Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. Jul 26, 2013
    75
    Shadowrun Returns is a fun game. It is solid and with enormous potential. What is being shown now is just a small part of what may be achieved and everyone knows that when the community has the necessary tools, they end up doing great things. Harebrained Schemes has managed where to draw the line between the possible and the ambitious, but seems to have behaved too conservatively and it shows with the lack of content. If those responsible and users know how to profit what has been created, we will have a game that will be worth much more. But all of this is about to happen.
  2. Aug 2, 2013
    74
    Shadowrun Returns’ bang-to-buck ratio is largely going to depend on the quality of content that springs up from the devs and the community after release, but as it stands today, it’s a mostly average RPG running in a visually underwhelming engine.
  3. 73
    The game features good writing, interesting characters and a charming retro style. It's fine for a couple of hours, but don't expect a lot of depth or variety: For a roleplaying game, Shadowrun Returns is exceptionally linear. Most levels consist of confined rooms or streets with no exploration elements to speak of. Character interaction is limited and most quests don't offer any freedom of choice. We have high hopes for the future though: The game ships with a powerful editor and the passionate community is already at work.
  4. Jul 25, 2013
    73
    The bite-sized scope and limited choices available make me more interested to see what Shadowrun Returns will be a year from now, after the community has used the included mod tools to build on it, than in what it is today.
  5. Jul 30, 2013
    71
    Vivid descriptions of the setting and the people you are talking to help to liven up the game, but never enough to make you forget that there is no voice acting. It also lacks the depth you would expect from something set in so rich a universe and, as it stands, Shadowrun Returns does not surpass a classification that goes beyond “a fun little RPG”.
  6. Sep 10, 2013
    70
    Shadowrun Returns will probably please most fans if perhaps not blow anyone out of the water. The campaign is well written and serves as a good introduction for new players. The variety in combat and character creation and dialogue options is great but suffers from a badly implemented autosave system. With lots of new campaigns on the horizon Shadowrun Returns is well worth keeping an eye on.
  7. Sep 2, 2013
    70
    Shadowrun Returns suffers from a few design flaws and a rather short main campaign, but it’s still an entertaining RPG. The strategic combat is interesting, but too easy even on hard difficulty. The RPG system is rather shallow, and none of the games important decisions are yours to make, even though the story is solid enough. This’ll be a nostalgic trip for older gamers and a good introduction to an old fashioned RPG for the younger ones. Sadly Harebrained rely too much on the community for new content.
  8. Aug 27, 2013
    70
    Shadowrun Returns is a great role-playing game, which retrieves the features of the original representing them in a perfect title for fans.
  9. Aug 23, 2013
    70
    Any person eager for the heyday of the pen & paper days of RPGs should find this a nice blast from the past.
  10. Aug 9, 2013
    70
    Shadowrun Returns is enjoyable while it lasts, thanks in large part to its great writing and enthralling murder mystery.
  11. Aug 5, 2013
    70
    But it's entertaining and engaging throughout, and lovingly faithful to the source material. And that, chummer, is good enough for me.
  12. Jul 31, 2013
    70
    An enjoyable role-playing game with the scent of a classic, if not the essence.
  13. Jul 30, 2013
    70
    Shadowrun Returns meets lots of expectations outlined during the Kickstarter campaign. It's an atmospheric story based on the Shadowrun universe and its adaptations. The game looks like a good "analog" RPG session, with a clear goal and epilogue. Unfortunately the campaign is a simple, one-shot experience, and not a deep RPG system. Don't expect a complex, multi-threaded game with lots of important decisions to make - Shadowrun Returns is not like that, but a really good story makes up for it. And there's the editor that allows to create great things, but requires suitable and talented people.
  14. Jul 29, 2013
    70
    It may not last long and it may have issues with its save feature, but the time spent adventuring in this futuristic vision of Seattle will be well worth any frustrations you may encounter.
  15. Jul 29, 2013
    70
    Though hindered somewhat by game-design oversights and one hell of a game-breaking bug, Shadowrun Returns remains a satisfying strategy-RPG largely defined by its world and lore, but also as a platform for more and more standalone adventures.
  16. Jul 29, 2013
    70
    That’s what Shadowrun Return provides, of course: it’s not just a single tale of murder and techno-conspiracy. It’s a ruleset and a tileset, and a promise of more to come.
  17. Jul 28, 2013
    70
    There are some issues with game difficultly and length, but this is one of the most successful Kickstarters so far – and an excellent retro style role-player in its own right.
  18. Jul 25, 2013
    70
    A nice first dice roll for Harebrained Schemes, but not a critical one. Shadowrun Returns boasts a solid-enough tactical gameplay, but doesn't use it fully enough on this first campaign. You won't feel threatened in combat, and the story is very linear - at least it's a good one. The atmosphere and the fantastic Shadowrun universe are its biggest strengths, so let's hope the community and Harebrained will enrich the game as much as it is worthy to be.
  19. Jul 25, 2013
    70
    Despite the strange omissions and Shadowrun Returns' habitual blinking in the face of bigger gameplay ambitions, it's still an engaging return to a world and fiction that's sat dormant for far too long.
  20. Aug 5, 2013
    65
    Thanks to some well-written dialogue, directing your party of four can be entertaining. However, turn-based battles sacrifice tactical depth for gadgets and gimmickry, while collision detection as well as AI behavior leave room for improvement.
  21. Jul 25, 2013
    63
    As an RPG, however, Shadowrun Returns falls flat on his stomach.
  22. Sep 13, 2013
    60
    Shadowrun Returns is a faithful reinterpretation (and in a vague sense, sequel) to the SNES game from 20 years ago, maybe a bit too faithful. Though most aspects of the the wild and unruly Shadowrun world is included, the promise of this game lies more in the open embrace of the mod community than the included adventure.
  23. Jul 26, 2013
    60
    A perfectly capable tactical RPG that's unfortunately light on both the tactics and the RPG. Not really bad in any way, but I suspect this won't really shine until the community get to grips with the editor.
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 803 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 302
  1. Jul 25, 2013
    4
    Shadowrun Returns is nice. But nice isn't great. Which is a serious disappointment after all those enthusiastic videos from harebrained and those positive previews all over the net.

