|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Review @ RPG Codex

Default Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Review @ RPG Codex

March 16th, 2014, 08:10
RPG Codex's Darth Roxor has written a new review for Shadowrun: Dragonfall.

Dragonfall was precisely what I wanted it to be. A vastly improved Dead Man’s Switch with more content, but the same gameplay. I’d say that you should definitely go ahead and buy it if you liked the original campaign, but you might also want to give it a shot if you disliked DMS for one reason or another.

There is one thing, however, that really needs to be said here. Whoever was in charge of the marketing for Dragonfall needs to be flogged. What I mean is how it was constantly referred to as “DLC” before its release. This really couldn’t be more inaccurate. The original campaign took me 13 hours to finish on my first playthrough, but Dragonfall took me 23. This is not "DLC", but a fully fledged old-school expansion pack, just like Brood War was to Starcraft.

Finally, I’d also like to say that I really wouldn’t mind if Harebrained stuck with this formula. That is, keep the engine and just release new campaigns with improvements and new features every now and again. They've showed with Dragonfall that they know how to learn from their mistakes, and they could potentially produce something truly great if they kept improving on the current state of the game. And you know, I would be pretty happy if Shadowrun Returns could take me on a tour of the Renraku Arcology…
More information.
Couchpotato is offline

Couchpotato

Couchpotato's Avatar
Evil Potato Overlord
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Potato Land
Posts: 10,746

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 08:10
What is it about RPG Codex that makes people have to write like nerd punk bikers? Well okay its a decent review.
rjshae is offline

rjshae

Bob
RPGWatch Donor

#2

Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,646

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 08:29
That sounds nice. Maybe backing SRR finally panned out

Seriously though it does look good (DLed it a few days ago). Will probably try it out after the Banner Saga (which I am enjoying too much to not take nice and slow right now).

Also I'd probably have to finally go through DMS first…

P.S. Another nice review from the Codex.
JonNik is offline

JonNik

JonNik's Avatar
SasqWatch

#3

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,734

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 08:58
I never finished the original Shadowrun campaign, but this sounds much better.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
HiddenX is offline

HiddenX

HiddenX's Avatar
The Elder Spy
RPGWatch Donor

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NRW/Germany
Posts: 4,590

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 09:06
I liked some of the combat scenarios in Dead Man's Switch, but I found it to be below average in most aspects. I particularly disliked how linear it was and the fact that there were just hirelings rather than real NPCs.

I'll definitely be giving Dragonfall a try when I get the time.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 18,297

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 09:56
Finished dragonfall and for me it is like 10 times better then DMS. It has a better story with a save option and some nice characters.
ikbenrichard is offline

ikbenrichard

ikbenrichard's Avatar
Fulltime RPG watcher

#6

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 780

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 15:42
Dragonfall is in my standalone opinion a great RPG, for me despite the flaws DMS was a great play experience, but Dragonfall is just woo, for me. And yeah despite there's still many weird design elements. The point for me Dragonfall will be one of those few that will stick to be a reference.

I vaguely and quickly read the review and it seems a solid one from the analysis point of view. Few points that are purely wrong:
- It's wrong that you have missions choices, it's right only for at best 1/3 of the game.
- Healing magic spell isn't broken, it's just not the win button that is magic healing in most RPG, one more player unable to adapt to unusual rules and want all game has similar mechanisms. :-)
- It's wrong that all enemies attack only once, but he is right that too many do so.
- The section about the bugs is pertinent, there's still too many even after some fixes. But he minimizes too much the gravity level. None are destroying a play but many will require a level restart or rewind and load back. It happened me once in my first play and already once in my first replay still far from end, plus it seems that in my first play the game lost an important decision tracker but I played the game without notice as it's later events or variations I didn't got.

I'd like comment one point he quoted, that the game make missed the opportunity of more consequences, in fact the game has many consequences, either from your choices, either from choice and character attributes and skills because very numerous attribute/skill checks open important options so many time some choices are open or closed because/thanks to your skills and attributes.

His counter example is about sewers and ghouls, but he superficially forget that the choice is have ghouls or nothing ie it's very difficult to balance the combats in both case and not generate players whining about lack of coherency between the two options.

But yeah in general consequences are more implemented as story stuff, mostly dialogs, some story mini branch, few events. Only few on NPC here or not, or on some bounty relative element, plus few on the end. And about that, the end is just GREAT. :-)
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#7

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 19:03
Few points that are purely wrong:
Or are they?

