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This Shenmue 3 dev diary video has facial animations that actually work

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Ys Net rolled out a short trailer for Shenmue 3 last month that didn't make the best possible impression with everyone. It was nice to see that progress is being made, but the characters' faces didn't exactly make for the most realistic digital folk we've ever seen. 

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Whether as a direct response to that reaction or not, the studio today released a new "Dev Room Progress Report" showing off its work on—you guessed it—facial animations. It's very brief, and the faces on display still aren't what you'd call the pinnacle of photorealism. But they do move and show some modicum of expression, which is a big improvement over last time.   

On an unrelated note, but mentioned in the same Kickstarter update, Ys Net also apologized for delays in the backer surveys, which apparently still haven't been sent out. "The survey preparation is moving ahead, however it will take some time yet before they go out," it said. "We will have a full rundown of the surveys coming soon. Until then, we ask for your patience." 

Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. Shenmue 3 is currently expected to be out sometime next year.   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.