Shadowrun Returns Returns

By Alec Meer on November 19th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Shadowrun Returns was a good thing because it was a Kickstarter game becoming a real game in a timely fashion, without additional money demands, without broken promises, and it was released finished rather than in some sort of alphabetaearlyaccessgizmorecash status. The anti-Godus, if you will. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a game that married jaws and floors in delightedly astounded awe. It was Fine. Great setting and roleplaying systems, stuck into a somewhat perfunctory tale that didn’t give said systems much room to breathe. Given talk of ‘hubs’ and choosing missions, I’m really hoping that upcoming, Berlin-set expansion Dragonfall will provide a looser structure and a wider world, in addition to newly-announced very sensible additions such a overhauling the atrocious checkpoint system to allow saving anywhere and more of a team focus.


Dragonfall, which in name and marketing bumf comes across an awful lot like a Bioware game, will be free to folk who helped Kickstart Shadowrun Returns last year, or $15 for Johnnie-come-latelies. As I say, it takes us to ‘free city’ of Berlin for an new tale of trolls and elves and cyberpunk oh my, and offers the requisite hall of new weapons, areas and enemies, but this is the sentence which makes me most hopeful. “Operating out of an offbeat central hub neighborhood, you’ll choose which missions to accept and how you’ll approach them while navigating the dark underbelly of the Flux.” Hub! Missions! Offbeat! I like all of those words. If someone makes a videogame called Offbeat Hub Missions, I will sign right up.

I know, I know – I shouldn’t put too high an expectation on DLC, but Shadowrun Returns was so aggravatingly close to being just the kind of game I wanted that I do have some hope it can yet find its way there. I really should have a look at player-made content from the game’s fulsome editor at some point, no doubt there’s gold in them there cyberhills.

Full details on Dragonfall are here, and it’s out in January 2014, which suddenly, frighteningly, isn’t very far away at all.

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82 Comments »

  1. uncleezno says:

    No need to ‘hope’ about the save system – it’s been totally overhauled for the expansion. Save anywhere, anytime. This was in the most recent kickstarter update, but I suppose that it’s only sent out to backers.

    I don’t chase ‘firsts,’ but I wanted to say that I spent $10 on this game as a backer and greatly enjoyed it when it was first released. I am looking forward to this release as well. Shadowrun Returns didn’t cure cancer or solve global poverty, but for ten bucks, christ, it was fun. Isn’t that enough for people?

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      Well I will hope, since the game was plagued with real dumb issues

      • Lobotomist says:

        The game was definetly worth the entry price. But it also has potential to be much more. Which it could not achieve without proper save game function.
        So I am glad to see it finally fixed.

        • Dr I am a Doctor says:

          You shouldn’t excuse bad game design by handwaving and saying “it’s only ten dollars”. Shadowrun had flaws out the ass

          • derbefrier says:

            nah, it had a few namely the save system everything else was pretty minor. Its a good game just not the epic 1 million hour long open world rpg it seems some people were expecting.

          • Dr I am a Doctor says:

            ughh now i’ll have to write out my feelings on shadowrun’s flaws, awesome. no special order.
            1. the current hp/max hp ratio is neevr displayed so you just have to make a guess or take notes whether you should use up a medkit or can pull through just yet
            2. the stupid awful terrible saving system
            3. The last shop in the game, which is the only shop you can visit at the time, doesn’t sell medkits
            4. The plot is a generic murder mystery with a plot twist that is incredibly dumb but also visible from outer space
            5. It’s also short as hell and the latter part of the game is incredibly rushed
            6. The soundtrack is bland as ass which is weird since it was supposedly composed by the original SNES composers. Also you can’t add your own music to the mods. This kills the fan modules.
            7. The final mission made me want to vomit my brains out of boredom. I can’t believe how tedious it was. I can’t beleive they thought it would a good idea to give a gun-based weapon to a character who’s shit at using guns and make that gun the only way to kill enemies
            8. Scripting is terrible, when you move from cover to cover enemies will talk to you interrupting your move and leaving you vulnerable
            9. The perspective is really wonky and it will make you click things you don’t want all the time
            10. The action buttons for stuff like decking are only visible if you are controlling a decker, and you won’t most of the time, as they are useless in combat
            11. Most of the skills are worthless, especially etiquette, which allows you to use them once in the entire game for no gain
            12. Decking is useless too, there are like two missions where you have to enter cyberspace and they are crazy short
            13. The dialogue skillchecks for stuff like hacking can only be taken by the main character, making deckers double useless
            14. Also every single matrix encounter is mind-numbing especially after you get to the black ice
            15. Cyberware is permanent and non-removable which would be okay if not for the fact that the real stuff is hidden from you until the midpoint by which time you have no essence left
            16. You can’t take back the stuff you gave to your team after the mission

