Aug 4, 2013After completing the game and spending some time working with the User Generated Content tools, I'm afraid I have to drop my original score from a 6 to 4. Below is my original review with some minor revisions to address the change in score:
I was really stoked for a reboot of the CRPG version of Shadowrun, especially after Microsoft and FASA tried exploiting the world for a terrible FPS years ago. I loved the PNP version and played both the SNES and Genesis Shadowrun games so when I first heard about this I was excited.
Unfortunately, if you're looking for a CRPG in the style of older ones, keep walking. Shadowrun barely qualifies. The game offers the typical Shadowrun classes but then makes them completely arbitrary and therefore meaningless, since a "perk" of the game is that you can make your own "class" by assigning your own points anywhere. It took a modder to create a loot system because the devs themselves didn't put it in (mobs always drop the same items all the time in the base game), and there's no difference from character to character or "choice" to "choice". Most of the time spent will be spent reading, not playing, and combat is so simplistic, even on the harder difficulty levels, that you have to be a complete moron to fail at it.
For the classes and skill point themselves, they're ultimately meaningless. Dump enough points into health and one attack type and you'll win. If you want to play the game on "EZ-Mode", remember these two words: Street Samurai. "Stat" checks to accomplish things in the game are exceedingly rare, and stat checks in dialog trees are pointless because they always funnel you to the same place without adding anything of real substance. You can't augment your specific class by hiring Shadowrunners e.g. a hired Decker cannot unlock a datapad that requires Decking so Shadowrunners are basically just cannon fodder to make the game even easier.
Then there's the save game issue. Saving by checkpoints, causing players to repeat entire sections of game (mostly reading the same dialog over again) simply because the devs couldn't be bothered to add in a simple quick save, state save, or save on exit capability is ridiculous. Case-in-point: The game crashed, hard, early on in my first Shaman (in the Redmond Barrens), and the save system was so borked that it hadn't even saved, at all. About an hour of play was completely erased, leaving me to start over from character creation.
I'm sorry to say that this game is more akin to reading a b-rated, poorly written graphic novel than playing a game. There's little connection with the characters, the game is broken down into completely linear chapters with few side quests to do, player agency is minimal, and the writing bounces between well crafted and bad fan fiction. Credit where it's due, though: the background art is amazing and the music is top notch.
Originally, I had said "save your money and wait for a sale, or wait for user generated content to make the game worth purchasing". However, after playing with the UGC toolkit, I can't even recommend the game for community content. This is because the toolkit, while expansive, doesn't allow content creators address the fundamental flaws in the Unity engine itself. All addons are going to be as linear as the original main episode, and the RPG elements will always be lackluster because these are core components in the engine that simply cannot be "edited" through the toolkit. There will never be a community "open world" addition because the engine simply cannot allow for it. Even the BEST user generated content for SRR will suffer ALL of the same foibles of the core game.
If you're looking for nostalgia, just replay Fallout 1 or 2, or pop in Shadowrun for SNES or Genesis on a handy dandy emulator and save your money for a better game. I guess Harebrained can at least be happy in knowing that a 4/10 is still better than what I'd rate Shadowrun the FPS.… Expand
Jul 27, 2013There's a lot of criticism on this game. Some is unjust and some is valid.
If you like a game with a good story and nice tactical turn-based combat this is a game worth playing but not without its' shortcomings.
Here's some silly critiscism:
- The game has too much text. there's no such thing as too much text!
- The game has terrible graphics Are you kidding me? Beautiful handcrafted graphics and very good animations for an indie game!
- You can't save whenever you want Well, that's how games should be, there are consequences for doing mistakes! Dark Souls anyone?
Here's some valid criticism:
- The game is short
- The story is linear and your decisions don't really matter
- The game is too easy
All of the above will be fixed with custom campaigns, so in the end there's pretty much nothing to whine about...… Expand
Jul 26, 2013I'd been looking forward to Shadowrun Returns since first hearing about it's kickstarter and waited and waited. Now that it's a reality, I am quite pleased. First and foremost, my favorite thing is the atmosphere and world creation. SR does an incredible job of realizing the world of Shadowrun. It takes no time to treat you like an ignoramus and paints a natural picture of the world you occupy. Hearing casual talk about magic and trolls in an environment occupied by machine guns is refreshing. This makes way for a fantastic and well written story that feels a bit noirish, with your main character acting a bit like a detective. The primary tale has you trying to solve the murder of a friend whose pre-recorded a message asking you to find his killer, with a handsome reward waiting.
