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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #3

Default Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #3

July 26th, 2013, 17:54
Well here we are with the third round of reviews for Shadowrun Returnsin just one day.

SpiderDuck - 4/5

At the end of the day, Shadowrun Returns is a great experience. It throws you into a world that you might already be familiar with or are learning about. The overall story is good, even if the character interaction can be a bit lacking for a game like this. I do wish there was more to do outside of the main story as it's just too linear. The gameplay is solid even though it doesn't really do anything new, but I did like what they did the The Matrix and it made those parts enjoyable to play through. However, the possibilities with the editor will keep me coming back to the game for years. It's a game worth checking out.
GamingTrend - 87/100

Shadowrun Returns exceeded my every expectation. The videos Iíve shown you are just a small portion of what this game has to offer. The combat is engaging and rewards good tactics and class understanding. The Dead Manís Switch storyline is a great start to this new universe, and the included editor opens the door to literally everyone to craft their own stories.

While there is no voice work in the game, the descriptive portions that tell the story match the capabilities of any GM Iíve sat across from during a pen-and-paper gaming session. Stepping back and looking at what the team has completed in the time since their Kickstarter closed on April 29th of last year, this game is an amazing example of what true fans of the source material can do when not constrained by traditional distribution methods.

The fact that this game costs less than a night at the movies (Steam price is $19.99, though you can pick it up for 10% off for a very short span after you read this) and delivers a storyline youíll want to play more than once, as well as the promise of infinite expansion, itís very easy to recommend. Welcome back, Shadowrun ó welcome back to the Sprawl.
OnlySP- 8/10

Overall Shadowrun Returns is a great game to play and has a really captivating story which makes me happy it has so many gameplay hours hidden away and even user created content for those who canít get enough of a fix.
VideoGamer - 7/10

Shadowrun Returns' first campaign feels like it was written by what D&D players would call 'the stubborn storyteller' - the dungeon master whose 'important decisions' always feel like they lead to the same place. Thankfully this story - and your interaction with it - are strong enough that, for the most part, this can be overlooked.

Thereís at least one more campaign in the works right now (supposedly set in Berlin), but the real future for Shadowrun, in my mind, will come from the players themselves via the bundled editor. A good start.
CalmDownTom - 4/5

Itís probably going to appeal more to those who remember the original, or love the Shadowrun universe, but anyone who likes turn based strategy in weird retro-futuristic worlds will enjoy it. It will be the community and the user created adventures that will determine whether Shadowrun Returns is a brief diversion or an all consuming passion. And it will be Harebrained Schemes job to nurture and support that community.
FTG - 7.5/10

It may sound like Iím crapping all over the gameplay of Shadowrun Returns, but once I figured out how everything worked, Iíve been having a lot of fun with it. The big thing is that Hairbrained Studios allow access to the Shadowrun Returns toolkit, meaning determined fans of the series can create their own campaigns like they would in the old days on table top.
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July 26th, 2013, 17:54
It *IS* a lot of fun but it is completely linear (at least in the first few hours). You go from place A to place B to place C to place D …. Now sometimes you return to previous places but you have no choice in what order you do them. Within an area there are opportunities to do things differently. You can perhaps talk your way into a place or sneak (hack) in or go in guns blazing.

One thing I don't really like is that dead enemies instantly disappear and leave only quest related equipment.

There is some weird 4th wall stuff, too, where you can talk to the ghost of the original game's writer.

I think I goofed up my character and am going to restart before I go any further as I think that re-playability will be pretty low. And I apologize to Steve Jackson ("Stevie J.") for blowing his head off with a shotgun.
Last edited by BillSeurer; July 26th, 2013 at 18:30.
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July 26th, 2013, 23:41
Linear != Bad
Open-world != Good

The two are just different ends of a range, without one being the good and the other being the bad.

Linear needs to stop being use as a pejorative.
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July 26th, 2013, 23:49
The "problem" is many players will expect something and won't get it at all. I don't mean about the general quality or about the amplitude/size of the game, but about the design approach. It's a comment after to have play less than two hours.
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July 27th, 2013, 02:42
Just finished it. Verdict? Really good, the best game (imho) I've played in a while, and it was pretty close to what I expected. All hail Kickstarter.

A bit short maybe, but it's only major shortcomings to me is the save system which is kind of annoying when your computer freezes up on regular basis (hardware problems), and the fact that there where to few choices. I can see myself replaying it, but not straight away, since there's no way to play the game differently, except to try another character of course, but that's not enough for me. A solid 4/5 though.

Guess I have to go back to playing Eador:MOTB and waiting for WL2 now…
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July 27th, 2013, 02:51
Hmmm I'm really liking the way the game plays. However, after looking a bit into the editor I wonder why they choose to do something so linear when they clearly could do more if they wanted to, the editor supports this.

