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Shadowrun Returns Review at RPG Watch

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Shadowrun Returns Review at RPG Watch

Review - posted by Crooked Bee on Sun 22 September 2013, 18:50:02

Tags: Harebrained Schemes; Shadowrun Returns

RPG Watch has published their own comprehensive review of Shadowrun Returns. Is it better or worse than Darth Roxor's? Discuss!

Have a snippet:

Late in the game the story spins into a more fantastic and (to me) slightly cheesy direction, which unfortunately forgoes the more personal and dirty down-to-earth feeling of the earlier parts for high adventure. The game dutifully touches Shadowrun staples such as megacorporate power, down-and-out urban sprawl, gang warfare, etc. Maybe a bit cliché if you already know Shadowrun, but appreciated in a game that seeks to revive the IP and to introduce it also to new players. A little worse is that it positively wallows in the damsel in distress trope, several times over. I wish we could move beyond that.

The ending uses one of the games strengths, dialog and writing to wraps things up by giving you a chance to discuss various things with some of the main characters you have met during your adventure, and some final remarks about future developments (and a tiny bit of foreshadowing for the Berlin campaign). It's nicely done.

Overall it's an entertaining tale, although not a great one. The shortness and linearity makes it easy to follow. But the point remains that the game keeps you on an excessively short leash throughout, and for that reason it often felt more like a point-and-click adventure with RPG elements than an actual RPG. If you don't mind to simply be told a story in the guise of a RPG, you will be fine - if player agency, choice and consequence, and exploration are a prerequisite for enjoyment for you, you will not find nearly enough of it here to make you happy.

[...] My overall impression is that the project was really afraid to take any risks. It shows an almost metahuman level of control, a will to make smart business decisions: starting out small, avoiding feature creep, concentrating on essentials. All good advice to any startup indie game developer, I am sure. But as a result, when I think of words to describe this game, what comes to mind are words like solid, neat, groomed, polished, focused, controlled... ultimately: a little boring. It lacks passion. It's not the wild whacky fun that I remembered.​

The score is 3/5. Read it in full here.

There are 39 comments on Shadowrun Returns Review at RPG Watch

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