Raymond called me to Hong Kong to meet up with him. I bet he is just going to scold me again like when I was younger.
Shadowrun: Hong Kong is the latest game in the series made by Harebrained Schemes. Following the formula of the previous games, Hong Kong adds new gameplay and character development to a strategy RPG. This installment provided another great addition to the Shadowrun universe by showing another part of the world, adding to its history. The game will surprise the player with another tale of magic, technology and saving Hong Kong from Nightmarish danger.
Plot: The protagonists foster-father, Raymond Black has called both the hero and foster-brother Duncan Wu to Hong Kong to meet up after being separated for several years. In the message received by Raymond, distress is heard in his voice as he beckons his family to meet. The protagonist is being released from jail when the message is received and doesn’t have a choice in where to go. Everything goes south once reaching Hong Kong and meeting up with Duncan as the police ambush you immediately murdering 2 of Raymond’s body guards before he even arrives. The surviving escorts Gobbet and Is0bel lead everyone back to their hideout in the Hoei neighborhood in Hong Kong to meet a crime lord named Kindly Cheng. Kindly knew Raymond Black and gives the party information to assist in finding Raymond. The game starts with the party having to find Raymond, figure out why everyone around the Walled City is having nightmares and clearing the Hero and Duncan’s names.
Gameplay: Shadowrun Hong Kong is a turn based strategy with character personality and level advancement. The hero created uses different classes and races available, then chooses a back story determined by the first conversation with foster-brother Duncan Wu. The protagonist levels up certain attributes dependent upon the hero’s class or by the player’s choice. Characters take turns in battle using actions points (AP) which are used for movement, attacking and the use of spells. Battle utilizes cover giving players or opponents advantages and disadvantages while being attacked. Having high ability points gives more choices while in conversation and when trying to explore areas outside of battle. Like the previous Shadowrun game Dragonfall there are multiple endings that the player can achieve through several play throughs giving this game good replay value.
Difficulty: This game has an average difficulty even for players new to the Shadowrun series. Combat is consistent with the previous installments providing small additions to both battle and cyberspace (matrix) exploration. 2 new additions provide challenges while exploring the matrix. Protection programs move in patterns within matrix making the decker tactically sneak around to avoid getting caught. While in the matrix another new feature is actually hacking nodes which takes time and concentration. Failing to input the correct number and symbol combinations raises the alarm for the security programs to attack the decker. Even with the new additions to the game provided as much challenge as expected.
Music: Chinese influenced electronica and techno influence the soundtrack. Jon Everist composed the music and atmospheric noise in Hong Kong along with the soundtrack for the previous installment, Dragonfall. While the player still hears the known Shadowrun theme, there are added layers of effects added to each song of the soundtrack. Each effect ads a sense of mystery to the game giving the feeling that the hero is truly traveling through a town full of enigma’s. The background noise is filled with small chatter, a bottle being kicked here or there, someone randomly crying and more adds eeriness to Shadowrun: Hong Kong.
Summary: Shadowrun: Hong Kong was not as challenging at the previous 2 games. I felt that Dragonfall and Shadowrun Returns also took longer to complete than Hong Kong bothering me because Hong Kong was more expensive than the previous 2. The game did have a great plot that was explained and played well. This installment also added a sense of eerie-ness while I was playing, characters having constant nightmares you can choose to interpret and cinematic’s within the game. All together the game was good but overpriced even with the new battle incorporations that made encounters a lot more fun. The story is great and if you’re a fan of the previous 2 games, then Shadowrun: Hong Kong will entertain you.
8/10 (replayed and gave higher score)