By: CJ Boat
Last year on the “Best of 2013” episode of The Geek I/O Podcast, I put one of my best games of 2013 as Shadowrun: Returns, and again I addressed it on Episode 45 that this is one of my favorite games out there now.
And then I heard of the expansion pack, and my heart skipped a beat.
Then it launched.
Then I was happy!
The setting in this scenario is in Berlin, Germany (of course in the Shadowrun world). I am a little lost on the whole scenario, not sure exactly if it settles into the current state of Germany, just “Shadowrun’d”, or if it’s completely different. Also, the language is lost to me, as my amount of German extends to food, guten tag, and schadenfreude, but of course the main bits of dialogue is in English, just the titles of things, and sometimes I’m lost on the title of companies and gangs.
I’m not going to get too far into the plot here, but it is another fast (for a SRPG) paced, exciting, intriguing, and sometimes even fun. If you have played the newest Deus Ex games, it kind of feels like that (which of course Deus Ex lends itself to Shadowrun) in its execution, and that’s a good feeling. Of course you’re looking at post-apocalyptic future with high fantasy pieces likes elves, magic, and the like.
Now for the gameplay! It’s pretty much the same thing as before, the Shadowrun pen-and-paper game put into a three-quarter view SRPG. In the base game I played a Street Samurai (fighter who can use guns - no magic) and this time around, I chose a Shaman (spirit magic) and it’s a complete and total game-changer. The game really punishes players who misstep (though I played on the hardest difficulty - strategy is key) and rewards those who think several steps ahead of their opponents, it’s a big thing for those who think like me, and has a great risk-reward AI.
I have not done anything with it yet, but there are lots of new skins for User-Generated Campaigns (UGC) and I’ve heard lots of great things about some of the campaigns that users have created, and will do some follow-ups when I get the chance to play them - more of this game the better!
Because I like to score things:
+ Graphics: 8/10
+ Music: 7/10
+ Gameplay: 9/10
+ Writing: 6/10
+ Average: 8/10 - the music really does this game an injustice.