Shadowrun Returns’ Berlin Campaign In “Late October”

By Jim Rossignol on August 5th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.


Harebrained have updated with news of what’s happening following the launch of Shadowrun Returns, and the arrival of the first patch. The Berlin campaign, which will feature a new story mission free to Kickstarter backers, and at an unannounced price for standard purchasers, is now set to arrive in October. The Berlin campaign will also introduce a completely new scenery set for the editor: “Development of Berlin art is already underway, and our design team is also starting to prototype gameplay and mission ideas for the Berlin campaign.”

The post also comes with news of a Linux release, but no time-frame for its arrival: “The editor is now compiling in Linux, but unfortunately crashes when trying to load scenes. We’re confident we can work through the various Linux-related issues, but it is going to take some time to wrangle them into submission.” Sounds like progress, at least.

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93 Comments »

  1. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    That grammar… In the title? Really?

    • RedViv says:

      What? It’s the Berlin campaign of the return of Shadowrun. Makes sense.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Should be Shadowrun Returns’, seems to be missing “arrives” before “in”, and “in” should use a lower case “i”. It also reads oddly to associate a possessive with an inanimate object.

        • Isair says:

          And that’s not even mentioning the lack of puns.

          • guorley says:

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        • Torn says:

          The ‘In’ shouldn’t be lower-cased; that’s not the RPS style for titles.

          The only error is the possessive apostrophe on “Return’s” instead of “Returns’ ” as it ends with an s.

          • valz says:

            So you’re saying it’s okay because RPS always does it wrong?

          • jrodman says:

            I’m not sure there’s a strong authority on title casing, but rather some style guides?

        • gunny1993 says:

          Eh isn’t the ‘ after the word only used when it is general/group thing, like leaders’ prerogative. You place the ‘ after s because it’s no specific leader, just leaders in general.

          So it’s Shadowrun Return’s Berlin campaign, because shadow run returns is a specific object and the dlc does belong to it (however weird that sounds)

          Puns and grammar don’t work well together.

          • The Random One says:

            Is that really so? My understanding was that the apostrophe was used alone when the word preceding ends with S. Plus, by your logic, the correct wouldn’t be Return’s but Returns’s, unless you want to argue that if something belongs to Louis is Loui’s.

          • HothMonster says:

            The Berlin Campaign belongs to Shadowrun Returns, at least in the sentence the DLC belongs to SRR. So Shadowrun Returns becomes possessive. Since it already ends in “S” the apostrophe goes on the end. “Shadowrun Returns’ Berlin DLC…” is correct.

            So you are close to correct Gunny. The apostrophe comes after the S to signify possession by group, like in your example. But it also goes on the end of singular nouns that end in ‘S’. Like “Jess’ new bike” or John Williams’ shiny trumpet.”

          • gunny1993 says:

            Ah yes that makes more sense, always forget to do that when the word already ends in s XD

            Cheers

          • MastodonFarm says:

            Actually, it should be “Shadowrun Returns’s.” Non-plural possessives always take an apostrophe and an s, even when they end in s: http://www.bartleby.com/141/strunk.html#1 I think this is probably the most common written grammatical error.

          • jonahcutter says:

            @Mastodonfarm

            Thanks for pointing that out. I became curious, and it appears it’s not a hard and fast rule. Basically it comes down to whether it sounds awkward or not.

            http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/possessives.htm

            There’s a bunch of other links saying the same thing if you google “possessives that end in s”

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            @Mastadon
            The only grammatical error is using the word “always” in grammar rules.
            It’s never always.

          • jrodman says:

            The style guides I’ve read on blahs’ vs blahs’s seem to agree that it’s just intended to follow vocal usage.

    • Gassalasca says:

      That’s not grammar, that’s punctuation.

  2. Wombats says:

    If you liked: X-COM, Cyberpunk, Fallout 1 & 2, Syndicate, Shadowrun pen & paper or just good RPG storytelling….just buy this game, crank it and go back to the 1990′s with the new millenium’s convenience.

