dimsey's Shadowrun Returns (PC) review

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Shadowrun has returned and I just hope it stays.

The Rad

  • Turn based combat ala XCOM. Can’t get enough.
  • Very story driven and for the most part it’s well written.
  • Old School look and feel.
  • Love the setting.
  • Rad soundtrack!

The Bad

  • Only checkpoints. No hard saves.
  • A little on the short side.

I’m sadly rather inexperienced in the Shadowrun universe.

It’s quite a pity seeing as though it’s a fusion of my two favorite genres - Cyberpunk and Fantasy. I’ve never been fortunate enough to play the Pen & Paper game on which it’s based. When I played the SNES and Genesis games I was too young to really know what I was doing. And while I didn’t outright HATE the relatively recent shooter the way some do - it certainly isn’t what anyone really wanted to see from a game based on the franchise.

Shadowrun Returns however utilizes the setting well and in the right genre too, so that’s a win. SR is very old school - from it’s Infinity Engine-esque visuals to it’s turn based combat to it’s total lack of voice acting and dependence on buckets of text to tell its tale. It’s delightfully retro and I for one am pleased as punch about it.

The campaign that comes with the game is titled The Dead Mans switch and sets you on a job to avenge an old colleague - hopefully earning yourself the big bucks along the way. The writing can be a little hokey in spots, but I feel like it comes with the territory and as a whole the story is generally well told and engaging.

There’s a fairly decent variety in the games turn-based combat thanks to a good selection of available classes. I played a Decker and stuck fairly rigidly to that path, diverging a little to specialize some in assault rifles so when it came to combat my PC didn’t exactly have the widest selection of options but when you go on a run you’ll get to hire from a pool of colorful characters in a variety of classes so this gives you a pretty good chance to try different things no matter which class you choose for your character.

Dead Man’s Switch will run you twelve hours.

And it’s a great twelve hours but I feel like you expect RPGs to be a little lengthier. The game comes with what would appear to be a fairly robust editor and there’s already new campaigns in the works but from what I’ve heard you won’t be able to bring your character from the main campaign along into these new ones - which is a bit of a bummer if like me you grow easily attached to your characters. It also seems like a bit of an unsafe proposition hope the community ensures your games longevity.

I loved the game and am eager for more, but if the game doesn’t sell well we mightn’t get it and that’d be a real shame. What they’ve put forward is a solid foundation and I’d love for the community to build upon it with a myriad of different tales. That being said I feel like I at least got my $20 worth. Shadowrun has returned and I just hope it stays.

Other reviews for Shadowrun Returns (PC)

    A merely passable RPG, but one with a lot of future potential 0

    Shadowrun Returns is probably most notable for being an early kickstarter success, riding on the coattails of Double Fine. While it didn’t reach the heights of Wasteland 2, Project Eternity and Torment, it still made a respectable 1.8 million, four times its initial goal. The pitch was to bring back Shadowrun, the “Cyberpunk with Elves” setting of a pen and paper game, as well as two well-regarded games for SNES and Genesis and make a RPG hearkening back to those two titles as well as the pen an...

    10 out of 10 found this review helpful.

    A Table-Top Veteran Re-emerges From the Darkness 0

    Shadowrun seems like such a great idea on paper: Taking the evocative dystopian world of William Gibson's Neuromancer or Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, with their paranoid hackers and corporate stiffs making their livings in a sprawling futuristic urban landscape seemingly trapped in permanent night, with only the intermittent neon sign, electronic billboard or computer monitor for illumination. Add to this melting pot of intrigue and danger a resurgence of magic in the world - an Ice Age-esque c...

    10 out of 10 found this review helpful.

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