Shadowrun Returns Alpha Footage

By Adam Smith on March 8th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

A few weeks ago, I posted what I thought were Shadowrun Returns screenshots, only to be told that they were ‘concept pieces’. I consider that to be the worst thing that has happened to me in 2013 so far. The twenty minutes of alpha footage in the video below are definitely genuine though. I can tell because Jordan Weisman is one of the narrators and he has been running in the shadows since 1989. If you choose to watch, you’ll be treated to a great deal of handsome isometric cyberpunk combat and dialogue, with excitable and explanatory voiceovers.

Desirable. I sometimes forget how unlikely some of the early batch of Kickstarter projects seemed when they were first announced but watching this and seeing that Shadowrun is actually a cRPG again causes me to nod contentedly. That’s as close to a smile as I get on a Friday afternoon.

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100 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Watched it an hour ago, watched it another time, and I am glad that I backed a game idea that actually seems to turn into what was expected.

    • Wreckdum says:

      THIS GIVES ME SUCH A ROCK HARD BONER. I’m resting my coffee mug on it right now. NOT EVEN BENDING!

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        What about the burns?

        • Wreckdum says:

          I only use the finest insulated mugs. You can grab that thing with bare hands right after filling it up!

          Also keeps my willy protected! =D

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            You should totally check out pornography.

          • alexisbernal says:

            Isabella. even though Douglas`s c0mment is exceptional… last tuesday I got themselves a Porsche 911 after having made $5841 this-past/month and more than ten-grand last month. with-out any doubt it’s the most comfortable work Ive ever had. I began this five months/ago and almost straight away was making more than $87, p/h. I went to this website,..Amazingjob22.Buzz70.com

      • Swanny says:

        Came here to say the same. I’ve got the most massive stiffy for this game, and can’t wait till release. Oh, the release.

    • Todd_Bailey says:

      as Paula said I am inspired that a single mom able to profit $7308 in a few weeks on the computer. have you seen this site link… http://zapit.nu/2zm

    • thecat17 says:

      I don’t normally play these kind of RPG games, but Shadowrun is just too awesome and the alpha footage’s got me psyched. I might even give the Genesis and Super Nintendo versions a go to prepare myself.

      Which one should I play first?
      (I did play the ’07 Microsoft version but that was basically Halo with magic spells. Shit sucked.)

  2. apocraphyn says:

    It’s like Fallout and XCOM and Shadowrun all wrapped into one! Looks fantastic! (Also, that music).

    • Premium User Badge

      phlebas says:

      Also, Syndicate.

    • LionsPhil says:

      This just violently shot onto my radar. Looks pretty damn good.

      Looking at their blog thing, many of the development team have beards. No wonder they are displaying such skill.

  3. Tyrmot says:

    This looks amazing… was very sorry I missed the kickstarter! I went to pre-order today after seeing this footage, and then remembered at the last minute I had already pre-ordered it in a fit of excitement on monday.. I can’t wait for this one

    • solidsquid says:

      Thanks for that, realised just now that I’d forgotten to back this when it was a Kickstart, so gonna go put the pre-order in now

      • bill says:

        Yeah, it would be terrible if you forgot to pre-order the digital game and then they ran out of copies!

        It looks great, but I think i’ll wait for the reviews so that i know if it is great before I spend my cash.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    A violent, brutal dystopian world where force justifies anything and money and influence can bring immunity from consequences for the corporate elite who callously manipulate the lives of uncountable millions for their own benefit, while everything is linked by an all-pervasive computer network and people speak a crazy mish-mash of insider terms, technical jargon, and authentic gibberish?

    Oh, no, hang on, there are elves. For a second there I thought it was a chillingly accurate documentary.

    • Ansob says:

      Have you only just discovered the cyberpunk genre?

      • InternetBatman says:

        I laughed a lot at that one.

      • tobecooper says:

        That’s no way to speak to your elders. Lord Mustard has been playing and reading cyberpunk since the dawn of The British Empire, sir, so I’m afraid your snide remarks fall on deaf ears. Maybe even literally deaf ears, (but I shall not dare to speculate)!