    This is the stuff I’ve wished for in games like Arcanum and the new X-COM almost scratched that itch…but this is the greatest storytelling hits of an excellent RPG franchise retold with old school turn based strategy.

    Switch it up to Hard if you want a challenge, I was pretty happy just soaking up the story.
    If Wasteland 2 turns out this good I will be jumping for joy.

    • Snidesworth says:

      I’ve been playing on Very Hard since I was recommended it. From what I’ve been told it’s the “pulls no punches” version, where every other difficulty tones down the enemies and ups the odds in your favour.

      • rawrty says:

        Hmm…I was not aware you could change the difficulty. Perhaps I should replay it on this setting. My first play through was on the default setting and I found that the game was enjoyable and nailed the shadowrun vibe. About my only complaint is that it was too easy.

    • TormDK says:

      I like Shadowrun Returns, and I’m looking forward to the next paid DLC (I didn’t back it :((), as well as what the community comes up with.

      Looks to be a solid platform that can be improved over time for the Shadowrun game.

      • rawrty says:

        Yup, same here. Kind of wish i had backed it now…oh well. I’m really hoping that something similar to the community that grew around neverwinter nights happens here.

    • pitchman says:

      Fallout 2 turtorial/Temple of Trials sequence is way more complex and compelling than the entirety of Shadowrunn Returns. The game had good intentions and seemed to graps the lore and wordbuilding right, but its “mobile gaming” simplicity and casualness is just too obvious to ignore.

      • botonjim says:

        Agreed. If Wasteland 2 ends up being ‘this good’ it’ll be a sad day.

        Thankfully I don’t think that will happen what with Wasteland 2 being an actual RPG instead of a visual novel with an inconsequential tactical mini-game attached.

      • Choca says:

        Yep. The game is fairly weak and has structural issues that make future improvements unlikely.

      • Machinations says:

        Agree 110%

        When reviewed, the reviewer clearly was wearing some shades with a strong rose pigmentation.

        Beyond the ridiculous simplicity of the game, no word on the save system? Ill pass, and will be looking at anything from HBS wvery carefully before purchasing.

        Just because a game is indie does not mean we should ignore its ovvious, glaring faults.

        • keithzg says:

          …and will be looking at anything from HBS wvery carefully before purchasing.

          Just because a game is indie does not mean we should ignore its ovvious, glaring faults.

          I hear ya. I’ll also be wvery careful about buying further games, seeing how ovvious the faults are in this one ;)

    • lofaszjoska says:

      I’d be content with the old millenium’s conveniences like saving.

      Other than that, I really can’t complain. I had hoped they’d somehow implement more non-combat elements, but it’s still great.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Doesn’t Spiderwebgames with Avernum, Geneforge, Nethergate etc pp crank out “oldschool” RPGs constantly?

      I find it odd that they are so rarely mentioned. The just got “humbled”, didn’t anyone get them and check them out? Are they really just not any good or?

    • thesleeper7 says:

      Uhm..i think you’re commenting on the wrong article.
      This is basically an on-rails “RPG”. Can’t really even call it an RPG cause there are no choices in this “game”. There are no meaningful dialog options, there are no side-quest, the skill trees are incredibly bland, and the writing is ..meh

      • derbefrier says:

        Player choice does not make an rpg. There’s much more to an rpg than that. Many rpgs are very linear and for a reason. They want to tell a focused story which I thought shadow run did very well. Oh and those dialog options do have consequences, not really in the way the game plays out( they can have small efeects like not having to bribe certain npcs etcmm) but in the way characters interact with you which definately makes this an rpg. This want meant to be baulders gate:shadow run edition it was a game that wanted to stay true to the pnp game and let players tell their own stories which I thinbk its accomplished nicely.

        • gunny1993 says:

          And when you compare any pc game to a pen and paper game, calling any of them RPG becomes laughable.

          • soulblur says:

            I think it depends on how good your GM was. In hindsight, my pen and paper RPGing days were filled with nonsensical plots and power gaming. Actually, the stories weren’t particularly good. I’ve played quite a few CRPGs which have been better than that.

            But I see what you mean – the potential in a pen and paper game is almost always going to be better than any CRPG can manage.

