Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns on PC screenshot #1
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"For those who just want to relive the isometric action of the SNES and Megadrive days, Shadowrun Returns easily delivers...and, judged purely as a standalone game, it's an unambiguous success." -

MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.

In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.

The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.

Key Features

  • Gripping Tactical Combat: When you’re running the shadows, every turn matters. Choose your actions wisely - move to better cover, charge into melee, or lob a fireball into a crowd of enemies. With the variety of weapons and spells at your disposal, every turn is filled with meaningful choices. A successful run requires commanding a team of runners with the right balance of combat, tech, and magical abilities.

  • Skill-Based Character Progression: Choose a starting character archetype and build from there! Street Samurai and Physical Adepts use advanced combat skills to dominate the battlefield, Shamans and Mages summon powerful allies and cast deadly spells, while Riggers and Deckers provide critical technological support, projecting their consciousness directly into drones and computer systems. Shadowrun Returns’ classless skill system allows you to grow your character in any direction you choose. Want to start summoning spirits as an ork Shaman and evolve into a cybered-up weapon specialist? Do it!

  • Engaging 2D/3D Art Style: Shadowrun Returns mixes dynamic 3D characters and lighting with a vibrant, hand-painted environment. Illustrated character portraits bring every conversation to life. Explore a world filled with detail, from the slums of the Redmond Barrens to the extravagant offices of powerful corporations.

Customer reviews


Fantastic, Different, Cyberpunk

thedawesome | March 29, 2015 | See all thedawesome's reviews »

Having never played or been involved with any Shadowrun material prior to playing Shadowrun Returns I didn't really know what to expect going in. I immediately fell in love with this game. The art style is fun and rather unique, the setting is phenomenal, and it manages to merge genres beautifully.

To not give too much away story-wise, you are a criminal in futuristic Seattle who is contacted by an old acquaintance and sent on a mission which spans that entirety of the game (approximately 15 hours). Along the way you will meet some fantastic characters who are each given wonderful, little descriptions written about them when you talk with them. The writing is certainly a strong point in this game. I can't remember a game which featured writing that was so good at building character. The main storyline provides a rather interesting mystery for the player to unravel and left me constantly wanting to go deeper.

The combat is excellent, but likely not for everyone. Combat is turn-based and takes place on tiles which the player, allies, and enemies move along. If you have ever played XCOM you are already familiar with the basics of this system. At the start of the game you pick your race and class which change up how you will be playing the combat sequences. I played as a Rigger (drone specialist) and loved sending my little war machines out to tear up the enemy.

If you are a fan of good writing, RPGs, XCOM style combat, and/or cyberpunk/fantasy you should definitely try this game.

(copied from my Steam account, thedawesome)


An Immersive Experience

travishaney88 | March 28, 2015 | See all travishaney88's reviews »

If you are a fan of older PC RPGs (think the first 2 Fallout games in particular) then this is a game you shouldn't miss.

With numerous ways to build you character a party, missions can play out a number of ways. Combat isn't the only way to win!

The lush, vibrant environments make the world Shadowrun Returns a pleasure to explore.

The only issues I had with the game have since been resolved with recent patches (ie. not being able to save during an encounter).

If you want to be drawn into a rich world unlike many other RPGs available today, then Shadowrun Returns will provide hours of solid gameplay.

If you like this one, be sure to check out Dragonfall as well!


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.


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.


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.