The game opens with a customization that makes you feel as though you've just delved into the PnP RPG of yore. You can customize your character, picking from several different and distinct fantasy races. You then can use Karma points to upgrade your character and build them as you see fit, whether it's a deckker built for hacking computer systems, a shaman specializing in magic and healing, or a street samurai, specializing in combat. My own personal tastes had me create an elven street samurai gifted with natural charisma.
Gameplay is comparable to last years Xcom, where you and up to three other runners, which are made up of important story characters or ones you hire. Once in combat, you have several option to choose from, between close and ranged weapons combat, magic, healing, movement, and so on. The gameplay is fairly simple, though strategy can be complex. You will across an assortment of enemies, and will have to play intelligently to keep your characters from dying.
However, combat is only one aspect of gameplay. You will come across other problems you will have to solve, such as navigating conversations and investigations. While the story is fairly straight forward, how you get from point A to point B is up to you. Examples include fighting, complying with, or bribing characters to have your way. Multiple choices in this game are less about multiple reactions and more about picking the best solution that suits you. In my case, my highly charismatic elf is gifted at talking his way into getting what he wants, though he also specializes in combat.
Maybe the best part of SR is the map/game builder. You have all the tools you need to create your own chapter in the Shadowrun saga. It goes a long way to making the game completely worthwhile and having long lasting value. And in case you might think it's overpriced, the game is only about $20, and it's worth every penny. For any fan of the older games, this is very much a worthy game to the title it holds.… Expand
Jul 25, 2013I'm really enjoying this game. It seems like a lot of people are eager to judge it based on expectations for a baldur's gate like game, a skyrim like game, or other things that just seem completely off.
To me, it feels closer in combat to xcom or fallout. I was worried it was too complex to get into but have already started digging it I meant to start out making a samuri decker, but just through the skill system ended up making a pistol toting shaman and have loved finding spirits to summon in my surroundings. It's rare that a game gets me out of my intentions and it feels like the system itself is shaping my experience. I like the sound a lot, I like the character's quips, and I'm brought back to fond memories of the SNES game. Anyway, check it out for yourself.… Expand
Jul 25, 2013Shadowrun Returns is everything I hoped it to be. It has an extremely captivating and fun narrative that'll pull you in straight away, always giving you a hunger for more. The gameplay is fun and although it would have been cool if it were deeper, it feels enough like a proper old RPG like Baldur's Gate or Fallout to captivate me. Graphically the game is beautiful as well; the textures are of high quality and the top-down perspective is well-executed.
An excellent RPG that will immerse you in its story and world before you know it.… Expand
Jul 26, 2013While I support the developers for returning to the isometric turn based RPGs, I'm very disappointed with the result. The game is 100% linear. Your choices don't matter. You have to replay the same scene (up to 30 minutes) after you had to close the game due to RL distractions or simply not feeling like continue playing at the moment. I'm going to wait a couple of months for at least the save anywhere functionality. For now I will just uninstall it.… Expand
Jul 26, 2013A nice tactical RPG with excellent music and backgrounds. The character animations aren't great (though not terrible either) and there is a complete lack of any voice acting, but overall the story is very enjoyable and the dialogue is well written.
More side quests would be excellent, and we will probably see a healthy modding community start building many side quests either as extensions of the main game or as their own stories. The character customization and loot are fairly simplistic, and the interface seems like it really had tablets in mind (good if you're playing on a tablet, so-so if you're on a PC). Loot from enemies would have been an excellent addition, even if much of it were just fenced for extra Nuyen.
One very poor design choice was to make saving only occur between "levels" or the loading of new maps. A save state during gameplay would have made much more sense, and for those who feel like that's cheating to constantly reload to attempt something difficult they could have included a "hardcore" more in which death is permanent and a complete replay of the game/level is required.