          • gunny1993 says:

            Well that’s the sacrifice isn’t it, you give up freedom and choice in return for a better plot and characters.

            The balance between freedom and quality writing really just comes down to preference. Or a good DM (I harvest all my plots and characters from real authors and change them up a bit so no one can recognize them XD)

          • HothMonster says:

            Try this one next Gunny. It gave me a drinking problem: http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0917.html

        • MisterFurious says:

          RPG means ‘Role-Playing Game’, as in a game in which you role-play. It doesn’t mean ‘game in which you gain levels’ or ‘game set in Tolkien-inspired world’ or ‘game with a story’. It’s a game were you role-play. How do you role-play in a game? BY MAKING CHOICES. Your comment “Player choice does not make an rpg.” is hands down one of the most stupid things I’ve ever read in my entire life.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Hey relax man. Modern parlance does define RPG as a game in which you level up. This is why games that aren’t traditional RPGs claim to have “RPG-like” features when they include leveling up your character. Perhaps it isn’t the definition you prefer, but that’s not how language works.

          • whorhay says:

            Except that you do make choices in SRR. There are a number of things that you can miss entirely depending on how you role play the dialogues. And there are at least two sections of the game that I can think of right now where you can resolve a situation in multiple ways, and get slightly different results. This is relatively speaking far more role playing than has been allowed in many of the more popular RPG games. Have you ever played FF4, granted you can wander around all you like but you can only progress the story by triggering specific events in the correct order and there are absolutely no decisions about your characters role in the world.

    • methodology says:

      Yeah calling this game an RPG is like calling my cat an airplane. Sure if i throw him hard enough he’ll fly a bit but he’s much more content laying around doing nothing, a lot like this game.

      • Emeraude says:

        It’s as much an RPG as, say, Final Fantasy 10.

        You may not like or agree with the terminology in use in common discourse, I know it rubs me the wrong way, but you don’t really get to dictate the value of words.

        • Machinations says:

          No, it is far less a rpg than ffxi ..its basically a graphic novel with some shallow combat bits attached. It feels like a cash in to me.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            I think you’re looking at it wrong. RPG or not, this is really meant to be a toolset so users can design campaigns.

          • Emeraude says:

            Far less by what metric then ?

            Both are games in which you are set on a very narrow preordained path with very limited interaction schemes – mostly limited to combat – and which only allow saving at preordained spots, though one automates the process. If anything, Shadowrun Return has *more* possible interactions – more variety in ways to tackles some of its problems and, even if they’re only cosmetic, offers you more ways to personalize your reactions.

            Obviously, FFX has SRR beat on sheer amount of content, but I can’t imagine this is why you’d think it is much more of an RPG.

  3. TomxJ says:

    Thats very much a T-rex in the corner isn’t it?

    Think i’ll wait for these art assets before i get to deep into the editor.

  4. Snidesworth says:

    Very pleased with how Shadowrun turned out. A touch simplistic on the gameplay front, but the presentation and writing make up for it. The editor helps too. I’ve spent most of the weekend mucking around with it and the community’s already put together a couple of really nice things. “A dark and stormy night” in particular stands out for me as a simple concept executed very well, working new mechanics like skill checks and time consuming searches into the game.

  5. Meat Circus says:

    Shadowrun Returns has some top notch writing, enough to forgive some questionably obtuse UI decisions and a wretched save system.

    • mechabuddha says:

      The save system is the biggest frustration for me. I’ve had to quit in the middle of a mission twice now because of life, and I don’t want to play through it a third time right now. But when I have a good stretch of uninterrupted time, I’m loving this game.

    • strangeloup says:

      I’ve not had too much trouble with the save system, beyond it being slightly inconsistent — it saves when you go to a new area, but not on all area transitions (e.g. between the basement bit of the Seamstress’ Union and the main area) — but I definitely agree on the UI obtuseness, which seems particularly prevalent in the magic system.