For instance depending on choices in a conversation you could have different maps load. This could lead to different missions depending on how you decided to react.

I hate to say it but it feels a bit like how NWN 1 had a simple single player game but good editor….I hope their expansions do some of the things they can with the editor…I know some fan made ones will.

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July 27th, 2013, 13:59
Originally Posted by Merin View Post
Linear != Bad
Open-world != Good

The two are just different ends of a range, without one being the good and the other being the bad.

Linear needs to stop being use as a pejorative.
I am 100% with you. I don't like open world games in general, but many in the media seem to follow your formula, that linear is bad so a linear game is a bad game. That's why I don't pay much attention to reviewers' numeric scores, and I read the text. What they don't like in a game may be something I actually do like.
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July 27th, 2013, 14:01
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
Just finished it. Verdict? Really good, the best game (imho) I've played in a while, and it was pretty close to what I expected. All hail Kickstarter.

A bit short maybe, but it's only major shortcomings to me is the save system which is kind of annoying when your computer freezes up on regular basis (hardware problems), and the fact that there where to few choices. I can see myself replaying it, but not straight away, since there's no way to play the game differently, except to try another character of course, but that's not enough for me. A solid 4/5 though.

Guess I have to go back to playing Eador:MOTB and waiting for WL2 nowÖ
LOL this post is almost as if I had written it myself (except I haven't finished the game yet but I'm probably not too far). I was playing Eador like crazy until this game came out, and when I finish it, I'll go back to Eador, just too addictive.
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July 27th, 2013, 18:29
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I hate to say it but it feels a bit like how NWN 1 had a simple single player game but good editorÖ.I hope their expansions do some of the things they can with the editorÖI know some fan made ones will.
Yeah, same here. Getting a strong NWN1 vibe (i.e., they created a platform and the campaign was provided to give initial tileset and instruction on how to build user-made content). That's certainly not a bad thing, as I'm planning to do a mod in this toolset myself. But, I would also like to see more stuff from harebrained as they obviously have a very talented team.

I'm annoyed (mildly) by the save system. Otherwise, I'm finding it quite enjoyable. I really like the turn-based, X-com style combat.
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July 27th, 2013, 18:48
I actually prefer this combat to XCOM:EU's, it feels like I have more choices in SRR. But it may be because I expected more of XCOM, while SRR was excactly what I expected. Does that make any sense at all?
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July 27th, 2013, 20:18
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
I actually prefer this combat to XCOM:EU's, it feels like I have more choices in SRR. But it may be because I expected more of XCOM, while SRR was excactly what I expected. Does that make any sense at all?
Yeah, expectations. X-Com seemed like it should have had a deeper combat system then what we ended up with. It's not a bad game, but deeper combat (since you spend so much time "in" combat) would've helped that game.
This turn-based system, on the other hand, was a bit of surprise and has turned out quite good. Spending extra AP on aimed shots, for instance, feels quite a bit like the interplay fallouts at times, which is DEFinitely a good thing.
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July 27th, 2013, 20:59
Sounds cool. Now that they have the toolset developed, I'm hoping the Berlin expansion will provide a longer, deeper, and less linear campaign with more requested functionality.
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July 27th, 2013, 21:30
I'm enjoying it, but the game allowed me to gimp myself with my first character (even though I was playing a class, not custom!) so I'm having to restart, which is a bit annoying.

Protip: Riggers either control their drones or fight by themselves, they can't do both at the same time, so it's pretty much a total waste of points to train both guns and drones.
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July 28th, 2013, 04:20
Originally Posted by RedSocialKnight View Post
I'm enjoying it, but the game allowed me to gimp myself with my first character (even though I was playing a class, not custom!) so I'm having to restart, which is a bit annoying.

Protip: Riggers either control their drones or fight by themselves, they can't do both at the same time, so it's pretty much a total waste of points to train both guns and drones.
you don't really gimp yourself. After all, in the low levels you're putting like 2 points in something, so maybe you wasted a couple of points. Considering you get lots of points throughout the game, you're ok (at some point I noticed I had 20 points to distribute, but that only meant 3 advances)
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July 28th, 2013, 05:43
Originally Posted by RedSocialKnight View Post
I'm enjoying it, but the game allowed me to gimp myself with my first character (even though I was playing a class, not custom!) so I'm having to restart, which is a bit annoying.

Protip: Riggers either control their drones or fight by themselves, they can't do both at the same time, so it's pretty much a total waste of points to train both guns and drones.
Unless you take a support mage with you consistently (with the haste buff spell.) Also, you get an extra action point once you've spent enough karma. It can additionally help to specialize in pistols which get a 0 ap reload ability which does help.

Anyways, about half way through the game I have a rigger/shooter character who - with help of that dwarven mage runner I always recruit - normally finds himself with 3 ap while his drone (with its 4 ap) is also out.
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