            That’s just off the top of my head, I bet people were complaining about stuff like combat balance but that’s it for now

          • President Weasel says:

            Quick save anywhere spoils games by removing tension; the only problem with the save system in Shadowrun Returns was some poor placement of the autosave points in the later game.
            Seems a shame if the roar of internet butthurt has caused them to change the save system entirely instead of tweaking it.

          • Jonfon says:

            Replaying entire levels because I wanted to go to bed / children demanded attention / I died because of stupid crappy inventory system / I died because of stupid user (me :) also removes tension. It also removes people from bothering to try your planned follow-on or user mods because it’s so annoying.

            I mean give the option of an Ironman mode for those of you who want to use it but I’m old now, I had enough of “Redo from Start” in the 80s, thank you.

          • Dave Tosser says:

            @Weasel
            It certainly doesn’t ruin my tension to know that I can save and come back to something whenever I want. I’d rather developers would leave players the option to utilise quicksaves rather than be save Fascists and mandate that we all play it the way they want, as if what happens between myself and my computer (neither of whom care) is any of their business. Come on, quicksaves. Does it affect anyone else if /I/ quicksave?

            The real issue I had with Shadowrun Returns (aside from looking and playing like an iPhone game) is that it didn’t end combat when combat was over, forcing you to move by using up action points and ending turn. I remember turn-based games from the early 80s that didn’t do that, and it strikes me as such lazy design. You can do better, designers.

          • ramirezfm says:

            You know how things are subjective?
            ad.1 ) I always knew whether I need a medkit or not… not a problem
            ad.2 ) This is annoying, true. I wouldn’t call it terrible though.
            ad.3 ) Never bought a medkit in the whole game… not a problem
            ad.4 ) Like 95% of RPG games in general… not a problem
            ad.5 ) The length was just fine for me, it’s not meant to be Skyrim… not a problem
            ad.6 ) Like 99% of all games… not a problem
            ad.7 ) Had no problem with final mission, at least it was a bit challenging… not a problem
            ad.8 ) Never had that problem, so… not a problem
            ad.9 ) Never had that problem, so… not a problem

            and the rest… You probably never played pen and paper RPGs. Most things you list as cons are derived from the pen and paper counterpart. If you were expecting an 100hrs cyber-Skyrim with music from Steve Jablonsky I understand you might be disappointed. I got exactly what I expected a computer version of pen and paper Shadowrun (with wonky checkpoint saves).

          • qrter says:

            I can’t agree with everything Dr I am a Doctor said, but ramirezfm comparing SR to the pen and paper game is a big mistake, at least in the main quest the game gave us – there hardly was any room for roleplay there, it was more of an action adventure thing with lots of flavour text. And that’s why the last mission was especially heinous – it basically just became a topdown shooter that seemed to go on forever because of the game’s turnbased combat system. Your idea of what entails an rpg may vary, but this wasn’t it for me.

          • Werthead says:

            Many of the criticisms are valid, but I found the game itself fun enough to override most of them. For a Kickstarter game with a tiny budget, even for what they were trying to do, it was pretty impressive. I got about 10 hours out of it, which for the modest price and even more modest budget was fair. That’s not as long as most RPGs, no, but it’s a damn sight longer than the SP content in most games these days.