      Fortunately it’s otherwise pretty great, so I can let it slide.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I tried to play this game but after spending a half an hour talking to people in the Seamstress’ Union I was very tired and wanted to quit. I tried to find a way to get it to auto save but couldn’t seem to leave the building until I’d finished something there. So I lost that half hour. It’s one thing if I have to die and reload a save before the fight, but when I want to quit I need a “quit and save” at least. Save anywhere might not be necessary (but really, wtf?!) but at least don’t waste my time like that.

      • mechabuddha says:

        I think we’re playing on the exact same mission. This is exactly what happened to me the first time I quit. The second, I spent some time trying to figure out how to use programs (which I still have no clue – are they one time purchases, how do I equip them, etc.), got bored when the information wasn’t readily available.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Just to be clear, it wasn’t the game that bored me, it was just late and I was very tired. I should have just quit when it autosaved when I entered the Union, but I was intrigued. It is a well written and interesting game in many ways. That is what makes it so frustrating that I couldn’t save there. I will eventually play again and probably just rush through the conversations I’ve already had, which will likely keep me from the same immersion I had initially playing that part.

          I’m also annoyed (but not as much) at the new school way of having NPCs who are just scenery and other NPCs with icons over their head that I can talk to. Just give the scenery NPCs little barks or something at least.

        • The Random One says:

          That’s what happened to me as well. I quit the game right after leaving the Seamstress’ Union’s basement, thinking it would save the game then, but it didn’t and now I have to replay a scene that’s pretty much exposition only. To add insult to injury since then I’ve only been able to play in short half hour bursts and wouldn’t waste them just to get to where I already was.

  6. Lars Westergren says:

    The Berlin campaign will supposedly be much less linear, with much more exploration and optional missions, something I’m looking forward to. The original campaign was fine, decently written, but it didn’t feel like it would have much replay value.

    • Snidesworth says:

      I do wonder how it’ll be less linear. Thanks to how the game works you can’t save a state of a scene; when you load it up it loads up fresh every time. When you return to the Seamstress Guild between runs in Dead Man’s Switch it’s a new level every time, just using a familiar environment.

      Someone’s figured out a “save anywhere” system in the Workshop, but it’s reliant on using a crapload of campaign variables to track the state of everything. It just reloads the current scene, triggering an autosave, but since campaign variables are stored independently they can tell the scene what’s been done and what’s not. Assuming you’ve built everything that way.

    • Crosmando says:

      Yes, but what exactly does “be much less linear” mean? A single-player campaign for Call of Duty is “much less linear” than Dead Man’s Switch was. Almost ANYTHING would be much less linear than DMS.

      • Nick says:

        How the hell is Call of Duty less linear exactly?

        • soulblur says:

          Hmm, I kind of agree with that, actually. More or less equally linear. Call of Duty, you can faff about looking at scenery if you want to (although why would you?). In DMS, you can faff about with scenery and interesting conversations. But otherwise, yeah. Both very linear. DMS just had more interesting scenery.

          That would be my main criticism of the game, which I otherwise enjoyed. Having the option to choose missions in the order you like, and have those missions make a difference. To be honest, a system more like what Satellite Reign seems to be planning.

      • Turkey says:

        I dunno, maybe it’ll be easier for them to focus on making a good campaign now that they don’t have to worry about assets and editors and all that other stuff. All they really need is some good writing.

        Both NWN games had some pretty good add-ons. It could happen here too.

  7. Yosharian says:

    The thing that irritated me the most was when the levels turned into these ‘combat mode for the entire level’ levels, that was really annoying.

    • HothMonster says:

      For real, everyone is dead. Do I really have to spend 3 turns moving the individual characters out of the exit? Just let me walk away.

    • malkav11 says:

      I actually found that (at least once everyone bumped up to 3 AP) I preferred when the entire level was set in combat mode. It lets your team of runners split up and cover different ground when searching, looting, and so on, and it forces you to make decisions like an actual team of runners would. Plus it lends things a feeling of urgency and impending violence.

  8. ecbremner says:

    Any word on whether you will be able/expected to use our already leveled charecters in Berlin?

