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

User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 810 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.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. Jul 25, 2013
    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
    82
    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
    80
    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
    75
    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
    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.
  6. Aug 9, 2013
    70
    Shadowrun Returns is enjoyable while it lasts, thanks in large part to its great writing and enthralling murder mystery.
  7. 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.

See all 54 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 303
  1. 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
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  2. Jul 30, 2013
    10
    So I'm minutes after completing Dead Man's Switch and it was a great experience! Enjoyable storyline, great game mechanics and overall very addictive if turn based combat combined with the allure of the Shadowrun world interests you. Right away you can see the potential this game has with future content created by either HBS or us gameplayers.

    People complain about the lack of save points but I think it is unfair criticism- the game would be far too easy if you had the ability to save within checkpoints. In other words, this game has a "Demon/Dark Souls" like difficulty to it if you don't know what you're doing. If your computer crashes- well suck it up and try it again.

    I am going to try my hand with the content editor. Looking very forward to seeing what new content people can come up with!
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  3. Jul 26, 2013
    9
    I am about six hours in and am enjoying myself quite a bit. Really feels like a pen and paper Shadowrun game from back in the day. Minor technical glitches, no Co-op and and annoying save system bring the experience down but it is a few patches and some custom mods away from being a truly great single player RPG, totally worth the price I payed. Expand
  4. Jul 29, 2013
    8
    Not bad. I certainly felt that its setting and world was unique, I mean, nobody else has tried to mix DnD with cyberpunk. Writing's decent. Combat's great, and the environment's are gorgeous. Plus it's got plenty of shelf life with its editor.

    There are a few problems to it. The environment can obscure certain areas at the bottom of the screen, there's no ability to traverse floors, Speechcraft while serviceable, is fairly no-thrills and it can be a bit difficult to control units close to each other in battle. Plus the main campaign kinda felt pretty short. Finally, its checkpoint save system was not fun to use.

    Still, I enjoyed it. A good respectable return by the franchise.
    Expand
  5. Sep 21, 2014
    7
    The game features fantastic isometric images and great music, but that's it for me. I particularly don't like turn based combat, I'm not good at them, because it seems you need the optimal build from the start to make it. I failed in the very first combat session in this game: you somehow seem to be overwhelmed all the time. However, positive thing is that the designers gave multiple options to accomplish a task with either money, few of the skills or talk style. (I don't like games where you are cut from content because of your build, especially if it is somewhat tedius to replay to the same decision point over and over.) Missions barely give enough profit if you bring multiple shadowrunners along, which is almost always a must. Note that this is my opinion about the default Dead man's switch campaign, which has modestly interresting story, but not that engaging. Expand
  6. Jul 26, 2013
    5
    Whilst the game has its own charms, what it basically boils down to is a wall of text with choices lead to the same result no matter what you pick. Also there is very little action, with little interaction. For example entire streets are eye candy, just something to walk down, with nothing to do in them. The game play seems extremely linear and the lack of a save function means reading the wall of text again due to lost progress becomes a reason not to reload the game at all. Whilst the story is interesting, I think reading a Shadowrun book would be a lot cheaper and more fun than playing the shadowrun returns game. Expand
  7. Sep 6, 2014
    0
    Pile of garbage. If I have no stash I cannot buy **** for my characters. My main needs to be able to use what I buy because the stash disappears when I select another character. The thing is this **** over UGC too. Pistols are **** Oh and the graphics are **** Expand

See all 303 User Reviews