Sunday, August 4, 2013


First up, Shadowrun Returns. I backed this on Kickstarter a while back, as a fan of isometric RPGs with old school sensibilities, a fan of anything that tries to break away from AAA development these days, and someone with an interest in exploring cyberpunk. Additionally, I had played the SNES Shadowrun game way back when, and while I never quite got it, it always seemed cool. 

 So, now the game is out, and I have actually just finished it as of last night. Well, finished the stock campaign that the designers included. There is also a toolset for players to create and run their own Shadowrun campaigns, much like one would playing the pen and paper version of the game. This seems like a pretty cool idea, and hopefully, and almost undoubtedly, some cool things will come out of the Shadowrun community.

 As for the mechanics of the game, and Dead Man's Switch, the campaign, included, I'm pretty satisfied. It was about a 15-hour play through, not counting time re-playing sections due to the game's checkpoint system, where other games would use a save-anywhere system (probably due to lack of time/money; remember this game was crowd-funded). I love the art, the style, and the music, and the writing of the story was done really well, too. The plot itself started out very interesting but went kinda wild toward the end; no biggie, I had fun. I also like the combat system, which is almost wholly like that of XCOM Enemy Unknown. I do wish I had known more about Shadowrun character development before beginning, though, if indeed this game bears any resemblance to the pen and paper game. I ended up trying to multi-spec a little too much where I should have been specializing in one or two core areas. I ended up playing it through on Hard mode, though, and while I didn't have too much trouble, there were a handful of battles I lost and had to approach with a different strategy.

 Overall, I am pretty happy with my Kickstarter experience as relates to this game. I think the support of player-created campaigns is what really cinches the deal, and saves this from being just a forgettable above-average old-school RPG. That said, the developers are working on another campaign of their own, to be set in Berlin versus the Seattle of the current one. I'll be waiting for it.

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