    • soulblur says:

      I hope so, although I wonder how it will work – my character finished up having a pretty significant amount of money (around 120-130K) and almost fully upgraded (Sexy Elven Death Machine is my nickname for him). Starting out like that could be a bit gamebreaking, although if that’s taken away (through some plot point that I can’t control) it would be frustrating.

      As I mentioned above, one way to work with it would be to have a sort of Satellite Reign style gameplay, where you can spend some of that cash finding missions to perform or upgrading a hub/base or something like that.

      • TormDK says:

        It would be a problem I think, given that my elf isn’t a runner anymore as I took the job offer :)

        • HothMonster says:

          Consultants have time for runs.

        • soulblur says:

          Huh. You took the offer? I wasn’t actually made an offer (did you need to proactively suggest yourself?). The option to suggest myself was there, but I thought, I’m too much of a free spirit to do this, plus, I bet I can make more money elsewhere.

    • whorhay says:

      The authors of content like new campaigns can establish their own rules about what characters you can import into their campaigns. This functionality already exists although I’m not sure what they will set the bar at for the Berlin DLC.

  9. The Random One says:

    Coincidentally, Late October would be a great decker name.

  10. Piecewise says:

    [Trigger warning: Infinite ammo, No weapon customization, underwhelming.]

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      It’s still a good game, but consider this: Would it hurt or help the game if it had a Total War style “auto resolve” for combat?
      I don’t think it would hurt, at the least.

      • malkav11 says:

        Absolutely it would hurt. The combat is the majority of gameplay, and I found that after about the halfway point of the campaign the scenarios got increasingly tricky and tense. My late game run on finished up with our mage dead, my main character shaman sucking fumes for HP, the decker almost fried by black ice, and everyone just about out of consumables. I don’t think we could have survived another stage of that encounter, and when I was subsequently told I needed to stay behind by myself? The look on my face must have been priceless.

        You wouldn’t get that with autoresolve.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Good points. I haven’t played into the game enough to truthfully answer my own question. I find the dialogue and story to be good enough of a game without combat, though I do love some turn based tactics.

    • whorhay says:

      The infinite ammo isn’t really that big a deal. None of the fights or missions last long enough that they stretch the believability of how much ammo your runner would be packing. Although I would have liked to be able to pick among ammo types, for instance shot guns always using shot instead of slugs is kind of sad.

      I’m not sure of the problem with not modifying weapons, what would you be adding? A Smartlink at most I would expect, and if I’m not mistaken you can just buy weapons that have it built in. I suppose scopes could be done but at least with the current campaign there doesn’t seem to be a need for them as most combat is pretty close quarters.

  11. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    So I’ve considered this game to be like NWN, where the base campaign is probably going to be awkwardly slapped together using the toolset and the reason to own it is for potential user made modules.

    Glad to say that the main campaign is very well written. I am bothered by the engine itself but it remains to be seen how user modules will work. If save on exit is implemented it will alleviate many of my issues. I can overlook inventory, but I do remember some of my favorite NWN campaigns had almost a point and click adventure feel to them. Although Shadowrun Returns’ quest item thingy can work fine. I’d like icons in there, though.

    I really love the idea of selecting an etiquette and I hope some user modules give only dialogue choices specific to your etiquette.

    • Machinations says:

      Except the nwn oc campaign had, you know, things to do, places to be?this has one long railroad of no choice with some fan fiction level writing. Be honest, people. This is nowhere near the anticipated quality..

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Oh I disagree. The quality is surprisingly good. The campaign surprised me that it wasn’t as cliche as NWN, but ultimately I knew this was going to be about the toolset, which is surprisingly robust and not as limited as I feared it would be.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          an aside: I would prefer hidden dialogue options that are not available due to etiquette or skills not being high enough. It bothers me when there are grayed out options that inform me I just need to increase a skill or have a different etiquette to choose. I’d rather be informed when my skills/etiquette are giving me the option (like make it blue or whatever) but don’t show me the ones I don’t have the skill for.

          • Emeraude says:

            Agreed but, at least for DMS, I think they were right to do it that way. It serves as a good introduction as to what one wan expect from the editor.