        Also, to not be completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand, I’ve got to say that the game looks absolutely lovely in all the right fallouty/cyberpunky isometric ways.

        • Premium User Badge

          Llewyn says:

          I think you’ll find Lord Mustard is Lord Custard’s rather sharper elder brother. The Mycroft to his Sherlock, as it were.

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            Oh sure Mycroft was SMARTER, but he was so anti-social and anally retentive even Holmes thought he was too much.

            He also kept the entirety of the Empires finances, to the notch, in his head.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            Anti-social, indeed. Have you ever seen Mustard post here? I thought not.

          • tobecooper says:

            I strongly believe they both use the same account here on RPS.

            Also, I prefer Mustard – his name rolls off the tongue better.

        • The Random One says:

          Lord Mustard has been reading cyberpunk for so long that when he started it still was steampunk.

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            No sir, it was Steam-Infant. Quite a lot of brass steam powered star-mobiles in those days

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      A very shrewd definition of Kickstarter indeed.

      But what of the game?

  5. Reefpirate says:

    This looks goddamn fantastic.

  6. Inigo says:

    JAYEK ARMETIJ

  7. Lemming says:

    Wish I’d read the kickstarter properly now, as I was under the impression this was more a combat game than a full RPG. Looks good! I like the minimalistic HUD

    • Tacroy says:

      It kinda was actually. IIRC the game they were gonna make at the initial Kickstarter threshold was probably going to be a lot more combat focused (since the heart of the gameplay is in combat, even if the heart of the game isn’t), but getting ~4x the planned amount of money vastly changed the scope of the game and let them flesh out the rest of it.

      I mean, if you look at the original estimated delivery date, it’s January 2013. From the current state of this alpha, we probably could have gotten a decent combat engine with not much else by then, but they’re going a lot further than that.

      (of course, it’s totally not a surprise at all that the release date slipped – that was one of the first statements Jordan made after the kickstarter ended.).

  8. nimzy says:

    I wonder how the design document reads: “See, we had this awesome SNES game, now let’s make it better.”

    Totally okay with this.

    • karry says:

      Except SNES game wasnt awesome, or even competent in any area. OST was okay, i guess…

      • Nick says:

        The SNES game is great in every area and you are wrong.

        • Reefpirate says:

          While I think this fellow was a little harsh and poo-pooey about expressing himself… The SNES game didn’t do nearly as much for me as the Sega Genesis game did. They’re completely different approaches from different devs, and the Genesis game was kinda like a GTA cyberpunk RPG. Ahead of its time and absolutely fantastic.

          • Panda Powered says:

            Its a shame the Megadrive/Genesis game only released in the US. :/

          • Renzatic says:

            I always considered the SNES Shadowrun to be the point ‘n click adventure game take on the series, with the Genesis version being more of a pure RPG, true to it’s tabletop roots.

            This new Shadowrun? It looks like a healthy mix of the best from both games. And that makes it awesome as AW HELL NAW!

          • bill says:

            The SNES game sucked. The Megadrive/Genesis one rocked though.

      • Totally heterosexual says:

        Well you are a poo face.

        Go poo from your face somewhere else.

      • Panda Powered says:

        The SNES game was and is still a great game.
        My only complaints: I had to play it with a really shitty Swedish translation as a kid and the whole stand still to shoot/grenade/cast.

  9. DarkFarmer says:

    Whoa I take back everything I never said about nostalgia and Kickstarter. This game looks AWESOME!!!

  10. Hoaxfish says:

    I’m really happy to see this for the game it is becoming.

    Also, I wonder how hard it would be to mod into Necromunda.

  11. InternetBatman says:

    I’m so glad I backed this game. I was on the fence and then did some research into the people involved, and it pushed me over. This game looks like it’s turning out fantastically.

  12. RProxyOnly says:

    Very hyped about this game… It’s a complete evolution to what was first offered in the KS, and that vid looks such fun. My best ‘back’ yet.

