Reviews for Shadowrun Returns

90

Best game i've played in a long while!

Shaide | Sept. 19, 2014 | See all Shaide's reviews »

Shadowrun for the SNES was my first experience with the Shadowrun universe. It exposed me to the pen and paper games, the novels and the community in general. Because of that, it has always help a special place in my heart, and while Shadowrun Returns can't ever compare to the SNES game due to the connection I have with the game, it comes insanely close. Easily the best purchase on steam ive made.

Plus, Steam workshop means you have oodles of new missions! Just like the pen and paper game, this becomes an ongoing game, thanks to the insanely talented and creative individuals working on the workshop add-ons, which is somethin the SNES game never had.

85

Watch Dogs set in the year 2500

bibboorton | Sept. 9, 2014 | See all bibboorton's reviews »

Shadowrun Returns is a tactical turn-based role-playing game with a particular focus on story. The universe in set in a futuristic world where underground independent contractors called Shadowrunners “run the shadows” in order to do dirty jobs for paying customers. It's basically Watch Dogs set in the year 2500.

The game is very text-heavy, but reading can be really fun sometimes, especially if the writing is as good as is the case with the campaign included with the base game. The universe is so well-crafted and will really soak you in despite offering a relatively basic form of entertainment. RPG elements will also allow you to build your shadowrunner in the way you like, employing a pretty unique karma system instead of regular old XP points. You can use your karma to upgrade a multitude of skills, with higher levels costing more karma. Another unique quirk of the upgrade system is you need to upgrade your base skills before you can upgrade derived skills (for example, you need a ranged combat skill to improve your pistol efficiency.)

The combat of the game is your standard turn-based strategy ala XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The cover system is a little wonky as it won't detect some places with cover, but it works. The combat system is fun, even though the difficulty is not especially high.

A main gripe with the structure of the game is its pacing. The pacing is a major concern as finishing a level is quite tedious and will end up making you want to rest for a second before continuing. This is compounded by the tediousness of moving your characters through the map one at a time, even if there’s no enemies on the screen.

The game does come with workshop support, however I really don’t trust user-generated content, especially story-based ones so I didn’t bother to try it out. However, this is definitely a surefire way to extend the life of the game.

In the campaign that comes with the base game, “the Dead Man’s Switch,” you receive a “dead man’s switch” – an insurance item for anyone that gets activated upon your death - from your friend named Sam Watts, asking for you to find his killer with a 100,000-cred reward. The story of Dead Man’s Switch is not especially groundbreaking, however the writing certainly carries it and the pay-off is quite satisfying. I did finish the main campaign in 16 hours (with alt-tab breaks in-between levels), although a major chunk of that time is relegated to combat and traversing through combat levels.

All-in-all, Shadowrun Returns is a great game for relaxing with a little bit of role-playing, reading, and strategic combat. I had a lot of fun with it, and I recommend it if you're looking for something leisurely to play on a weekend.

80

A Colorful Slice of Cyberpunk

CrimsonWizard | March 28, 2014 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »

Shadowruns Returns was the successful Kickstarter game made by some of the original developers of the series. While like other games in the series it has made some concessions from it's shift from the tabletop to the PC, as a game on it's own, it's a fantastic throwback to turn-based strategy RPGs like Fallout 1 and 2. While it doesn't have the shiniest of graphics, the art design is really nice, and the characters stand out really well, helping you to delve into the Shadowrun's mix of cyberpunk and fantasy.

The game starts you off by letting you customize your character for the campaign and to their credit, you get quite a few options with the five races available (human, dwarf, elf, orc, and troll) with plenty of looks and designs to pick from whether you play a male or female. Level progression takes the same approach since while there are predetermined classes you can optionally take, you're also free to pursue no class and spend points as you like. Either way, the rest of the game lets you spend Karma (experience points) as you like, give you a chance to branch off into different powers as you progress through missions.

