Soft-launching a game before its official worldwide release has long been a practice used by developers to test out a game in a live market that's not quite as big and intimidating as the entire globe but also much larger and informative than a smaller beta testing group. It's also given eager players a chance to jump into a free game before its full release by creating an iTunes account in whatever region the game soft launches in. In the past year or so though, many developers have taken to limiting these soft launches by requiring a player to actually BE in the country where the soft launch is taking place. It's possible to circumvent that by using a VPN service on your device, but it's not an ideal situation and it seems like most people would rather not bother with the hassle and would rather just wait out the official launch instead. Today Nekki's long-awaited sequel Shadow Fight 3 soft-launched in Canada, and they're using a different approach to limiting this partial launch. You'll need a special code provided to those who signed up and were accepted into the beta testing group in order to play the game.

There is a partial way around this limitation, as our forum member Killercow noticed that if you turn on Airplane mode before starting up the game you can get to a point where you can begin playing without the pop-up asking for the beta email/code to be inputted. However, in my own experience I only made it through 4 or 5 of the very early tutorial lessons before the game needed to make contact with the server and that was all she wrote for my time with the game. No amount of closing the app, killing it from multitasking, trying with internet off or on has gotten me back into a playable state with the game. It's disappointing, because my brief few minutes with Shadow Fight 3 were awesome. The fighting feels highly tactical, the 3D characters and especially the animations are gorgeous, and it looks like this will be one of the most highly customizable fighters available on mobile. I just want to be able to PLAY it, you know?

Unfortunately, the sign-up link for beta testing is no longer accepting submissions, so if you didn't already get in on that and have a beta code ready to input and bypass the server check in-game, it doesn't appear that you're going to get a ton of play time out of this soft-launched Shadow Fight 3. The bright side, I guess, is that this official soft-launch likely means the game is very close to completion, and hopefully it won't be too long before we can download it from our own local App Stores. Also, the trailer posted above is a brand new trailer released late last week, so be sure to give that a look for a new glimpse of the game in action. In the meantime, if you have a Canadian iTunes account and want to check out Shadow Fight 3 even if it's just for a few minutes, give the game a download with the link below and check out some discussion in our forums. Oh, and if you come across a way to bypass all this server check business, let us know the secret in the comments below!

UPDATE: Nekki has reached out to let us know that if you are actually IN Canada and download Shadow Fight 3, you should be able to play the game without entering any sort of beta code. That will only occur for anyone who has downloaded the Canadian App Store version but isn't actually located in Canada.

Canadian App Store Link: Shadow Fight 3, Free (Universal)

  • Anotherkellydown

    I'll be eagerly awaiting the final release.

  • Judas Krimson

    Will it be free to play? I seriously hope not

    • OlegxAva

      Of course it will. It always has and will.

  • Qvothe1331

    Man this looks good. Maybe it's experience from past titles, but I look forward to this far more than any triple a franchise like street fighter on mobile.

  • elekchron

    Is this coming out on Android?

  • kobe kiwang

    is this offline......please make it offline because i dont have a wifi

  • DrlRage

    Okay I can attest that the game is awesome! I just want it to become a tad quicker/more controlled when getting up after a knockdown and for less dead space between rounds. I actually feel impatient when I'm not fighting and it gives the game a feeling that it's laggy but it not otherwise. If this is not some type of hidden loading please please please speed it up.
    However the fighting looks great and is fun: Smooth animations, great dynamic slomo, nice controls, weapons, unique shadow abilities. The characters look great, it definitely feels very polished and to see how they figured out how to move the series this far forward is impressive.
    This is a great fighting game!
    After playing SF4:CE and seeing how bad of a port it is graphically (jagged sprites, low fps animation, etc) I wonder why Capcom didn't let another company with this kind of talent take care of their IP on mobile. Why?!

  • Maxamed Duraan

    Please ragiter me

  • Krystalmyth

    Game is nowhere near as good as Shadow Fight 2 and that's the objective truth. Animations are wonky and stuttering. Combat pace amounts to taking turns hitting each other. Throwing used to take timing, and you can't tech them so they're just about who rings in first. Shadow techniques are unblockable, and can only be used when meter is full. It's not a toggle state like they said it would be. So basically it's a race to fill your bar and spam your shadow techs. There is Nothing here being done Shadow Fight 2 didn't do better. The pvp in this game is a sham too. It's not really pvp. They're bots. Don't believe me? Pause the supposed pvp match. Make a sandwich, come back. Really sick of mobile devs thinking I'm an idiot. No energy in the game, instead of abundant content and energy limitation on a timer content is limited on a timer. This is freaking bogus. Add in a CTG system of booster card packs as progression and this game is just huge step back from its predecessor. Mark my words when the dusts clears youre going to wonder what it was they really added to the franchise with this bold decision to go 3d in the first place.