    Roll on June-ish.

  13. Drake Sigar says:

    Give it to me.

  14. Bhazor says:

    Glorious. Truly glorious.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see a Shadowrun game that isn’t all grim dark. That was something that worried me when I first heard about it.

    • stiffkittin says:

      Totally agree. We’ll be getting plenty of that from Cyberpunk 2077. Shadowrun was always more ‘Flares and Slippers’ than ‘Dead Cities’ or ‘Last Rockers’ anyway.

      • Bhazor says:

        All the grim dark cyberpunk games on the way and people seem to forget one crucial aspect. It can be a *very* silly setting.

        But it’s wonderful to see a game built on serious systems and deep combat mechanics but that isn’t afraid to be cartoony and stylised. I haven’t seen that since Disgaea.

        Really wish I’d backed this now. I guess the collectors edition pre-order will just have to do .

        • InternetBatman says:

          Especially if you read Snow Crash. Hiro J. Protagonist?

  15. fnkstr says:

    I think we only managed to get together like.. 2 sessions of the pen n paper version back in the early nineties…. i guess i didn’t know I was waiting for this ever since…. now wheres that old streetsamurai charsheet?

  16. Low Life says:

    This looks great. I didn’t back the game (Star Citizen still remains the only one I have, since it’s the only one I might want to play before release), but this video’s almost enough to convince me to buy the game when it’s eventually released.

    Is there any info about the music that’s going to be in the game?

  17. DClark says:

    Yes, I’m glad I backed this kickstarter as well; it’s coming along really well and from what I’ve seen it looks to be well worth my $30 pledge. Just don’t rush it – I didn’t give Harebrained Schemes my money expecting a game on a certain date, I gave them my money because I believe in their vision and want to see it come to fruition even if it takes longer than expected.

  18. squareking says:

    I missed the Kickstarter! I might just wait for release and pay more-than-preorder so they can have more money. Because dayum.

    http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Dayum-Five-Guys-Reaction.gif

  19. Keyrock says:

    This makes me so happy, I’m definitely not regretting my pledge one bit. I’m going to get into such awesome adventures with my Ork Shaman. Until I actually get to play it, I can’t say for sure, but this is looking damn near best case scenario for what I envisioned when I backed this.

  20. rustybroomhandle says:

    It’s beautiful… snif snif.

  21. Blackseraph says:

    2013 seems like a good year, for games.

  22. etho says:

    Yeah, I’ll probably play it, but it still irritates the crap out of me that someone thought it was a good idea to take a kickass cyberpunk setting, then add elves and magic and crap. That is just the dumbest.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Well, that’s Shadowrun for you. In the tabletop game, the fantasy D&D crap tends to enable the worst kind of gamer dorks to inflict their dumb shit and awful nerd jokes on you. In a videogame, it can be treated more as a bit of flavor to a straighter cyberpunk world. Hopefully.

      Incidentally, my favorite take on fantasy-flavored cyberpunk is “Knight of the Demon Queen” by Barbara Hambly, the third book in an otherwise medieval-ish fantasy series where our protagonist travels to a cyberpunk world infested with demons. (It’s much better than it sounds.) The whole quadrilogy is well worth a read.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        You know, I never found that.

        That said, I generally only play with awesome people, rather than the worst of dorks. (Even at conventions, somehow..)

      • JackShandy says:

        “enable the worst kind of gamer dorks to inflict their dumb shit and awful nerd jokes on you.”

        Why would you play with the worst kind of gamer dorks, then?

      • etho says:

        Actually, that book does sound kind of interesting. A sci-fi world creeping into traditional fantasy is more appealing to me than the other way around.

        Also, I don’t mean to knock fantasy. I like fantasy, when it is well crafted. I kind of just hate how the Shadowrun creators decided to awkwardly shoehorn in completely unnecessary fantasy elements. It ends up feeling more like third rate Gibson/Tolkien fan fiction.