For the price ($20 at launch) this is a pretty good game, certainly no AAA title but enough to keep me entertained and excited to see what the modding community comes up with, which will probably end up being as good or better than the main campaign, which I only wish were a bit longer and had significantly more side quests and exploration instead of railroaded 99% of the time.… Expand
Aug 7, 2013Just finished the game; Overall I enjoyed the experience quite a bit. The main campaign that comes with the game "Dead Man's Switch" runs about 12 or so hours. I truly enjoyed the game's story and tactical combat; however in my opinion only Hard and Very Hard difficulties offer any challenge. So here are some Pros and Cons: Pros: - Great Storyline - Good atmosphere - Tactical Combat (on Hard or Very Hard)
- Pretty Solid Dialog
- No Save Game; only checkpoint save (Modders have already figured out how to change this)
- Very Linear
- Lack of dialog consequences; Need to believe that dialog options matter… Expand
Jul 26, 2013The lack of player controlled save system is the only major downside to this top down turn based rpg.
Hopefully that's something modders can address there is however a charecter importer to bring your avatar into as many player created missions as you want (mod tools included with base game and integrated with the steam workshop) If nothing else this is a solid investment at it's price for what it has the potential to be.… Expand
Dec 6, 2013Backed it on Kickstarter and have to say i was expecting more.
I've finished it, tried some of the user content never picked it up again.
Since seeing it's release on the iOS market. And re-analyzing the game.
I can't help but feel the PC market was NEVER there audience on Kickstarter and the aim was to always make a tablet product.
Worth a playthrough for $5 wouldn't spend anymore.
Jul 28, 2013Been a fan of Shadowrun since early 90's and was looking forward to this game. As I can forgive the straightforward story where player only controls the fights, the worst thing in this game is that there is no save game option. So basic thing in gaming and devs "forgot" to include it.
Jul 26, 2013Shadowrun Returns brings the post apocalyptic world of Seattle back to life, brought to you by the people that started it all in the first place more than 20 years ago.
While there may be some tropes from modern day RPGs such as massive inventories and phat lootz dropping every 3 seconds not present, the streamlined interface and focused game play allow the story and setting to take a much more prominent role. Shadowrun Returns is a triumphant return of the Shadowrun universe to the electronic mediums.
There are some very minor points that i found missing from the Pen and Paper game, such as Stun and Physical damage, but all in all, Hairbrained Schemes has done a wonderful job of putting together what is needed to take me back to days gone by with friends sitting around a table, rolling handfuls of 6 sided dice, dodging Lone Star and working for whichever Mr Johnson happened to be paying the bills that particular week.… Expand
Aug 5, 2013I want to like this game, I do. But this game doesn't want to like me. It insists on making me read pages and pages of unskippable, unnecessary dialogue (written by some Hideo Kojima protege), only letting me actually play the game for a few minutes at a time. I usually play a game because I want to PLAY a game, not read a book, 3 sentences at a time, on a 5th grade reading level. The whole time I was "playing" this, I kept thinking about how Fallout 2 did this whole thing so much better, and did it so very, very long ago. And Fallout 2 at least had some spoken dialogue, too, and that was practically a DOS game! I get the impression that this thing is more of a nice portfolio padder for Weisman than a game meant for public consumption. Get the game if you love the shadowrun universe. Skip the game if you like games.… Expand
Aug 9, 2013The game is pretty short and is relying on user generated material to pad out the length (which I think is lazy of the developers). Game is very old fashion design wise and looks like a game from the late 90's early 2000's. Encountered a couple of minor bugs. I'd recommend waiting until it's on sale before buying it. Waiting will also mean more time for user content to be generated which is what this game seems to be all about. Still in a market where old school RPGs are rare this does hit a certain sentimental spot with me which is why I give it a 6/10 instead of a 5 or lower.… Expand
Aug 16, 2013Shadowrun Returns is a good game if you like older CRPGs like Baldur's Gate or Fallout 1 and worth checking out, especially as UGC begins to come out. It may not have the flashy graphics of a TES V: Skyrim, but SRR frankly doesn't need them. My only issue with the graphics are the character models, which look generally ugly. Here is certainly room from improvement. The storytelling is great, though highly linear and the story is a bit short.
A big plus is the game's editor, which is quite powerful and while not as userfriendly as the Aurora toolset (NWN 1), it's far from being unwieldy.