The base campaign included "Dead Man's Switch" is a fairly good story, giving you a taste of Shadowrun's setting of shadowy figures, sudden twists in the mystery, and lots of grey choices. Fans of the series including fans of the older video games will be pretty happy with some of the cameos and supporting characters in the game as well, but even if you're new the game does a good job of introducing you to the world.

As for general gameplay, it's a turn based strategy RPG which in many respects mirrors the newer X-Com: Enemy Unknown's combat system with cover and overwatch mechanics being a big part of the game. I'd say the "magic" skills are a bit more useful in Shadowrun though whether you're blowing people up or supporting your heavy with extra turns and accuracy. There are a few more options compared to X-Com where you can build yourself to be able to summon allies to boost your party's numbers either with drones or spirits. The game also has a second world mechanic of sorts as well with deckers being able to delve into computer systems to invade electronic security systems or to steal precious data. While this is a neat idea, I'd say combat within the Matrix is a bit lacking and samey, unfortunately. Thankfully while it can be useful, it isn't necessary most of the time if you end up nothing being a big fan of decking either.

Overall though, is it worth it? Yes indeed, especially if you're a fan of Shadowrun or just turn based strategy RPGs in general. In the time since release a lot of the issues such as auto-saves and whatnot have been fixed, it's a lot closer to being like the tabletop game, it looks and especially sounds great, and most importantly is just some gritty fun. Give it a go if you've ever wanted to punch out a troll with a cybernetic arm! Also give a look at the DLC campaign Shadowrun: Dragonfall which is an excellent companion to the base game.

80

Shadowrun Returns - review

carlyle | Feb. 28, 2014 | See all carlyle's reviews »

The setting of Shadowrun mixes fantasy and cyberpunk noir tones and implications horror, science fiction and ghosts. The breeds are typical fantasy universe as the world draws strong inspiration from Blade Runner and, not surprisingly, has several points in common with the famous RPG Cyberpunk.

The avatar customization is really free thanks to the implementation of an opportunity that allows you to balance all the failings of our character. Between missions, and the other is in fact possible to hire up to three mercenaries in payment that will support us in the next mission. The maps are static and devoid of animated elements, apart from a few broken neon flashing sadly. And even the characters that populate the city are statues waiting for a possible script to tell them if it's time to move or fight.

The turn-based combat system is structured in a very simple way. Each character has a certain number of action points. These can be worn to activate abilities, ranging from magic to trick shots, or to move, with a visual indicator that indicates where you can get with the action points currently available. There are not resources, such as mana, and bullets are infinite even if the magazine is empty and must be recharged by spending an action point.

During the action, the characters can kneel and can take advantage of some roofs to reduce the rate of being hit by opponents. But the cover system is very limited, the fire reagent is limited to a single counter and automatic, there are not options of stealth. Shadowrun Returns can not compete with the major representatives of the genre RPG like Fallout or Arcanum or Baldur's Gate. However dialogues and skill work well, the atmosphere is great and the campaign is fun. A good title.

79

Not bad, not excellent, just right.

OMGmyFACE | Feb. 5, 2014 | See all OMGmyFACE's reviews »

I like to give scores to reviews that reflect how much in terms of percentage I feel the game is worth. 79% is about right. It's way better than the Vista FPS (which I still harbor great resentment towards since it was announced days before I got to pitch a better version at PAX - yes I'm mad!) but I felt it was inferior to the Genesis and SNES titles from way back. While the style of the gameplay harkens back to the old-school with its isometric strategy RPG system, it also suffers from quite a bit of "modern game design." There are a few cons to the pros but they're worth mentioning if you're thinking about tossing $20 at this.

  1. Aside from the cheesy dialogue that befalls the typical video game protagonist (choice A: bravado, choice B: snarky condescension, choice C: heroic promise, choice D: Malkavian), your character doesn't actually have to do anything if you're good enough at controlling the rest of your party. Makes it less of an RPG and more of a PG.