        But again, all that aside, this was a pretty sweet demo vid, and I will definitely be giving it a try. I just might, uh, “sample” it before I decide whether or not to put down money on it.

      • Premium User Badge

        slerbal says:

        Etho & TillEulenspiegel: Speak for yourself! Have you ever played the game with a group of adults? I ask because it is bloody brilliant.

        My players and I are having a riot in Shadowrun. The 4th Edition / 20th Anniversary Edition is really well polished and fun. Also just because it has elves etc. doesn’t make is comedy, the Shadowrun game deals with issues like racism/genocide and all sort of adult issues better than any other game in the cyberpunk genre. I’d argue that Shadowrun does a better job of actually thinking the ramifications of new cyberware, matrix (internet) technology and magic better than almost any other game.

        The quality of the writing is pretty awesome.

        I like “straight” cyberpunk too, but your comments just come off as cliquey and elitist. I’m glad this is going to be a good year for Shadowrun in all its forms.

    • JFS says:

      I guess Cyberpunk 2077 will be more up your alley. And while I’m a nerd myself, I have to agree that Shadowrun is really toeing the line.

    • WrenBoy says:

      That is exactly why I didnt back the kickstarter but I now regret not supporting it.
      It
      looks
      fuck
      king
      deadly.

    • bill says:

      I don’t get it. If you take the orcs and elves out of Shadowrun then it’s just a generic cyberpunk setting… there are lots of those.

      I always thought it was an excellent idea to take a generic cyberpunk setting and mix it up with some fantasy. The mix between the two has been tried in a few games (like Arcanum) but none have ever pulled it off as well as Shadowrun.

      The idea to have orcs and elves and magic come back into a modern setting via mutation allowed them to set up a lot of interesting parallels with racism, as well as taking the piss out of a number of fantasy tropes.

  23. kud13 says:

    oh, wow, this game looks awesome. Deffo worth my Day 1 pledge.

    This was also the very first thing I kickstarted. Never played the PnP or the console games, but I read the tie-in novels when I was younger and I loved the world.

    so pumped to see a Shadowrun game.

  24. gritz says:

    Looks better than I could have imagined.

  25. karry says:

    Looks decent, but animations are so bland…does their animator have an imagination or what ?

  26. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Hang on. Is that John “Q” De Lancie playing the demo?
    Totally sounds like John “Q” De Lancie playing the demo.
    John.
    “Q”
    De Lancie. Totally.

  27. eleion says:

    I love how they have the sign from Pike Place Market in Seattle in their environment set-piece. That was one of the things that always bothered me about the SNES version of Shadowrun – how it never even tried to look anything like Seattle.

  28. wodin says:

    Looks superb. I also believe highly moddable where people can create their won stories\campaigns and upload them. I didn’t have the cash to back it at the time but will be buying it on release.

  29. Tomhai says:

    Am I the only one who is totally fed up with the neon blue (green, yellow whatever) interfaces? I know, Shadowrun is cyberpunk and so it kind of would make sense, but it has been so overused that it seems like everybody is using the same interface. And on top of that now XCom, Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun have no gun pictures but just some outlines of guns. What exacly is going on in peoples heads when they design that? Or am I weird?

    • Tacroy says:

      “Shit, I’ve got deadlines, I don’t have enough time to put in all the details… I guess I’ll just do gun outlines instead”.

    • thecat17 says:

      Yes, you are the only one. Also, you were not witnessing the final version that we’ll all be playing.

    • InternetBatman says:

      In Wasteland 2, two of the character portraits are a baby and a dog. Do you really expect finished assets from that?

  30. Upper Class Twit says:

    This looks pretty cool. I’m wondering if they’re planning on implementing some form of destructible cover though. Playing XCOM, I guess I kind of take it for granted, and now I’m noticing its omission.

  31. Corporate Dog says:

    EA: AAA, multi-million dollar budgeted, always-connected DRM games with enough microtransactions to choke a whale, and enough launch issues to choke a slightly larger whale.

    Hairbrained Schemes: A $400,000 title with turn-based gameplay.