          • JakeDust says:

            It actually has tons of hidden dialogue, open the campaign on the editor to see it. Every grayed out option that you saw was actually intentional (and it helped the player to decide whether they would want to get a new Etiquette or better stats).

            It also has lots of small changes according to what you have done, or explored, or etc, which is very nice but sometimes unnoticeable.

      • sebmojo says:

        No. The campaign is excellent, so you can stop trying to get people to jump on the Internet Hate Train.

        Linear and DONE is approximately infinity times better than intricately branching vapourware by my reckoning.

        Couple of bugs, mind, so hopefully they get fixed fast.

      • malkav11 says:

        The NWN OC was a long slog through terrible writing and incredibly repetitious game design, to the point where I decided that Black Isle must have been responsible for Baldur’s Gate II being good, since I’d hated both NWN and the original Baldur’s Gate (at least, at the time – after modding it into the BGII engine I found I liked BG1 okay, and between finding out Black Isle really didn’t have a lot of direct input into BGII and Bioware releasing a bunch of subsequent games I really liked including the NWN expansion Hordes of the Underdark, the NWN OC proved to be an aberration rather than the rule.).

        YMMV about the merits of Dead Man’s Switch – personally I think the writing is excellent and the combat encounters varied and challenging if not especially deep – but I’ll take it over what they did in NWN any day.

      • Sordarias says:

        I respect your opinion and your choice to not like the game — you have some valid points [though very questionable points when discussing what is and isn't an RPG that seems to ultimately throw every RPG that doesn't have choice under the bus, something that my Suikoden loving self finds extremely distasteful -- but fanfiction level right? No. I've seen fanfiction level writing. I've written fanfiction level writing [days I wish I could go back in time and slap myself..], and this is most assuredly not.

        For one, the world building is excellent; apart from a few fanfics, you will likely not find decent world building at all thats’ interesting or even good, or well-written. For the second point, it is well-written, from the many different personalities of the main characters, to how every NPC, no matter how little does get a little personality. It was really a nice touch giving even the vendors these little backstories, these great personalities where I can actually identify and kind of care for them. Even Mr. Kluwe was a fantastic character, and he’s a bouncer, which I didn’t quite expect to be given nearly as much dialogue.

        For three, it’s not a graphic novel with tactical combat involved, unless you played on Normal, as the game is quite easy until the last few fights if you’re not combat oriented or have some skills in combat. Fourth, NWN’s OC was atrocious. Sorry. It was. It’s this generic fantasy driven of nothing interesting, with little good personalities and backstories going for it, the characters [outside of the two token love interests, Aarin? and Arabeth] barely have much personality, and the hirelings are the only vaguely interesting factor about it. NWN OC is far worse than this, something I can and will attest to, though its’ editor is still more robust [which makes me a bit sad and hopeful that HBS might open up SR Editor up a bit more], and DMS, while not the best of Shadowrun PNP campaigns/story hooks works to get you into the universe, to understand it and the terminology to get immersed in the world and its’ characters.

        For the price point of 20 bucks? It’s a good deal, in my opinion. It’s certainly a better deal at launch than NWN was at launch when it had no mods going for it [though that quickly paid itself back in spades as the years went on by.]

        You’re free to have your opinion. I’ll respect it, but i will have to heavily disagree with your assertion that choices make an RPG, and heavily disagree with your assertion that it’s fanfiction tier writing. Potentially because I’ve seen the writing you’re referring to before, and I know just how awful that can be, and comparing it to this seems..asinine.

  12. Pkloop says:

    Can’t wait for Berlin. I thought the main campaign was great and the UGC so far is very promising. If anyone would like to help the guys at Shadowrun Identity are recreating ALL the PnP mods and need volunteers..
    http://www.shadowrunidentity.org/Home_Page.html

    This is gonna be awesome..

    (oh yeah–insert obligatory gripe about save system here) Hopefully we can fix this too :)

  13. FuzzyPuffin says:

    Late october sounds way too early to me. I’d rather they take their time and make something that is longer and has meaningful choices to make, rather than DMS where you’re just going from point A to point B the whole time.

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