The game's main issue is the utterly horrid save game system that allows for auto-saves only and those occur only upon a map change. This is something the developer will have to look into.… Expand
Jul 26, 2013Kickstarted this game from day 1 as it's A) Shadowrun which I love in PnP B) The editor they promise reminds me of the good old NWN heydays. And while I don't regret backing (15$ was it?), I can't say I'm satisfied by the game. As it is right now sadly it does not deliver. Pros: - The modding function appear to be nearly as powerful as promised - The story is so far very enjoyable
- Lack of Save system
- Lack of Loot/inventory system
- Poor implementation of PnP Shadowrun rules (classless system where you can be the perfect hero in every possible skill. Yay Elder Scrolls vomit)
- Other various UI annoyances like switching weapons/scrolls/matrix programs
- Lack of consequences for the choices you make
What flaws there are to the campaign isn't all too important to me, as I still remember NWN1's horrendous single player campaign, and it's still my favourite game after spending 6 years on UGC.
What really ticks me off is the flaws that sadly can't be fixed by plain modding. Granted, I haven't looked completely in depth yet. But as it seems the game as a whole does not support saves, is built for an iPhone UI instead of a Desktop UI, and has a wack implementation of PnP rules the core itself is damaged and probably unfixable by modders.
I doubted for a long time what score to give this game. But in it's current state, I can't possible go any higher than a five. I hope in a few months custom content and patches by the developers will convince me otherwise.… Expand
Jul 30, 2013I have to admit that I am an RPG gamer of old and remember the likes of Fallout and Baldur's Gate very fondly and this brought the memory of those games flooding back.
It has a compelling film noir style story set in a steam punk world which really steals the show. It kept me engaged and interested through the approximately 10 hour game time. The script is enjoyable and there were some characters I would love to have more time to get to know (particularly Mr Kluwe). The dialogue reminded me of fellow indie game Gunpoint, which is no bad thing.
If there was one negative it would be the save system. It's a bit loose and hard to really grasp where the game saved. That said, I played through the whole thing in two days so not much need for saving really.
Overall, highly recommended and one of the most enjoyable games I've played in some time.… Expand
Jul 26, 2013A mediocre game, with what looks to be a great engine behind it.
Could be a great game in 6 months after there is a reasonable amount of user content available for it, but I don’t know how reasonable it is to expect the community to put together a good game…isn’t that what we paid for?
The music is excellent.
Sep 20, 2013A pretty fun game, especially since I came in with no expectations. There's little replay value, as the game revolves around a couple mysteries that just cant hold my attention the second time around. Still, the system is fairly interesting, and combat is ok.
Nov 23, 2013There's a lot to like about Shadowrun Returns. Not the least of which it is a huge amount of fun. Fun marred by some silly but painful issues but still fun.
What Shadowrun does right is the turn based game is simple but still tactical. The story moves fast and leaves me compelled to read all the text boxes.
A little mediocre are the graphics and more so the sound effects. Not a big issue unless you're expecting something that looks like XCom: Enemy Unknown.
What it does wrong is unfortunate and honestly feels like it could have been fixed with a couple of weeks more effort. This game only auto-saves. And those saves are few and far between (generally 15 to 20 minutes of game-play). This can be quite frustrating when a simple battles turns into a run of bad dice rolls and a character you didn't want dead ends of up dead.
Or, more annoyingly, when you need to shut down and spend quarter of an hour hunting for the next save point (Why not save when closing the parties locker?)
The next big issue (again a small programming issue) is that I run a higher than usual resolution but can only zoom as if I was running a much lower resolution leaving everything looking tiny including interactive icons. This is exacerbated by character dialogues that change the camera zoom. And there is a lot of dialogue.
All in a all a pretty awesome game almost broken by two small issues. Oops.… Expand
Jul 31, 2013The Good: Atmosphere, variety of character options, decent music, good story, nice writing and, presumably, future community made content.