    Only one of these made me smile today.

    EDIT: Ooops. I stand corrected. The $400,000 figure was their initial goal, which they surpassed into the $1mil. range.

  32. elevown says:

    I see Lord british is about to kickstart a new Ultima for 1 million. The BBC article quotes RPS.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21714906

  33. crinkles esq. says:

    Somehow this missed my radar the first time around, but this is looking quite good! Especially for an alpha build. The spell effects look a bit meh, but I assume those will improve. The only thing that turns me off is the cheesy music. Doesn’t really fit the cyberpunk theme, or my ears. But at least the turn-off can be turned off.

  34. MeestaNob says:

    God damn, really wishing I backed that kickstarter now.

    • etho says:

      Surely you will still get to play it the same time as everyone else, more or less?

  35. ZyloMarkIII says:

    While it’s nice to see a proper Shadowrun RPG again, I was looking forward to a setting other than Seattle. Don’t get me wrong; Seattle is the de facto setting for Shadowrun, but a change of locale like Denver or Chicago would have been nice. Other than that, I look forward to see how they implement the Matrix (2054 is still wired, if I’m not mistaken) and the astral plane (if they implement this one at all).

    In related news, the Year of Shadowrun!
    http://www.catalystgamelabs.com/2012/12/21/the-year-of-shadowrun/

    Also, Dunkelzahn for President 2057!

    • epmode says:

      They’re also making a Berlin campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-returns/posts/231780

      But it won’t be released until after the main game launches.

      • kud13 says:

        Berlin is part of the game–the stretch goa was a second city (and thus a second tileset in the level editor), and Berlin won the backer vote held post-Kickstarter. But Berlin is part of the original game.

        It’s wholly possible they’ll later release “updates” and add-on packs, tracing the story from 1954 onwards–this means we’re likely to get Chicago when the bugs break out, but it’ll be an expansion pack if anything.

        Unlike the Genesis game, this one will NOT have a dedicated Matrix “layer”. A shame, yes, but it was out fo hteir scope.

        • Premium User Badge

          Harlander says:

          1954?

          Interesting..

        • myelbow says:

          Well goddamnit… They need to think long and hard about purchasing a new scope because you can’t just remove the damn Matrix. =\

    • thecat17 says:

      Denver, you say? I’d be interested in hearing how cyberpunk you believe such a setting could be…

    • ZyloMarkIII says:

      Didn’t see the Berlin information, so that’s good news. Denver has been a favorite destination spot for me when I run (or play) Shadowrun campaigns just because of the sheer exploitation runners can do smuggling goods. Essentially, the Treaty of Denver divided the area into several political zones (United Canadian and American States, Confederation of American States, and four members of the Native American Nations) with a minimalistic amount of military presence available due to the treaty. It was essentially a frontier setting akin to the Wild West set in the Shadowrun setting. It was a wonderful/dangerous place to visit until Ghostwalker made the entirety of Denver his domain in which it became just a dangerous place to visit. Stupid dragons ruining all the fun.

  36. Thiefsie says:

    Needs more animation. The world is starkly boring and static, and the characters are very wooden (slow) and boringly done.

    Otherwise… looking decent… Still I think I was more impressed with Wasteland.

    This seems a bit simple… destructible scenery? Less combat-heavy gameplay? Huge over the top interface? (Power button???)

    Basically looks like Crusader but with horns and elves and stuff.

    Let’s hope this is only an indication of where they are really going for the final thing.

  37. GigaCosmoShark says:

    It’s the first time I feel THIS bad for missing a kickstarter…well, after all these emotions!!! Time to go back on the Snes version!!!

  38. Girfuy says:

    Looks stunning, but the movement seems a bit clunky at this early stage. Was disappointed to see bodies disappearing immediately after being killed too.

    Anyway, gripes aside, this will be a day 1 purchase for me! Hope the story is as good as the SNES version.

  39. Slinkyboy says:

    I want games to have classical X-COM:UD TBS more than XCOM:EU TBS.

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