    The story is good. Sometimes it feels like it's written by a pubescent nerd, but anyone familiar with Shadowrun shouldn't be surprised by that. It fits the universe and is very entertaining. (+5)

    The only problem is, that it doesn't feel like any choice you make matters. The story just goes on and on in the same direction, no matter how you behave. But that can be fixed by custom campaigns created by the community. (-1)

    The combat is good, too. Its nothing surprisingly great, but a well made turn based tactical combat system. Not too hard and not too easy, just generally well made. (+4)

    A serious issue are the technical shortcomings:

    * There's no save system except for autosaves on map changes. This can get really frustrating when real life calls and you have to quit before finishing a map. To me, this is a fail at game design. (-3)

    * The UI is clearly made for touch screens. Its just ugly. Everything feels kind of out of proportion and needs to be clicked. Very much not intuitive and no shortcuts whatsoever. Which leads to the next problem.. (-1)

    * No customizable keybindings. You can't even switch weapons with the mouse wheel. You have to click the up and down buttons on the screen. Same goes for spells, which cant be used by pressing a number but have to be clicked. This is really bad design and clearly shows harebrained's origin in mobile gaming. (-1)

    The background graphics are great. Much love was put into them and there's so much detail, it's always great to see such nice 2D graphics. (+1)
    But then there's the character models. It seems the background was much more important to harebrained than the characters. They seriously lack detail in any way and generally look quiet bad. Its nothing game breaking, but really sad to see. (-1)

    The bright beacon of hope for this game is the mighty editor. The community gets all the tools to create their own campaigns and addons which is a lot of fun to do and gives hope for custom content, that fixes some of the negative aspects of SRR. (+1)

    In conclusion, I don't regret backing the game, but I'm also not satisfied with it.
    The technical shortcomings need to be fixed asap to make this nice game for fans into a fun experience for everyone!

    4 of 10
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 25, 2013
    10
    An amazing game living up to the Shadowrun name. If you weren't a fan of the series before you should be now. Beautiful artwork and great tactical strategy elements mixed with true Shadowrun RPG style. Also the ability to create your own complete runs adds INFINITE possibilities.

    This game has SERIOUS superior re-playability
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 25, 2013
    4
    The game is good, but there are some major down points being glossed over by fan-children or sales representatives.

    1) No save anywhere
    system. You can and will lose up to 30 mins. of progress because you did not hit the checkpoint. There is no save after a certain time either, its only on checkpoint, so if you have to do something, or are otherwise interrupted, you end up going back through a lot of dialogue and decisions you have already made, not just combat.
    2) Unlimited ammo. Got a sweet rocket launcher? Shoot it forever.
    3) Extremely linear; hopefully the user created campaigns are better.

    Still probably a good game for a Shadowrun fan; if youre not a fan, you might want to wait for a sale.
    Full Review »