- It's wrong that you have missions choices, it's right only for at best 1/3 of the game.
More like for 2/3, and I stressed it pretty clearly that it's still not much, but gives a good enough illusion of choice and freedom.

Healing magic spell isn't broken, it's just not the win button that is magic healing in most RPG, one more player unable to adapt to unusual rules and want all game has similar mechanisms. :-)
When I said heal wound is broken, I meant precisely that it is a "win button". Got hit by a crit for 40 damage? NP! Heal will take it all down! And the AI's general incompetence when it comes to focus firing doesn't help here either.

- It's wrong that all enemies attack only once, but he is right that too many do so.
Only boss dudes spend all their AP properly, and needless to say there is only a small handful of those in the game.

- The section about the bugs is pertinent, there's still too many even after some fixes. But he minimizes too much the gravity level.
I could only describe it how it happened to me, now could I? I only had to rewind once because reloading ate Dietrich's nephew after getting out of the Humanis HQ, and that was it, mostly only annoying UI bugs apart from that. I can't really mysteriously tap into everyone's brains and deduce just how grave the bugs are in total, and I'd rather not quote "bugs written about in the internet!" because they are often vague and unreliable.

in fact the game has many consequences
Within missions, as I said. But there is only one big one that I can think of off the top of my head that actually carries through from mission to mission in some way. Almost everything else are fake choices that don't give you anything other than a flavour email afterwards.

His counter example is about sewers and ghouls, but he superficially forget that the choice is have ghouls or nothing ie it's very difficult to balance the combats in both case and not generate players whining about lack of coherency between the two options.
It is actually very easy and I can think of at least 2 ways this could be handled. If ghouls die, keep the map as it is. If ghouls are spared - remove one of the enemy groups or weaken each of them by, say, 1 less dude. There. Very hard to invent.

What is it about RPG Codex that makes people have to write like nerd punk bikers?
HELL'S ANGELS FO LYFE, MON
Darthowicz_Roxorowski is offline

Darthowicz_Roxorowski

Sentinel

#8

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Land of the Rising Slum
Posts: 53

Default 

March 16th, 2014, 22:22
Imho it was a good game, but not great but it's better in almost every aspect compared to the base game.

In comparison:
-Better flow of the game. It did not feel like an graphical adventure game with some combat but like an RPG.
-Being able to save everywhere is a huge plus (now also added to the base game)
-Felt like there were more possibilities to use skills in dialogues
-More options to use compansion's skills when facing computers to hack or similar
-Game had a better structure, with a beginning, a middle part and an end part. The base game was like "Prepare for the last mission", "Now prepare for the very last mission", "And now, it's really the last mission, seriously!". As all vendors get additional equipment after almost every mission this was frustrating. If you spent your money when it was indicated to be the last mission you weren't able to upgrade your equipment later on, when it was the very last mission. Now you have better picture of the ending and more money.
-Fixed group with individual stories

Dont like:
-The itemization, like in Mass Effect 1 items felt like something it had to implement as it's an RPG, but they didn't "add" anything to the game
-The hit calculation wasn't transparent, distance (also if enemy is close) seemed to have a huge impact, cover almost none
-The Heal mechanics. Always being able to heal the last attack is stupid. Being happy to be hit critically with 40 damage instead of 5+5 Damage feels stupid.
-The fights were either not challenging (on Very Hard) or frustrating due to the random factor and heal mechanics. Happened several times to me that I missed 3 times in a row with a 70-80% chance. Yes, this can happen, but this really sucks when you hardly have influence on it (unless Jagged Alliance for example, where you have more shots/can spend points to aim). Used exactly one medkit in my hole walkthrough - during the last fight.
-In the first half of the game I felt like there was too much text compared to "stuff to do". Reading a lot is ok. But reading 60-90 minutes straight without any other interactions in between gets boring, at least for me. Improved during the second half of the game
-No real beginning, no real ending. Game starts with dialogues, game ends with dialogues with a black screen+text. Not even static pictures with texts of your individual coices like in Avadon 2. The big decision I made in the end, changed like 3 sentences in dialogues and one sentence in the black end screen. Very unsatisfying.
-A couple of "light" bugs: One time I let a mission objective live, afterwards he was counted as dead. In the end fight it ended my turn in 2 of 3 attempts before I could move all characters. Every single time when you want to buff 2 characters in the same turn with the same character you get an interface bug. You have to buff the first one, select another char, select the buffer again, and buff the second char.
-The performance of the game sucked. When there are big levels+a matrix layer it started stuttering. Loading times, especially from the Kreuzbasar Hub were horrible (not having a SSD).
Kordanor is offline

