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Shadowrun Returns review



So before the Weekends Harebrained Schemes finally released their long awaited kickstarter backed Shadowrun game. I never backed it on kickstarter, partly because I found about it to late, and partly because I don't really agree with this type of scheme, but this is one I probably would have backed cause I love Shadowrun.




To start with, the game is a basic isometric old style RPG. I'm going to be honest and say I loved the SNES game. It was my first taste of Shadowrun, after that I did get the Pen and paper books and read a lot of the story and created characters and such, but I never really got to play it, small town and all. For it's faults in not following the rules of Shadowrun the SNES game still had great style and was a great game with a great story. And I still remember the moody music.  The isometric view s the games probably greatest strength and weakness. I love me some old fashioned isometric views, but I wish the game had been done in proper 3D isometric so I could rotate the camera and see the other side of buildings,  and least rotate in 90 degree increments. The way they did it though is the only way they could afford to do the game and be able to finish it, and the engine is very powerful and allows you to set up lighting and all kinds of effect on the 2.5D tiles.



Interface & Control:

The interface is very basic and straight forward. For the most part it works, but you feel like you're missing certain elements a lot of the time. It does also have some problem with the click to target and click to move. Sometimes you targets can be very small, especially when hidden behind someone or someone, this can sometimes result in you moving instead of attacking. At this point it's important to point out this is a turn based game, and moving costs you the ability to attack one or twice or even three times that round, this could be if not fatal, very bad.


The interface is also missing information about a lot of items in the game. For people familiar with Shadowrun, they know what a smartlink gun is. The game however does not explain it in any place and it doesn't say what advantages a smartlink gun offers. Making it hard for me to decide if my troll shadowrunner should use the 16 damage Colt M23 Smartlink AR, or the 18 damage Ares Alpha AR. This problem extends into a few other areas to like cyberware, more on that later.


Another problem that popped up for me in what I assume is the last level, has to do with bot control. Since all the mages I could hire only had the crap level 1 healing spell. I decided to try the rigged that came with a Robo-Doc drone. Either how to use this is very well hidden in the game, or the designers never tried it and never found the bug. The bot basically has a grenade launcher that fires "healing shrapnel"(?!), however the game doesn't allow you do blind fire weapons at the ground and you can't fir on friendlies. Basically as far as I can see, Robo-Doc is useless.




The game is fairly true to the shadowrun style. It's dark and somber, with some humor elements here and there. Strangely in the early parts of the game on the NTSB lot, you'll see parts for old Cessna planes which seems a bit out of place, thought he things would pronbably be around forever, some of the level design there don't make sense though, like the level with the mockup of a crashed plane that's been set up after the crash, and there's a Cessna plane front in the midst there

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Enjoyed the game mostly but didn't enjoy being on a rail the entire time.  I would have preferred to do my own exploring.  Still a great game though.

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I didn't mind the liner story so much, I would have liked a little more freedom and the ability to travel freely between the locations. Bt it was developed on under a million and was created the recreate the older crpgs to some degree, the Berlin DLC will bring a lot more freedom, and then you have use made campaign like life on a limb, though I find they went over the top, as soon as you step off the "bus" there's a tone of npc's all with chat bubbles. Is not a very good design, they need a little bit more streamlining.

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