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Default Shadowrun Returns - Review @ StrategyInformer

July 30th, 2013, 04:42
StrategyInformer has posted their review for Shadowrun Returns.

While there are a few flaws in Shadowrun Returns, most notably linearity, the lack of a save function and a slightly under-utilized world, the excellent and consistently fun writing and XCOM-inspired combat make it a worthwhile experience. Even better as fun as it is the 15-odd-hour long campaign is not the end of Shadowrun Returns since the robust modding tools and encouragement from Harebrained Schemes near guarantee a steady flow of user content. Itís not the greatest RPG ever but it is a damn fun one in an engrossing world, and if you hadnít backed Shadowrun Returns already itís well worth a punt Ė and if youíre still not sure, wait a few months and see if the gameís Steam Workshop page has filled up with user-made goodies. Honestly though, if you just want to consider it a cyberpunk XCOM: Enemy Unknown with RPG elements thatís fine too.
Also the game has been patched on Steam.

Patch 1.0.1
Fix for issue with final battle occasionally not advancing.
Fix for issue with AI occasionally not using self-buffs and IC Charge.
Version number is listed inside your PDA
More information.
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July 30th, 2013, 04:42
Xcom has become the de facto reference for anything turn based lately, or so it seems. I don't see this as cyberpunk Xcom, but each to his own.
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July 30th, 2013, 05:34
Originally Posted by Yme View Post
Xcom has become the de facto reference for anything turn based lately, or so it seems. I don't see this as cyberpunk Xcom, but each to his own.
It is possible that the writer of such articles know that for many of their readers, X-Com is a recent example and the go-to comparison that people will make.

I think it's sloppy - they should educate on it's past as well as say "it's like this recent game, too" - but I also think their intentions are purer than their knowledge is lacking.

I'm just speculating there, though. Could be WAY off.

EDIT - and, having just read that review, I think it's clear he was trying to reference the entire X-Com game series, not just the most recent entry.
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July 30th, 2013, 14:20
15 hours, eh? That's the longest estimate I've heard yet. I think SR would be better described as a set of really promising modding tools with a throwaway campaign attached to show you how the rules work.

And yeah, the new X-COM is hardly the ne plus ultra of challenging turn-based combat.

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July 30th, 2013, 14:42
Originally Posted by Yme View Post
Xcom has become the de facto reference for anything turn based lately, or so it seems. I don't see this as cyberpunk Xcom, but each to his own.
I think that SSR has more similar combat to Xcom than any other game in recent years so comparison makes sense.

Originally Posted by screeg View Post
15 hours, eh? That's the longest estimate I've heard yet.
True.It took me 12 hours on very hard, better player than me can complete it in significantly less time.
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July 30th, 2013, 15:31
This is similar to "The Bards Tale Construction Set" which was pretty much a mod tool with a couple of short mods with it. (though it is far easier to distribute mods now then it was at the time)
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July 30th, 2013, 19:15
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
15 hours, eh? That's the longest estimate I've heard yet. I think SR would be better described as a set of really promising modding tools with a throwaway campaign attached to show you how the rules work.
Couldn't put it any better myself…
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July 31st, 2013, 00:41
When mods for the game will be better than the campaign that will be something big. How many NWN1 mods reach this value and a relative comparable size, not many and probably not the first year.

My feeling is you are all dreaming about this mod stuff, NWN1 was the RPG of its time to make mod with, now it's Skyrim, SRR won't change that and most talents will just go for Skyrim.
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July 31st, 2013, 00:45
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
15 hours, eh? That's the longest estimate I've heard yet. I think SR would be better described as a set of really promising modding tools with a throwaway campaign attached to show you how the rules work.
Is at least you played the game? It seems not because you don't quote your play time. You shouldn't repeat words of the street like that without to have check yourself.
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July 31st, 2013, 00:48
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
This is similar to "The Bards Tale Construction Set" which was pretty much a mod tool with a couple of short mods with it. (though it is far easier to distribute mods now then it was at the time)
You compare the simple scenario joined to BTCS with the campaign joined to SRR? Seriously? I ask because I never had NTCS, but I doubt the answer can be yes.

EDIT: And same question, before such comment have you at least play the game?
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July 31st, 2013, 01:32
Originally Posted by Nameless one View Post
I think that SSR has more similar combat to Xcom than any other game in recent years so comparison makes sense…
Well among very popular games I don't see many. The comparison is valid but the result is very different. The overall feeling is that XEU generates a lot more tension but SRR is a lot more fluid, quite more diversified and quite more mobile.

The main differences could be:
- Many breakable stuff in XEU (I'll forget the problem of those that are illogically unbreakable) that is definitely generating some dynamism and tension.
- More healing possibilities and more overall resistances makes less fragile the SRR party. For sure that point increases tension in XEU but also it opens more freedom and ability to take risks in SRR.
- Enemies are also dying less fast in general in SRR, typically there's a side effect of enemies dying fast in XEU it's skills like mark an enemy are difficult to use.
- There's many more possibilities in SRR, for example spell that increase by 2 the number of action rounds in a turn (in each round you can move or shot, it's AP in SRR but that's not the AP of XEU) during few turns, spell healing only the last injury, summons, spells that slowdown, different mark abilities, many spells support or buffers, and so on.
- There many close range possibilities in SRR, not just the shotgun, there's even a specialization with sort of spells or skills just for close range, stuff like roundkick, disarm and more.
- In SRR when you specialize in some long range weapons you get special actions. the possibilities are much more limited in XRU but you have the ability to spend more action points to aim better.
- In SRR each character can carry 6 (or 6?) items even if many mercenaries hired won't carry as many it's still a lot more than in XRU.

The result is very different in term of rhythm, mood and tension. But it makes sense to compare them. One important point is I also felt the commands much more fluid in SRR, not sure why, probably because you can shot and move or move and shot and roughly mid game you get a third action, plus you can increase them. Also there's no Action of Opportunity, or Action Reflex in SRR it makes moving more easy but some players criticize this choice.

And a final element is perhaps SRR underevaluated a bit the difficulty level, but I haven't tried yet the highest difficulty.
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July 31st, 2013, 01:48
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
StrategyInformer has posted their review for Shadowrun Returns.
Solid review, I agree that see SRR as an XCom Cyberpunk is a bit wrong. In my opinion he didn't quote some important points:
- The numerous possibilities to do something in different ways and those choices can be influenced by your class and skills, few time your race.
- The numerous dialogs options and not all are pure role play but also involves a few local change. It's far to be neutral even when it's pure role play, because it makes think.
- The influence of touch controls, making the game obviously touch ready but also having few unusual interface design that can be a lot of troubles if you glue to try classical PC controls, for example most drag&drop actions are click&click, or there's no or not much use of different cursors to inform about states/actions.
- Area aren't pure combats like Xcom. There's elements exploration, some area are without combats and involve few search and puzzles but also tricks to find and exploits even in combats, it's not top, items are highlighted and it's too rare but it's still significant.
- Unlike games like XCom all area are setup, are different, each combat is designed, only few area are reused when the story justify it. That makes a huge difference between either too many fillers in many CRPG either too many reuse like in a game as Xcom.

EDIT: About the review, quote Deus Ex (no matter which one) as open world example, is quite big, even for the first.
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