The Bad: Character options, whilst varied, don't seem to matter much in terms of gameplay. Very limited and basic combat with no real strategy available or indeed needed. No exploration. Poor A.I. Finally, there's no challenge even on hardest difficulty setting since I stumbled around like a clueless fool and still only died once.… Expand
Aug 2, 2013Shadowrun Returns is an isometric tactical RPG reminiscent of classic RPGs like Fallout, Neverwinter Nights, or Arcanum. The game takes place in a cyberpunk Seattle populated with fantasy creatures, magic, and high technology. Right from the start, the game world sucks you in with beautifully detailed levels and characters. Surprising for some, this game features no voice acting. Instead, brief narrations often accompany NPC dialogue which do a great job sucking you into the world. Few modern games have writing as good as this, and yet, your dialogue choices are still lackluster. Every response you can give is essentially a variation of "Alright" with varying degrees of attitude. Player choice is essentially non existent as the game is highly linear. Levels are cramped and there is rarely room for exploration. The few side quests there are are purely optional, but you'd be a fool not to do them as they often provide essential cash. The interface is largely good but certain mechanics, namely spell equipping, could have used more information. The leveling system is fine but Charisma is a largely useless stat. Character class balance could be better but overall isn't bad. Mages often become little more than heal bots unless you're on a higher difficulty and riggers leave a bit to be desired. Deckers (hackers) have limited combat usefulness but can enter the Matrix and hack systems thereby gaining control of turrets, opening locked areas, or shutting off security cameras. Anyone familiar with the recent X-COM reboot will be familiar with the turn based combat. There are varying degrees of cover and you expend AP to perform various actions. The game is considerably less challenging and more forgiving than the classic games it emulates so well, but the game never felt too easy or too hard. Unfortunately, there is no manual save and you are forced to rely on a checkpoint save. Messing up often means restarting an entire mission making playthroughs on higher difficulties more of a chore than it needs to be. The story is interesting though predictable. The saving grace of this game, provided people care to take the time with it, will be the mods. Already on Steam are a few interesting additions to the game and I look forward to see what else the community dreams up. If you're big into classic RPGs some of Shadowrun's design choices will upset you more than a bit, but for everyone else this is an enjoyable (if brief by RPG standards, 9-12 hours) experience.… Expand
Jul 28, 2013It was refreshing to experience a game that focused on the story. Visuals and music are also nice conceptually but the music's repetitiveness gets really annoying along the way. Beyond that, regrettably, there isn't much to Shadowrun Returns to complement its story. Regardless how much more content will be released after now, that won't change the really boring, at its core unchallenging, slow-paced gameplay. Open world or linear? Doesn't matter, I wouldn't have explored because it would have taken so long to navigate the characters there, to wait for the slow UI, to wait for the slow animations (spells being even slower), and fighting casual battles, slowly advancing your characters from one cover to the next cover. It feels like they just unpersonally copied the gameplay-design of the newest X-COM-game but obviously failed to clone it because of the lack of more resources.
It should be a lesson that this indie-game (at least from my perspective) failed right where the designers tried to copy the style of the mainstream-industry: copying X-COM, and trying to adapt Shadowrun Retruns to the "so-succesfull" casual mobile platforms, creating an interface and gameplay that screams "tablet-game"!… Expand
Jul 25, 2013Shadowrun Returns is a great throwback to isometric RPGs like Fallout and Baldur's Gate. The released module's storyline is interesting, and offers a fair amount of replayability through different class/skill loadouts or dialogue choices. Combat is engaging, and plays similar to the recently released XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which in my book isn't a bad thing. Many of the systems in Returns are also very similar to pen and paper Shadowrun. A couple valid complaints that can be leveled at SR are that it has a checkpoint save system, and it is a bit combat centric, though the latter can easily be avoided in future modules. Anyway, what's been released so far is well worth the $20 admission fee, and the user-made content being generated guarantees SR a place on my hard drive for a long time to come.… Expand
Nov 10, 2013Not many hardcore RPGs are made nowadays. I've spent nice time playing this game. However, I think that the ending in main campaign was incomplete. I'm not going to spoil anything, but I had this feeling that it could have been something more. Though, the game all in all was fun to play, you always can try campaigns made by others and the game reminded me of first & second Fallout, which I'm going to play again. Dear God, I love RPGs!… Expand
Sep 22, 201310/10 that is my valuation. For an independent, Kickstarter-based game, it is a pure gem. The story is really involving, the mood is amazing, and of course the game-mechanics are also well-defined. It could be polished here-and-there, the graphics/animations could be better, some bugs were also present (not game breaking), but overall in its category this game is simply outstanding. I recommend it to everybody, who loves cyberpunk, RPGs, turn-based strategy... Thank you, Harebrained Schemes (and Jordan Weisman) for creating this thrilling world+journey for me to escape everydays for a few days and nights:)))… Expand
Sep 13, 2013Shadowrun 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.
Sep 10, 2013Shadowrun 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.