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Monday, 29 July 2013

Shadowrun Returns

It's much better than the last game. Though that's not saying much.

So apparently Shadowrun had a kickstarter that I didn't know about. Although it happened in April 2012, which was before I even heard about kickstarter, so that's probably why. Anyway, it seems to have done pretty successfully and notice how they manage to get the game out without having to go and tell people they ran out of a 3 million USD budget to finish the game?

Anyway, so what is Shadowrun Returns? It's a turn-based game set in the world of Shadowrun. For those of you who've played X-COM Enemy Unknown, it's basically X-COM Enemy Unknown, but with a plot. For those of you who haven't played X-COM, you really should. 
Think of it as the unholy union of X-COM and Neverwinter Nights 1. When you're not fighting, you'll be running around on the map, talking to people and trying to figure out what you need to do to advance to the next fight. Occasionally, you buy some weapon upgrades or supplies but most of the time, the maps are fairly straight forward. 

So what's the fighting like? X-COM Enemy Unknown of course. Your characters move around on a square grid, take cover behind objects and shoot at the enemies. It's totally turn-based and you'll have a bunch of different weapons that your character can use. None of the weapons seem to be class-dependent so that's good. However, there are certain class skills that give bonuses to certain weapons it seems. 

So I ended up rolling a dwarf adept and going through the game. I haven't finished it yet but I'm probably more than halfway through it. The plot is fairly standard and it there aren't any major twists that will shock you. However, that doesn't mean it isn't decently written. It's probably a lot better than the plots of several major AAA titles I can name *masseffectdragonage2* The characters are all fairly enjoyable and much better than the ones in Pacific Rim although I'm really comparing across media at this point. 

I enjoy the fights though they really really seem to be a bit too easy at times. However, they're starting to ramp up in difficulty at the stage I'm at but when you can use a shotgun and basically down someone's AP (action points) to 0; forcing him to have no actions next turn, WHILE doing damage at the same time... Well, it just seems kinda broken I guess. 

So would I recommend this game? It really depends. Personally, I enjoy it and I think that most people I know would enjoy this game. However, it's undeniable that it has a few flaws with it at the moment. First of all, the campaign is pretty short from what I've heard. It's also fairly linear because there's no exploring or backtracking. It's kind of like a movie plot really, where you go to this place and do X stuff and once you're done with X stuff, you can only go to the next plot progression point. There's no going back to a previous place to explore it some more; not unless you need to to progress the plot. Hence, there's no grinding either. However, this is a fairly small flaw due to the scenario builder they included in the game. Hence my initial comparison to NWN1. Eventually, there probably are going to be MODs and whole campaigns built by other people for this game. 

The second issue is the save system, which is pretty borked. Basically there is no manual saving and there's only an autosave. Once you enter the area, it saves once and that's it. You have to stay in the game until you go to another area. And depending on the fights, that may take a while. That's one of the biggest issues with the game because sometimes you really don't know how long fights will take so it's not really a pick it up if I have maybe 30 mins to spare kind of game but a 'hm, I have 2 hrs to spare, let me play shadowrun' because you do NOT want to have to repeat the last 30 mins of the game. 

Other than that, yes, personally I would recommend getting this game.