2a. The autosave feature they're proud of is not something you're going to enjoy as it saves between scene changes only - forcing you to keep whatever terrible choices or equipment you've got at the time, which could be justified as "challenging but not unfair" if it weren't for the fact that you can't prepare for them at all. Once you're done with a battle, it's either immediately into the next one or you're in a story node.

2b. Those autosaves stay on your computer forever, even when you're past the point of being able to load them, which will clog up an invisible temp folder on your boot drive if you don't check on it.

  1. The campaign creator is the reason the game is more than $15 because the story they put in was way short. 10 hours. Maybe more if you're playing with a Decker, which the main campaign isn't suited for because guns and fireballs rule all even in the cyber age. If you don't see yourself dabbling with the creator for too long, maybe wait for a sale.

All that said, if you're still interested, by all means try it out. It's rare we get a high-falutin' cyberpunk RPG experience with all the grit and freon glow you want out of a game that bears the Shadowrun name.

85

Highly recommended - especially for RPG fans

Neonberry | Dec. 22, 2013 | See all Neonberry's reviews »

Shadowrun Returns is a pleasant surprise on the RPG palette. Even though lacking superior graphics, any kind of voice acting (so if you hate reading, you might want to look elsewhere) and a huge budget behind it the game is gave me back the tabletop RPG feel much more than any other in the last few years. No wonder though, it was made by Jordan Weisman who originally created the tabletop game. However it is more than a game from fans for fans. I, for example, never been into Shadowrun (always found Cyberpunk2020 more appealing) and yet still, I love the game - the atmosphere, the story and the level of background you can get if you interact with the characters. The classes are also quite diverse so it gives you plenty of choices how you want to play (however I would recommend to always have a Decker on the team so that you can access the Matrix parts). One of the best thing about the game is the modding. If you want more after finishing the original game, you can just get some free adventures instead of waiting for pricey DLCs. Or just make your own adventure. I am well impressed by this game, because it shows that a good game doesn't necessarily have to be shiny or AAA to create an atmosphere and drain you in. I recommend it to everyone and anyone who likes turn based tactical games such as Fallout 1-2 or the cyberpunk style.

80

Worth a look

Dancer087 | Nov. 26, 2013 | See all Dancer087's reviews »

I had never played the original Shadowrun game (I did play the cross-platform FPS but, let's not go on about that) So I started playing Shadowrun Returns with little to no prior knowledge of its universe.

I was immediately drawn into the game because of its strong visual style. The neon-lit gutters and the combination of high-technology and poverty creates a very interesting universe that's certainly worth exploring, even just to see how pretty it all looks. The actual 3d characters themselves are a bit ropey looking but, you can equip multiple clothing types which changes your appearance. (Which is a big must for me, nothing urks me quite like upgrading to different equipment/armour and it having no visual difference on your character)

Combat is varied enough and incorporates a classic turn-based cover strategy style but, it's only really made interesting by the variates in the classes and their abilities.

All-in all it definitely has a lot going for it and it's certainly worth your time but to have it truly get its hooks in you, you have to give it your attention. There's pretty much 0 voice-overs but, if you spend the time to read everything and take it all in, you're almost definitely going to have a blast.

78

An excellent reboot, albeit with a few flaws

bigblueguy47 | Nov. 24, 2013 | See all bigblueguy47's reviews »

This game is certainly an excellent re-introduction to the Shadowrun series, but comes with multiple flaws, both small and large. While many issues were fixed shortly after release, others remain and slightly hinder what would otherwise be a stellar game. Saving is a clunky affair, and gameplay balance is slightly off, with certain classes getting more attention that others. The addition of community content has helped a great deal and adds extra hours to the otherwise short campaign. Here's to hoping that Harebrained takes the lessons learned from this release for future ones.

