Shadowrun: Returns

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A dead man switch, how many of these have actually paid out?

Shadowrun Returns is a strategy cRPG and created by Harebrained Studios and funded by Kickstarter. This fantasy series has Humans, Elves, Trolls and more in a futuristic age. Shadowrun was originally a cyberpunk tabletop RPG created in 1989 that was similar in gameplay to Dungeons and Dragons. Since its creation  there have been novels, tabletop games and videogames created in the same universe. Shadowrun Returns was created in 2012 and brought back the video gaming series.

Plot: This version take place in Seattle, WA after the protagonist receives a message from a recently deceased friend offering a dead man switch; a cash payment upon finding your friends killer. The game involves solving the mystery of your friend’s death along with finding out more about the universe and the NPC’s that exist within it. The game progresses as the main character gets more involved with the murder of his friend and the conspiracy behind the event, Throughout the game making decisions that impact the gameplay and how the story progresses. Those decisions determine the how the ending comes about.

Gameplay: Shadowrun Returns is a turn based strategy with character leveling dependant upon class and race chosen. Ability points allow the player to pick and choose what stats increase when leveling up. Adding ability points to certain stats allows different options during conversations with NPC’s and battles against enemies. Within the game there are a full range of weapons, magic and cyber enhancements to upgrade the protagonist. The main character also becomes friends with some of the NPC’s giving the game depth. Additonally, Shadowrun Returns includes a rich story line that requires lots of reading to understand what happened to your friend who was murdered.

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Difficulty: This game will provide a good challenge for any player who is familiar or unfamiliar with turn based strategy games. Battle is easy to understand and players can utilize a variation of tactics dependant upon the type of character created.The game has difficulty settings that increases the AI’s ability along with making battles more difficult. Throughout the game the players collects funds for completion of the missions. Increasing the difficulty drastically changes the amount of money received after each mission and in turn affects character customization.

Music: Synth, electronica and house music fill the soundtrack for this game. Shadowrun Returns is based in the near future so it’s understandable that more electronic music would be used as the OST and sound effects to give it that feel. The music applies to the game well giving the feeling you’re actually in the streets of Seattle, WA in our near future. The music provides great background to the gameplay.

Summary: Tactical RPG’s have always been my favorite genre and this game is a great addition to my collection. I own the Snes version and find it to be one of the hardest games ever made. I love the D&D feel the game has with its stat points, classes and a rich Shadowrun history available to you. The story is really eerie and is full of suspense and the soundtrack really adds to that feeling. The game has a different kind of replay value as you might miss or forget something read for the plot line. replaying it has you discover different parts of the story and fleshes out the plot line even more. I suggest this game to anyone, its great.

8.5/10

harle

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