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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #4

Default Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #4

July 27th, 2013, 02:57
Well sit back and relax because we have the fourth round of reviews for Shadowrun Returns.

GamertechTV - 4/5



Controller Online - 8.5/10

Shadowrun Returns is a win for the crowd funding model, as well as the revival of old intellectual properties. Harebrained Schemes have lovingly recreated the Shadowrun universe in the form of a fun and very reasonably priced game. Fans of PC RPG’s, cyberpunk, or turn-based strategy games shouldn’t miss. It's a game that shows you can have broad appeal while staying true to your roots and your vision.
GamesBeat - 85/100

Shadowrun Returns stumbles a bit in its effort to re-create on the PC the isometric RPG world gamers fell in love with on classic consoles, but it redeems itself by providing players with a seemingly infinite toolbox to craft their own adventures.
Unigamesity - 5/5

Shadowrun Returns is NOT a crappy game, on the contrary. It is a game that manages to brilliantly mix together story and artwork, characters and skills, combat and tactics and deliver an absolutely amazing product. It is complex, it is charming and you end up loving it and all the characters that you encounter during your play time. A must play, without any doubt!
TechHive - 4/5

I thoroughly enjoyed Shadowrun Returns. This is the first time in years we've seen an ambitious isometric RPG from anyone other than Spiderweb Software, and I loved playing it. It's the first million-dollar crowdfunded game to actually come to market, an excellent final product that sets the bar high for future Kickstarter-funded games.

I got invested in the world of Shadowrun Returns. I enjoyed chatting with the colorful characters—including my best friend Mr. Kluwe—roaming the streets with an assault rifle in hand or a katana on my back, and barreling through corporate computer systems in pursuit of illicit information.

Put plainly, my biggest complaint is “I want more of this game,” and that's hardly a bad thing—as long as it doesn't take another two decades for a well-deserved sequel.
PixelBedlam - 9/10

The game isn’t without its flaws, the save system is god awful. The game will autosave when you enter a location and that’s it, no manual save. This sounds fine apart from when you are in combat for about 20 minutes and have to replay conversations and any character upgrading you’ve done.With it’s slightly complicated choice of language and location the game may be hard to get into for some players, but with the potential for one of the most deep RPG’s of recent years and the sheer fun of reading what the characters have to say I heartily recommend this game to all.

It’s also pleasant to see a Kickstarter game actually get released, sure it’s had delays but what has come out has real potential if the community picks it up. As a standalone game without the community it is still a fun ride that given the chance will grab you by the collar and not want to let go until you hand over your cred-stick.
IncGamers - 6/10

In short: this isn’t the second coming, but it’s not a bad way to spend £15. If you’re on the fence or short of nuyen, though, I’d wait and see what the community’s deckers comes up with.
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July 27th, 2013, 02:57
Never heard of any of these sites. It cracks me up.

SRR is ok. Problem for me, I just got Cube World last weekend, and Cube World is addictive in a Minecraft/crack kind of way. It's really hard to be into anything else right now.

SRR is a good effort for what it is - a low budget indie style KS'ed game. I'm somewhat surprised by the ratings because if the game wasn't a low budget/KS game I would imagine it would be scored much lower…if not utterly shredded…

So far I think Dan Stapleton from IGN is the only person who's given SRR a realistic review.

How do you rate it? As an indie game? A tablet game? For those, sure, maybe 8/10. If you rate it vs PC gaming as a whole, no way is SRR an 8/10.

So, I dunno, it's an ok game but it's not compelling enough that I feel like I MUST play it. The combat feels ultra basic and generic. It's very linear and contained. As much as I love RPGs, reading thru the volumes of text isn't that appealing because the writing just isn't that compelling. The game overall is simplistic in an app phone/tablet kind of way and that turns me off. I'm a PC gamer. I'd like to see consoles, phone apps, and tablets all bashed against each other til they go away (or at least stop screwing up PC game design).

Knowing that the campaign the game shipped with is ~12 hours for most players and seeing as how I feel like I'm spending 90% of my time reading thru weak text, I'm just not that inspired to play. They say the game could take longer if you're cautious. Maybe things change eventually but I'm a few hours in and mostly all I do is read - no caution required! Lotsa loading too but my SSD trivializes that aspect.

I'm sure I'll get back to it when the buzz from cube world wears off a bit.
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July 27th, 2013, 03:00
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post
Never heard of any of these sites. It cracks me up.
There are thousand of sites I've never heard of either. It's amazing isn't it and all because it's the internet.

There mostly independent run game blogs and amateur review sites. I rather trust them then the major sites using paid journalists for reviews.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; July 27th, 2013 at 05:52.
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July 27th, 2013, 03:26
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post
Never heard of any of these sites. It cracks me up.

SRR is ok. Problem for me, I just got Cube World last weekend, and Cube World is addictive in a Minecraft/crack kind of way. It's really hard to be into anything else right now.

SRR is a good effort for what it is - a low budget indie style KS'ed game. I'm somewhat surprised by the ratings because if the game wasn't a low budget/KS game I would imagine it would be scored much lower…if not utterly shredded…

So far I think Dan Stapleton from IGN is the only person who's given SRR a realistic review.

How do you rate it? As an indie game? A tablet game? For those, sure, maybe 8/10. If you rate it vs PC gaming as a whole, no way is SRR an 8/10.

So, I dunno, it's an ok game but it's not compelling enough that I feel like I MUST play it. The combat feels ultra basic and generic. It's very linear and contained. As much as I love RPGs, reading thru the volumes of text isn't that appealing because the writing just isn't that compelling. The game overall is simplistic in an app phone/tablet kind of way and that turns me off. I'm a PC gamer. I'd like to see consoles, phone apps, and tablets all bashed against each other til they go away (or at least stop screwing up PC game design).

Knowing that the campaign the game shipped with is ~12 hours for most players and seeing as how I feel like I'm spending 90% of my time reading thru weak text, I'm just not that inspired to play. They say the game could take longer if you're cautious. Maybe things change eventually but I'm a few hours in and mostly all I do is read - no caution required! Lotsa loading too but my SSD trivializes that aspect.

I'm sure I'll get back to it when the buzz from cube world wears off a bit.
I said this elsewhere, but I think they did a poor job on the main campaign with what the toolset can actually do.

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July 27th, 2013, 03:29
I haven't understood many of the comments posted here on this game. Lately I have been playing Fallout and plan to play Fallout 2 afterwards since I never played it very far before. After playing Shadowrun Returns and when I compare the combat I think that Shadowrun Returns has more complicated combat and since you can actually control each character you don't have them shooting you in the back all of the time.

I do agree that Shadowrun Returns is linear but you do get a different experience from playing a linear game then an open world game so even though I do like open world games more I think playing a linear game or two is fun also. I do hope that with all of the money they are making from the sales that they can do some updates to the game like adding save anywhere.

PS. I have been waiting a long time for a new Shadowrun game and I am glad that it has modding tools and that the mods being made look good.

PPS. I was just wondering if people were expecting turn-based combat similar to the X-com games from Shadowrun Returns. X-com and Jagged Alliance may have better turn-based combat but thet is the main focus of that kind of game where it isn't for an rpg which means that the combat isn't the main focus. With Shadowrun Returns it is probably the first turn-based rpg to have a cover system.
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July 27th, 2013, 04:20
5/5? 9/10?

There are some delusional critics out there.
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July 27th, 2013, 04:30
I have a different opinion. I love it. Sure, it has issues, and I hope that HBS or the community one day get the main campaign to be all it can be (and since they released it in full so the community can work on it, I see it happening), but it is still better than the lion's share of triple a games out there. People complain about a 12 hour campaign when the 5 million copy selling triple A games are 6-8 hour romps.

I play primarily RPGs, and I cut my teeth on games like Bard's Tale, Wizardry and Might And Magic, so I think I have a good sense for these things. It is MORE than worth the price. And that's the thing, these triple A games with their 8 hour campaigns (if you're lucky 8 hours is what you get) cost 60 bucks.

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July 27th, 2013, 04:45
Trust me it doesn't use many of the things you can do with the editor.

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July 27th, 2013, 05:23
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Trust me it doesn't use many of the things you can do with the editor.
So much this. The content users will create with that editor will be a stark contrast to the vanilla campaign.
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July 27th, 2013, 05:51
The setting is wonderful, but the campaign does not grab me after several hours of play. The linear nature of it feels strange for a choice and consequence type game that theoretically could have significant different outcomes depending on skill/stat investment.
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July 27th, 2013, 05:54
Vanilla seems right. I've been playing SRR and the game seems extremely basic. It'd be like buying Skyrim, but only getting to play the Helgen scene. Very few items on any scene, with a half dozen things max to click on before moving to the next one. The team is constantly using money as an excuse as to why something wasn't in the game. I'm curious as to how many people will buy this for the editor of a relatively obscure game. I hope it does well, because the engine looks pretty decent. I'm sure the Shadowrun modders will have as much or more talent than the Harebrained team. None of them will get any money, so we'll see. HB is going to look pretty stupid if someone makes a game quickly with their engine that blows the teams efforts away
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July 27th, 2013, 06:11
I downloaded someones module and it had persistent corpses in it that you could loot…it was a pretty basic mod and a bit of a mess artistically but it showed some the lootable corpses.

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July 27th, 2013, 06:14
Originally Posted by PegasusOrgans View Post
but it is still better than the lion's share of triple a games out there. People complain about a 12 hour campaign when the 5 million copy selling triple A games are 6-8 hour romps.
You're obviously not talking about RPGs though. Why compare it to games from a different genre?