85

Not as bad as people say

taskaidomi6 | Nov. 16, 2013 | See all taskaidomi6's reviews »

I haven't played the old Shadowrun but when I saw Shadowrun Returns on Kickstarter, I got in love with it. When the game came out a lot of people didn't like it and I don't understand why. The game has only a couple of problems like the auto-save system, but I still love it. The soundtrack is amazing and the gameplay feels like a good retro RPG. The world looks amazing, I love the whole cyber-world. If you like old-school RPG's then this game is definitely for you!

94

More fun than a sock full of frogs

Joeru | Nov. 14, 2013 | See all Joeru's reviews »

Shadowrun Returns is an isometric turn based tactical RPG set in the Shadowrun universe (Fancy That :P).

While I enjoyed the default campaign for this game it leaves you wanting, thankfully,this game offers a fantastic development tool and has a fairly active and dedicated community who are publishing fantastic content and if you are skilled enough this tool is very comprehensive and accessible and a lot of fun to tool around in even if you are not.

The game itself plays as you would expect, the turn based combat is satisfying and very fluid, the art style is phenomenal giving a beautiful rendition of cyberpunk and high fantasy and a fairly decent soundtrack.

The classes are interesting but the progression system is not limiting allowing you to specialize, hybridise or do whatever the hell you want. Some of the classes include the street samurai, shaman and decker (hacker) to name a few.

If you enjoyed Xcom and Neverwinter Nights then this might be the title you have been looking for blending these two genres almost seamlessly to create a very unique and rewarding experience.

83

Shadowrun Returns

CappinCanuck | Nov. 13, 2013 | See all CappinCanuck's reviews »

Shadowrun Returns is just that, a return. It's an updated version of the SNES title with a fantastical graphical overhaul. the dark scenery and detail create visuals you could only imagine in the original title. The writing is excellent and the story is everything the original was in a metropolis mixed with magic and technology. If you are looking to replay this classic game you'll absolutely adore everything this game is about.

If you've never played the original, you should be warned that this is essentially a recreation of an SNES title. It's not the next title in the series but a straight re-make. You will not find additional content or mechanics or depth equivalent to most modern PC titles. It will feel more limited in options and you will not have an open world to trudge around. If you can limit these expectations and accept them, you'll have a great time with it because this game is a classic.

79

Not bad, but still relatively decent

magusonline | Oct. 20, 2013 | See all magusonline's reviews »

After an amazingly successful kickstarter, they met and exceeded all of their stretch goals. The game was written using the Unity3D engine and lacks a manual save feature (which they claimed wasn't possible --even though it is).

As for the game itself, it's the only true "sequel" to the Super Nintendo version of Shadowrun. The art style is fantastic, and the fact there is a campaign maker and steamworks compatible. The community will pick up from where the campgin ends. There are people even writing the original Super Nintendo campaign as well!

70

Was Excited, but now a little disappointed.

BADMOOD247 | Oct. 11, 2013 | See all BADMOOD247's reviews »

I bought this game on high recommendation from my friends. During the first few hours I was very happy with my purchase, but after a few more hours past i realized this is kind of a let down.

Having never played the original game I didn't know what to expect. In about 5 hours in it started to feel like I was on a rail ride, a straight line with no option to turn anywhere. The game has maybe 2 side quests total. The story was ok, but about hour 10 i just stated clicking through the dialogue.

If you are a fan of XCOM:EU, you will love the combat. If I could suggest anything, I would say wait until the Berlin campaign is released to get a full $20 worth.

75

Out of the shadows

whippyice | Oct. 10, 2013 | See all whippyice's reviews »

i've never played the old shadow run, so as a possible outside i wasn't not sure what to expect heading into the game, firstly i noticed the simple art style which really sets the tone of the game nicely there is a very heavy ambient vibe to your surroundings and when it comes to a cyber punk style of game that is a great thing, the music compliments the rest of the scene nicely. but it seems to build you up for this big pay off when frankly i don't feel it comes all that well it's a decent effort and is well planned out and feels solid but i couldn't help but think it was lacking some thing a little more. how ever when you get past this inital odd feeling and settle into the caricature building and so on, you manage to bring some of that missing feeling back it was was an overall pleasant experience that i think is good for a half an hour run every so often but i don't think it will keep you coming back for more.