Kordanor

Kordanor's Avatar
Wastelander
RPGWatch Donor

#9

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 972

Default 

March 17th, 2014, 01:00
Originally Posted by Darthowicz_Roxorowski View Post
Or are they?
More like for 2/3, and I stressed it pretty clearly that it's still not much, but gives a good enough illusion of choice and freedom.
First point you explain well the good illusion of freedom, in short:
- Hub not too small, evolving well along the game, with multiple stuff to focus on.
- Choices among missions during a part of the game.
- Very large missions levels with a good non linearity.

For the choices, there many with consequences mainly on later dialogs/email/forum posts, but not only. I think you undervalue a bit this in your review.

But for choices of missions let see:
Spoiler – Spoiler count of missions and parts with choices of missions


Originally Posted by Darthowicz_Roxorowski View Post
When I said heal wound is broken, I meant precisely that it is a "win button". Got hit by a crit for 40 damage? NP! Heal will take it all down! And the AI's general incompetence when it comes to focus firing doesn't help here either.
Ha ha ok looks like I didn't read well but I still don't agree, it's a feature, it's on purpose design and nothing broken, you disagree but you aren't a better pro designer than game dev, broken means broken and it's not broken.

Originally Posted by Darthowicz_Roxorowski View Post
Only boss dudes spend all their AP properly, and needless to say there is only a small handful of those in the game.
Mid bosses, ie some along the game, that's not all. As I wrote this point was wrong, it's not all, but I agree less enemies should have this limit.

Originally Posted by Darthowicz_Roxorowski View Post
…I'd rather not quote "bugs written about in the internet!" because they are often vague and unreliable.
About bugs I spend a long time in forums, and there's clearly more serious bugs than you seem say. But yeah you didn't knew it that's fine your reviewer competency isn't questioned, but it's wrong.

A good hint in forums about bugs is when players that tend be a bit fanboys with the game still report or mention few non minor bugs, but yeah I don't ask a reviewer do such survey, it's just a misguiding point in the review but hard to avoid because yourself didn't quote major stuff.

Originally Posted by Darthowicz_Roxorowski View Post
…choices that don't give you anything other than a flavour email afterwards.
It's giving marmelade to pigs but I do hope dev won't give up on such good things because too many players can't appreciate it.

The problem I have with your comment is most RPG just don't do anything to avoid build links between different parts and risk more bugs, no dialogs, no email, no forum posts to mention or quote one of your past choice. In Dragonfall there's many.

Originally Posted by Darthowicz_Roxorowski View Post
It is actually very easy and I can think of at least 2 ways this could be handled. If ghouls die, keep the map as it is. If ghouls are spared - remove one of the enemy groups or weaken each of them by, say, 1 less dude. There. Very hard to invent.
So when there's ghouls to help there's more enemies, strange, why? No reason giving to players? Nope it's not that simple, at least in my opinion. Edit the campaign and make this change and we will argue about how easy done it is. :-)

EDIT: About having different events in different contexts despite there's no explanation, I'm not bothered by that. But I noticed since long that too many players argue negatively against that pinpointing incoherency, without to admit it could be just different time line with different events, no need of logic between the different time line.
Last edited by Ihaterpg; March 17th, 2014 at 01:16.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#10

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

March 17th, 2014, 01:11
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
…The fights were either not challenging (on Very Hard) or frustrating due to the random factor and heal mechanics….
Hum seems not coherent for me, I have no troubles with that. Many players don't understand it's better lost some turns for improved ToHit, lower chance to be hit (yes cover work plus other tools), lower enemy ToHit (many tools).

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Happened several times to me that I missed 3 times in a row with a 70-80% chance. Yes, this can happen, but this really sucks when you hardly have influence on it.
As you wrote it's normal, and as you don't wrote you could have improved your ToHit, there's many way to do it, and sorry but cover works.

EDIT: But I agree a Nightmare difficulty level is missing.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#11

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

March 17th, 2014, 01:15
Originally Posted by Ihaterpg View Post
Hum seems not coherent for me, I have no troubles with that. Many players don't understand it's better lost some turns for improved ToHit, lower chance to be hit (yes cover work plus other tools), lower enemy ToHit (many tools).


