggest of open worlds, and unlike the Yokosuka suburb that preceded it, it can hardly claim to be the densest. Yet AM2's Hong Kong is thick with character and purpose: an overwhelming city where you sink into a gentle rut amidst its wider rhythms, where human life flows through its streets, ebbing in from the harbour before it splashes down sidewalks and sends slow, chattering oxbows around cluttered alleyways."

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Stringerbell1143d ago

The same that makes the first one special. You can interact with everything but its a refined open world. Not a playground like GTA or Just Cause.

DigitalRaptor1142d ago (Edited 1142d ago )

For those who think that Shenmue III needs to be an open-world game in the vein of GTA or Sleeping Dogs to remain relevant to its fan base or even to the industry, need to read this article.

Additionally, here's an equally important video about why Shenmue's take on the open-world is so unique and irreplaceable:

I don't think you could both read this article and watch that video and then have a solid basis for Shenmue needing to change or "get with the times". Shenmue was always about the introspective attention to detail, the grounded realism, the purpose, the immersion and respect that comes from appreciating the culture of a place, the growth of a character on his journey. Not the arcade playground antics of the ADHD-fuelled open-world games of today which can go significantly unexplored by players, as fun as those games can be.

You need context to appreciate Shenmue's world and its gameplay. It affords no wastage on carnage. Why would Ryo attack a random NPC? Why allow it to happen when it would only disconnect his character from its defined traits and his mission? That is what modern open-world games allow to happen, but why should Shenmue allow that kind of stuff to happen when it would only cause detriment to the kind of experience that it is? Why would Ryo having a drivable vehicle aid his journey, when the experience is as much about talking to people on the streets than getting around massive places quickly or running people over and giving our main character a wanted level? Why would we NOT make Ryo get a cumbersome job, when that is what a normal person who have to do to get money and progress their objectives? It helps add context and realism and understanding to the character's goals and the effort he is going to to bring justice to his father.

People could come along and claim its methods of gameplay/storytelling as boring, but I know for a fact that most Shenmue fans consider those elements as the most memorable and desirable.

GhostTurtle1142d ago (Edited 1142d ago )

Great post dude. Ive not "Shenmued" in over 10 years and that was a good vid link. Good times with this series. I dont care how (remastered/remake, straight port, ect, dont care), they HAVE to bring the games aboard modern gaming. PSN, Steam, what have you. I NEED to play these games again lol. As well as the newbies wanting to get in on the series.

hkgamer1142d ago

its openworld is very unique and having such a big openworld game like GTA/sleeping dogs would ruin it. Shenmue is about a late teenage boy seeking for vengeance but at the same time learning about life.

The first shenmue made me want to catch lan di and kick his ass. The second game made players think more about the consequences of revenge.

Only thing I am hoping from shenmue3 is not to have batman style action and hopefully have a more fluid Virtua Fighter combat.

Nick_The_Slick1142d ago


Click disagree to agree.

Artemidorus1142d ago (Edited 1142d ago )

In the Dreamcast days it was special to see things like this. You also had Shenmue Online it were good too.

hkgamer1142d ago

was kinda special to see something like this back in the days. had lots of useless rooms and doors to knock on for no reason whatsoever but was a cool concept.
open world games before this was basically a JRPG. never played any western games sp cant really compare.

Random encounters was pretty cool, a bunch of different routes such as talking to different people was something you didnt see everywhere. ,-'- <--teacup thing in shenmue 2 had lots of random stuff that I have not even explored despite playing the game every year. Lots of unique random NPC, dont think they had any doubles at all unlike most games.

so many things made this great similar to how MGS2 made random things interactive.