Full disclosure: I backed this game on Kickstarter, and I backed it because I loved playing Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Dragonfall.
The game starts out with our hero, after you create him or her, getting off a boat to meet their childhood friend and foster brother in Hong Kong. You’ve been asked to go there by your foster father.
There are three battles before you even become a shadowrunner; one of them is avoidable, but yeah, there’s a high probability of being killed first time out. There’s even a Steam achievement for it.
The Shadowrun games involve a lot of reading. The writers seem to be more novelists than screenwriters, so they’re really not concerned with anything seeming too much like a monologue. The balance between reading and playing is good, though. The reading lets you take a break from trying to shoot, fight, or magic your way out of the many encounters. Talking to your group is also encouraged, as some of them will give you missions. Some of the side characters you’ll meet along the way will also help you in surprising ways.
In addition to the character quests, there are many hidden little things in the game that can be easily missed if you don’t look around. There are other runners you can meet, more goodies to buy if you have the cash, and some entertaining characters.
There’s also a heavier necessity for a decker, which seems to be why the decking virtual world has been given a major upgrade since the last game. It looks much better, and has a few more challenges to it. There are times in the game when a decker is absolutely necessary, and other times when a decker can help to avoid a battle, or even save everyone’s lives.
Ultimately the Shadowrun gameplay experience is looking very dated, especially after XCOM, and the upcoming XCOM2. Ideally, for the next Shadowrun game, I’d like to see more 3D, a rotatable map, and a lot more voice acting. Harebrained Schemes have improved their storytelling immensely since Shadowrun Returns, but now it’s time for them to improve the gameplay experience with some new technologies.
This is not to say that I’m dissatisfied with backing the game – I had a lot of fun playing, and I think that it’s definitely worth the purchase price. It also comes with a full set of mod tools keep an eye out for awesome mods in the future!
For a Shadowrun game, I rate it 9/10
As a modern turn based RPG, I rate it 7/10
Have you tried the game out? Are you a fan of the Shadowrun games? Let me know in the comments!