As you wrote it's normal, and as you don't wrote you could have improved your ToHit, there's many way to do it, and sorry but cover works.
Yes, it works, but it's minimal. So minimal, that when attempting to negate it, you might have screwed your tohit rate by increasing or decreasing the range to a value which is not as good for your weapon anymore. Effectively wasting one action point for no change of your toHit (or even decreasing it).
Kordanor is offline

Kordanor

Kordanor's Avatar
Wastelander
RPGWatch Donor

#12

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 972

Default 

March 17th, 2014, 01:28
Eventually the problem is linked to the lack of clarity as you mentioned. It requires experiment instead of check some numbers.

For example the range has very different effects, closer doesn't mean better, first close range attack has lower ToHit it's a sort of consequence of an attack mixed with a movement. Cover does work but it only lower enemy ToHit and there's many other factors than just your cover.

Eventually there's perhaps some hidden factors, some players get that feeling like having another unit between you and your target, I'm not sure it's true or wrong.

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
-No real beginning, no real ending. Game starts with dialogues, game ends with dialogues with a black screen+text. Not even static pictures with texts of your individual coices like in Avadon 2. The big decision I made in the end, changed like 3 sentences in dialogues and one sentence in the black end screen. Very unsatisfying.
Woo for me it's a great ending, secondly, you are wrong, there's also the dialog with the "oracle" and some phone call with some player choices. And many consequences are spread along the game through emails, forum posts, dialogs. Avadon 2 isn't even close, no comparison possible.

EDIT: Hahem I mean Avadon 1, I started, played some area and progressed in the game but didn't finished Avadon 2.

EDIT2: A key element is focus in improving your ToHit, and after to lower enemy ToHit or AP. It changes significantly the combats to manage it like that.

EDIT3: And during the ending you conclude all the relationship line with many NPC not only the companions, and there are player choices consequences in these lines, at least for most. Avadon 1 is very very far, and I doubt Avadon 2 is even close.
Last edited by Ihaterpg; March 17th, 2014 at 01:40.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#13

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

March 17th, 2014, 01:41
Woo for me it's a great ending, secondly, you are wrong, there's also the dialog with the "oracle". And many consequences are spread along the game through emails, forum posts, dialogs. Avadon 2 isn't even close, no comparison possible.

EDIT: Hahem I mean Avadon 1, I started, played some area and progressed in the game but didn't finished Avadon 2.
Honestly can't remember what came after the gameplay ending in avadon 1 (which I found quite bad from a gamelogic and gameflow perspective)
And the dialogue with the oracle was (among others) what I meant.
The group has one sentence about your decision. The guy in the subway, and the people from the mage shop - and the ending screen.
And I mostly talk about the ending here. The decisions throughout the game could have more impact but I think they are ok more or less. Would have loved more from Dietrichs nephew, from the Drug Addict I saved and from the shelter where I donated as much as possible.
But at least to me the Ending of the game felt unsatisfying. Independent on what you did, it felt like people responded like "Well, you did what you had to do by <insert choice here>. Guess it was the right decision".
Of course it's subjective and it's also just a minor point which doesn't ruin a game. But it was one little thing on a stack of little things for me.
Kordanor is offline

Kordanor

Kordanor's Avatar
Wastelander
RPGWatch Donor

#14

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 972

Default 

March 17th, 2014, 01:44
EDIT2: A key element is focus in improving your ToHit, and after to lower enemy ToHit or AP. It changes significantly the combats to manage it like that.
Most combats don't require that anyways. Mostly you can kill a couple of dudes in the first turn (Took rifle with main char, Eiger, Blitz and Dietrich for missions). And as long as the remaining guys shoot at two different characters (and not on the same) they are done the next turn anyways and you leave the combat with no injury.
Kordanor is offline

Kordanor

Kordanor's Avatar
Wastelander
RPGWatch Donor

#15

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 972

Default 

March 17th, 2014, 01:47
How you can omit all the relationship conclusions in the ending??? They are part of the ending, common. For example:

Spoiler


And once more there's also the phone call but it seems you didn't made the choice giving it in the end.

For great/not that great yeah there's a lot of subjectivity. For me it's all the layer of thinking that adds the end, oracle, dragon boy, future years, companions future, Hub future.

EDIT: Yeah not really required to focus heavily on ToHit management in many combats/parts of combats. But then don't complain about missing too often. I agree the game need another higher difficulty level. Or/and perhaps some more difference between Hard and very Hard.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#16

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Review @ RPG Codex
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:22.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch