Monika is dead and I’m left to pick up the pieces, someone with pay for this…
Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall is the second installment of the Shadowrun video game series. Dragonfall is based near Berlin, Germany in a stable anarchist state knows as The Flux. The game begins with a run going awry when the team leader is murdered under strange circumstances. The player then gets involved in revenge for your fallen leader coincidentally while being followed by an organization run by an ancient dragon named Feuerschwinge otherwise known as Firewing. The organization is bent on the regeneration of the world and you are the only thing that can stop it, of course.
Plot: Dragonfall’s plot is both intricate and invigorating. There is a lot to catch up on within The Flux and what’s been going on in recent history within the Shadowrun universe. The protagonist directs their team on missions to solve the murder of their old leader and bring someone to justice. Unlike the previous installment you are not thrown into the world without knowledge of what’s going on, you are immediately immersed in the situation and have to put things together. Monika gets murdered, The hero the player creates becomes the leader and the team starts raising money to pay for information. Creating your team also assists in gentrifying the neighborhood and your leader specifically takes on the leadership role that Monika had within The Flux.
Gameplay: Just like the the previous game it’s a grid based strategy with cyberpunk and role play elements mixed in. The player is created by choosing race, class and applying ability points to make the character have certain traits during conversations and abilities for actions in battle or exploring. The classes range from street samurai to mage and both have different tactics applied while in battle and investigating. The story consists of choices made during conversations that determines what will happen further down the plot line. Depending on the abilities characters have, additional options in conversation become available to the player. Between runs the hero returns home several times to check up on the citizens of Flux. Doing this adds affinity with the residents and missions for the party members. There are multiple endings to the game so Dragonfall allows the player to finish in any fashion deemed appropriate and choices made influence the ending received. The multiple endings and vast character customization gives this game great replay value.
Difficulty: This game provides a challenge on the normal setting alone. The characters level up at the same rate as the enemies making it equally matched. Progressing through the game requires reading the text for plot points to understand the answers you give to the NPC’s and enemies.The battles and amount of money you receive are greatly influenced by the difficulty, slowing the advance of both the protagonist and plotline. It is possible to not raise enough money to progress through the rest of the story which can be a major let down when the game cannot be completed. Making sure to choose the right traits and save enough money for information in crucial for finishing Dragonfall.
Music: Atmospheric synth and electronica fuel the soundtrack for this installment of Shadowrun. There are scenes within the game where the hero is within clubs and bars where different house and low-fi music is played giving the game an eerie and futuristic feeling. Battle music starts when engaging an enemy and lays on heavy synth with deep thumps to feed some adrenaline into the system. Whenever at your base you hear the Shadowrun Theme which can be heard in all the installments. All around a great soundtrack for this game.
Summary: Dragonfall is an outstanding title to add to anyone’s collection. Harebrained Schemes have been following the same gameplay formula for the Shadowrun Series and It seems to be working. Both installments have has great plot lines that expand well, Dragonfall in particular gave you sense of dread with its plot. Allowing the player to customize the entire team’s skills in Dragonfall added a huge bonus. This game is truly great for any tactics or role playing fan and has a great fan following to show it.