Besides, I doubt length is the primary reason many here won't think highly of it. There are bigger issues than that.
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July 27th, 2013, 06:19
Metacritic has it at 76/100 thus far. A pretty positive result for a non-AAA title.
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July 27th, 2013, 06:44
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You're obviously not talking about RPGs though. Why compare it to games from a different genre?

Besides, I doubt length is the primary reason many here won't think highly of it. There are bigger issues than that.
It's also hard to compare the overall scope of a limited budget title against some of the great RPGs that weren't working with the same constraint. A lot easier to havee more story, depth, and customizing when you have a budget to support it. Don't get me wrong, I agree SR: R isn't a great RPG when stacked against the genre (I'd say 6 or 7 /10), but considering what they accomplished with limited resources I think they did a good job (8 maybe 9 taking future mod content into account / 10).
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July 27th, 2013, 07:41
Yeah, Shadowrun turned out to be the Lite beer of RPGs. Yes, this turns out to indeed be a game made with tablets and phones primarily in mind. *Gives Joxer a nod*

Not that I'm hating it or anything, but when I play it (admittedly not too long yet), I inevitably feel disappointed by the unrealized potential. Hopefully, that will change once the modders really get brewing…

…Until then, there's always Original Sin to look forward to. Chaos Chronicles is on ice now. The 3D remake of Realms of Arkania comes out next week.
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July 27th, 2013, 09:10
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
It's also hard to compare the overall scope of a limited budget title against some of the great RPGs that weren't working with the same constraint. A lot easier to havee more story, depth, and customizing when you have a budget to support it. Don't get me wrong, I agree SR: R isn't a great RPG when stacked against the genre (I'd say 6 or 7 /10), but considering what they accomplished with limited resources I think they did a good job (8 maybe 9 taking future mod content into account / 10).
I don't think most people are judging it by what may or may not be available in the future through user-made content. That has nothing to do with the campaign that HBS gave us.

I also don't think they were as financially constrained as some people are acting. I keep seeing people throw the word "budget" around as if they were working with 100k rather than nearly 2 million.

I'm quite enjoying it atm, but it's hard not to be disappointed by certain aspects - especially for a Kickstarter game that raised more than 4X it's original money goal.
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July 27th, 2013, 09:25
I don't think the $2m goes as far as others are saying either.

-5% to Kickstarter
-5% to Amazon
Have to pay state & fed taxes on the money raised
Overhead (min. rent & power, probably phone & internet, maybe water).
Marketing (which I doubt was a lot for this game)
Misc expenses

And then there's wages paid for work that got scrapped. They went through several different Matrix models before getting the loan and settling on the final product. Actual drain of that on the budget obviously depends on how much resources were spent and all kinds of various prototypes/alternate systems they tried before settling on final products (not sure how many other areas besides the Matrix this applies to).

Also heard, but haven't checked to verify, the Shadowrun license from Microsoft was $600,000.

That all obviously impacts the final product but I do agree, they didn't pour everything they had into the campaign. It feels like their top priority was the editor, and the story was an underwhelming example of what the editor is capable of. Still, plenty of other issues with mechanics, some of which can be changed, some that can't.

I too was expecting a bit more for the amount of money they made but this isn't so far off so I'm not overly surprised with what we got.
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July 27th, 2013, 09:43
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I also don't think they were as financially constrained as some people are acting. I keep seeing people throw the word "budget" around as if they were working with 100k rather than nearly 2 million.
I think this is worthy of a serious debate and scrutiny. Here is one attempt:
On the thank you Video, I can make out about 27 People that presumably, were working on the game at some point. It's been 15 months since the campaign concluded.
I don't know the average salary in the industry, so please give Input there, but for a Minimum estimate, let's start with an average salary of $40.000, and assume that not all of the People were hired full time, let's say we calculate with 20 instead. My Minimum estimate on salary then is:
$800.000.
For a Maximum estimate, let's assume not everyone is on the Picture and some were already let go (30 People), and an average salary of $55000: Comes to
$1.650.000.
They came in with about $1.800.000.
What other costs would be relevant, anybody know? Officespace maybe, how much for a shop this size - $4000 a month? That would be $60.000. Computers and Software licenses - let' assume about 2500,- per Person, about
67.500 - so roughly another 100.000 for that.
So depending on how you calculate, they may have pretty much used up their KS Budget at this time. They however still have obligations, to deliver Berlin and Linux Version, mainly. So I think Budget constraints are likely real, if the estimates about Team size are correct.
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July 27th, 2013, 09:57
The team was 30 members, unsure about division of full & parttime. Info I found listed avg income for software engineers & devs in Seattle as $84k and $68k though I doubt HBS was paying that, I figured somewhere in the $50-55k area (might be too conservative) which is pretty much the entire Kickstarter before expenses.
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