Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 728 Ratings

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  • Summary: Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, is back and Shadowrun Returns is the game that Shadowrun fans have been waiting for. A 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat. According to the Mayan Calendar (and lots of tabloids), the world will end on December 21, 2012. Its part a 5,200 year cycle of death and rebirth that, in Shadowrun, actually charts the ebb and flow of magic from the Earth. So, on 12/21/12 magic will return, end this world, and wreak holy havoc while starting the next. Aboriginal cultures, who maintained their mystical traditions, are the first to feel the return of magic and use their newfound power to reshape the political, financial, and physical world around them. As the magic increases, Elf and Dwarf babies are born to very surprised parents who carry the right combination of long-dormant genes. But all of these events pale in comparison to the horror of "goblinization", which painfully reshapes the teenage bodies of those unlucky enough to carry dominant Ork or Troll genes. And then the first Great Dragon rises from its 5,200 yearlong hibernation and circles over Tokyo, signaling that the world has truly AWAKENED.

    Fast forward two generations, to a world transformed not only by the growth of magic but by the acceleration of cyber technologya continual effort to improve upon the gifts that nature gave humanity; by the inevitable maturation of the World Wide Web into the Matrixa network directly accessible by the human brain; and by the near elimination of governments as they are replaced megacorporationsmonolithic entities who see only customers, not citizens.

    And moving through the dark shadows cast by the gleaming towers of the corps, are Shadowrunners disposable assets and corporate pawns scratching out a living using a combination of technology, magic, and street smarts. Shadowrunners live between the cracks and operate outside the law, doing the dirty work that corporate wage-slaves wont soil their hands with and occasionally acting as the only protection the citizenry can turn to.

    Welcome to the world of Shadowrun, where man meets magic and machine.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. 90
    This is one of the most satisfying and complete tactical roleplaying experiences to come out of 2013 and realistically the last few years.
  2. Oct 5, 2013
    Shadowrun Returns is a bit more simplistic than I had hoped for, but at the same time it is not bad at all. [Sept 2013]
  3. Aug 7, 2013
    Even if Shadowrun Returns can't be compared with the giants of the RPG genre, it has enough character to shine and to show us the storytelling potential of the powerful editor.
  4. Aug 20, 2013
    Shadowrun Returns is an old-style RPG based on a robust and well calculated gameplay, that will entertain all the fans of the genre and a large group of nostalgic. At the same time, this project is also very limited and linear.
  5. Jul 25, 2013
    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.
  6. Aug 9, 2013
    Shadowrun Returns is enjoyable while it lasts, thanks in large part to its great writing and enthralling murder mystery.
  7. Jul 26, 2013
    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.

See all 54 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 289
  1. Jul 25, 2013
    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
  2. Jul 31, 2013
    Shadowrun Returns is really a great game. That means if you are the right generation for it. While I personally love the isometric background consisting of handdrawn elements, I do understand that this might go against the current taste of time where RPGs like Skyrim are available. Me, being grown up with BG and Fallout, I definitely can feel the 2D charme.
    What can not be shown in engine is described in well written text before you enter a scene or while communicating with NPCs.
    All in all It's a bit like a interactive book (coming from P&P I presume this is the intention) of course you have to like such things. If you expect effects and super-spectacular action you probably won't be happy with this game.
    However, if you like P&P and the great shadowrun setting, this game is for you. Especially, since a very comfortable and easy understandable editor allows the users to create their own campaigns and stories (in as much detail as the developer since it's the same editor they used). A big pro here is, that the main campaign is included as sources and can be loaded in the editor to get a good idea how things work.

    Well long story short:
    -> I love it, P&P and oldschool CRPG fans will probably love it.
    -> People needing 3D graphic and its effects or don't like reading text are better off not touching this gem

    + Beautiful 2D background
    + Nicely written story for the main campaign
    + Great Setting
    + Powerful Editor
    + Already quite some user generated content available
    + Neat Soundtrack fitting to the setting

    - Animations are not really nice looking or smooth
    - Sound effects miss variation and quality
    - no voice actors
  3. Jul 26, 2013
    A lot of people are noticing what I'm seeing as the major drawing point of this game. The Campaign included with the game purchase is a fun 9 hour introduction into the Shadowrun universe, and it provides a fun way to learn about the universe, the lore, and the combat.

    While the combat may not be as polish as others in it genre (Xcom, Jagged alliance, etc.) It does provide a fun and challenging experience that I felt provided an authentic experience. My guns felt like they were doing damage, and my runners were viable no matter the spec.
  4. Aug 16, 2013
    Not huge, but pretty. Way better than a lot of the other games being offered by kickstarted publishers.

    Here is another sentence to get it
    to 150 characters, Expand
  5. Sep 22, 2013
    SR is probably slightly overrated at the moment as we are still coming out of a drought in the oldschool tactical RPG subgenre, leading reviewers to grade it on a bit of a curve simply because there are very few games like it at the moment. Ultimately, SR is a competent, but as yet unremarkable old-school RPG. Future patches and player content may bring more to the table.

    Hopefully SR's first effort will prove to be just the leading crest of a small wave in isometric oldschool RPGs, because by itself it is somewhat overwhelming.

    -Great user mod tools.
    -Solid combat system, though you probably need to crank up the difficult to experience any challenge.
    -Strong atmosphere, reinforced by the consistent tone of the (generally competent) writing.

    -Far too linear to be a true successor to the isometric RPG classics.
    -Save system can be inconvenient (though I personally was only trivially inconvenienced by it).

    -Unclear if SR's community will be large and creative enough to supply interesting community content.
    -Harebrained Schemes has heard the most common critiques of the game regarding linearity, save system, length, etc., and the next campaign ("Berlin") will attempt to address them.
  6. Jul 29, 2013
    It's not an rpg, more an adventure text game with some rpg assets and a limited tactical battle system.

    It's not a bad game, but the
    feature that make me stop playing it, it's the autosave system no autosave before battle, no autosave on exit...

    Worse autosave system I ever seen.

    Sometimes you encounter a difficult battle or a large map with a lot of running and reading around to do and no being able to save on exit or just before a battle just screw you to repeat all the process...

    It's clearly a poor system, and for a 1,8 m kickstarter game, I don't understand the lack of polish in the autosave system.

    I've stopped playing and will not come back if something it's not done about it...

    for the game a solid 7.5 I said, but as tha autosave system is just ruining my limited game time, it will be a 5 for me in the end.

    JPR out!
  7. Dec 4, 2013
    What a wonderful idea... I backed it on Kickstarter. But, the game just doesn't run on my Linux machine at all and the developer's bug reporting system is haphazard so I have gotten no feedback about when it might actually run. For that matter, even though they advanced to the Linux version number more than half of their website still refers to the previous patch level. Another example of a developer pushing a game out half-baked and then failing to patch the game up to its level of promise. Expand

See all 289 User Reviews