90

Epic.

asiersua | Sept. 28, 2013 | See all asiersua's reviews »

You'll love this game, from beginning to end. The art is just so good, the gameplay (Strategic RPG) is great, and the story will keep you hooked with all the twists and changes, it'll be different depending on the answers you give to the different characters you'll encounter throughout the game. If you're wondering about variety: wonder no more! You've got quite a few classes to choose from, and you can even start a character with no class if you feel confident about the skills and stats you need to upgrade to wreck your enemies. There are also several races, from humans to trolls, and even elves, so overall, a great experience with lots of choices to make even before the game starts!

88

Shadowrun returning stronger than ever.

electricolor | Sept. 24, 2013 | See all electricolor's reviews »

I've been waiting for this game and let me tell you. The wait, was well worth it. First off, the artwork in this game really is super amazing. It might be strange to some but once you get used to it, it's pretty awesome. What I really like in the Shadowrun Returns is the characters and how they converse. You get to talk to everyone and anyone that you want to and that determines your fate. The only drawback for me is that they didn't add any voice acting. But other than that, this game is super addicting and super fun. It's worth giving a chance!

92

What a Return!

CoillyZ | Sept. 24, 2013 | See all CoillyZ's reviews »

This isn't just a return for Shadowrun. This is a return for strategy RPG's in general. This is a great game. The gameplay is some of the best I've seen. The art is beautiful, the soundtrack gets the job done, and the story is interesting enough. The only problem is the dialogue. I felt like people wouldn't really say this. Even in the game's vernacular, it seemed unnatural. Still, if you like fun, get this.

85

Wicked

YYS1995 | Sept. 12, 2013 | See all YYS1995's reviews »

Shadow run is one of those fresh,innovative and deeply addictive strategic games out there, with a twist. You play amid the background of a fantasy world, where magic and your modern day world technology co-exist. This gives the player much room to express his imagination, as he is not confined to either of the elements. We get the best of both worlds here. The gameplay controls are similar to that of XCOM , well, which should not be too difficult to master. But in certain scenarios, you do not get complete view of the map, inserting in an element of luck and instinct. The graphics in game are also visually worthy, in fact, rather good. However, the drawback about this game would be that the player is not able to do manual saves at the moment... so you have to sit down and finish a mission before the autosave kicks in. On a whole, a great game that all should try.

85

Totally wicked.

YYS1995 | Sept. 11, 2013 | See all YYS1995's reviews »

Shadow run is one of those fresh,innovative and deeply addictive strategic games out there, with a twist. You play amid the background of a fantasy world, where magic and your modern day world technology co-exist. This gives the player much room to express his imagination, as he is not confined to either of the elements. We get the best of both worlds here. The gameplay controls are similar to that of XCOM , well, which should not be too difficult to master. But in certain scenarios, you do not get complete view of the map, inserting in an element of luck and instinct. The graphics in game are also visually worthy, in fact, rather good. However, the drawback about this game would be that the player is not able to do manual saves at the moment... so you have to sit down and finish a mission before the autosave kicks in. On a whole, a great game that all should try.

92

THE Shadowrun game we have been waiting for!

mahon | Sept. 11, 2013 | See all mahon's reviews »

Shadowrun Returns may be the most awaited game of this year for role playing gamers. The setting alone is a completely surprising mix of cyberpunk, with all its technology, computers and hacking, with fantasy and its races like dwarves or trolls and magic. Now it sounds unusual, doesn't it? Surprisingly it works just fine and the world of Shadowrun is really exciting. I think we've waited too long for such a good computer version of Shadowrun, but now it's here and it's really good. As an oldschool roleplayer I must say I really enjoy the presentation and gameplay which brings the old hits like the Fallout games or Baldur's Gate series to my mind. I am still amazed how well the classic pen-and-paper RPG translated into a computer game.