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 Post subject: Shadowrun Returns
PostPosted: Fri Aug 2, '13, 2:14 am 
In case you haven't heard, Harebrained Schemes released Shadowrun Returns a few days ago on Steam. It had the support of Jordan Weissman, founder of FASA Studios and the creator of the Shadowrun pen and paper roleplaying game, and Mitch Geitelman, who produced the rather... unusual first-person shooter take on Shadowrun for the Xbox 360. The game is twenty bucks. It is well worth your money and time to purchase.

TELL ME ABOUT MY CHARACTER
Actually, you tell me. You provide the name, gender, race (ever-agile elf, surprisingly decent spellcaster dwarf, big dumb tuff troll, strong ork, or human! With the ability to have 37 karma at chargen instead of 36!) and archetype:

Street samurai, who are cyberwared to the nines and great with weapons
Riggers, computer users who remote pilot drones to support the team
Deckers, computer users who directly link into computers to steal data and bypass security
Mages, who casts the spells to makes the people fall down
Shamans, who summon spirits of nature at great risk to themselves
Physical adepts, who are just like the Dungeons & Dragons monk except their abilities actually make sense,
Build your own damn character, which is however you decide to spend those 36 (or 37) karma points.

THE PROS
It's a cyberpunk adventure/tactical roleplaying game based on the famous pen and paper game.
It's $20!
The writing is awesome. Seriously. The opening load screen describing just how terrible your apartment is evokes gritty far-future and film noir. It gets better from there. Really.
The game is very faithful to the setting- Seattle in 2054, surrounded by at least five separate nations carved from the United States in the wake of the Sixth World's reawakening, causing magic to return to the world. (Various Native American tribes created their own nations, the South did indeed rise again, Canada conquered by the US, and elves took over Oregon and Washington. Go get one of the core rulebooks and read up on the lore!)
It comes with mod tools so you can make your own adventures. The mod tools look very easy to use (aside from editing items, which you have to do with Notepad. This was a deliberate choice of the game designers.)
The game is replayable. Beat the game as a street samurai? Try it as a shaman! Let's see if you can go without spending as much karma in weapon skills!
[Reveal] Spoiler:
One of the characters is Jake Armitage, the SNES Shadowrun game's protagonist, and the final boss song is a remix of one of the best songs from that game!


THE CONS
It'll probably go on sale like next week or something because Steam loves doing that to me.
The game's short-- like ten hours. But what do you expect for twenty bucks?
A bit buggy- sometimes my medkits and grenades vanish from my inventory never to be seen again.
There's no free exploration of Seattle. You get taken from one plot point to the next, and there's one sidejob you can do (a run on Renraku Industries, which should be absolutely terrifying if you know anything about the Shadowrun universe.)
No free exploration means karma (your experience points) and nuyen (your money) are finite resources.
The game, while faithful to the characters and setting, aren't as faithful to the PNP rules. This is a conceit of having to go from pen and paper game with friends and open world to single-player turn-based RPG.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The endgame pulls a bit of bullcrap on you, but only slightly. You may want to spend some karma training your Shotguns skill.


IN SUMMARY
Go buy the game already!


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