          • Dr I am a Doctor says:

            “Never had that problem, so… not a problem”
            Holy crap, what the hell

          • ramirezfm says:

            @qrter : Yeah, it was not that much roleplay, but it was very close to the p&p experience for me (bar the freedom, tiny little detail). I wouldn’t say it was action adventure, more a paragraph rpg. Yeah, the last mission reminded me of one tedious dice rolling in CP2020, but at least it reminded me of my pen and paper times ;)

            @Dr I am a Doctor : You say it’s a problem because it’s a problem. I say it’s not a problem because it’s not. I’d say it’s a draw. Opinions may vary.

        • Doganpc says:

          @President Weasel – Then again, why force everyone to play the way you do? The saves are an option, nobody says you have to use them. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you that it takes more away from a game when consequences don’t matter cause you can always just reload, but I also think it is the up to the Player to realize that and enforce it upon himself.

          • Dave Tosser says:

            Theoretically, we could allow everyone to have quicksaves by designing our games in such a way that consequences always manifest themselves long after your choice. In this way the player would lose too much progress by quicksaving, thus being forced to stick with whatever they decided on five hours ago. It could also be used to create a feeling of a world in which news actually has to travel, or characters have to think on or prepare to act in response to things. You’d keep save Fascists happy (or not, knowing them) but allow quicksaves and have proper consequences. The Witcher had a go at that.

          • qrter says:

            This obsession with supposedly ‘meaningful consequences’ some people have with games, never ceases to amaze me. I’ve always thought that one of the wonderful things about games is exactly that they allow you to try different options, and then you can choose which one you might like – you could argue that the choice you then end up sticking with, actually is most meaningful. Why go out of your way to deny yourself that inherent quality of games?

          • Josh W says:

            because…

            In addition to wanting flexibility in how the world reacts to them, people want a broad range of different types of chains of events, many of which don’t make sense on a short timescale.

            Or they want more subtlety in consequences than you get from having directly branching paths, (the types of immediate consequences that people have got used to producing). They might want the feel of the game to change, which takes a while to kick in if you do it properly.

            Or they want to have the game force them to face up to negative consequences of their actions and seek to fix them, a dynamic built on regret, that is heavily weakened if you use your out of game time travel power to negate them.

            Or their interest in long term consequences is more about creating a living world, where plausibility would be damaged by having the consequences kick in too early or too obviously, and in contrast, when they suprise you later in the game, they make everything feel a little more in-depth.

            I’m sure there are a few other reasons too!

          • Emeraude says:

            The way I see it, saving options is part of the basic rules of the game – it’s not (just) a UI choice – and it directly (should) shape(s) the kind of game one is making.

            Saying that people who don’t like the “save anytime” option can just ignore it if it is present in the game is just disregarding that those people don’t like save-anytime for the very influence it has on the game-design – and the kind of games it almost invariably leads to produce.

            That being said: I don’t think SR’s design showed any of the building ethos of a save-limited game, as such I can understand people wanting save anytime in.

      • Lemming says:

        It sounds like(from your list of issues further down), you don’t have context for this game. This was a sequel to the original SNES game, and you should be looking at it through that lense. It’s not an open-world RPG, It’s a tactical RPG. It’s closer to Fallout Tactics, not Baldur’s Gate 2.

        • Nick says:

          No it wasn’t a sequel to the SNES game, it was a spiritual successor to both the SNES and Genesis/Megadrive games, with little nods to each in the form of cameo characters.

          The snes game is probably a deeper and more open RPG, as is the Sega one.

          I still really enjoyed Shadowrun Returns mind you.

    • welverin says:

      it was fun. Isn’t that enough for people?

      No, this is the internet after all.

    • InternetBatman says:

      This and exactly this. It’s strange, kickstarter has put me in the weird position of having games on their release, which is something that’s never happened to me before.

    • Jonfon says:

      Is it being patched overall or just fixed in the expansion?

      Because if it isn’t across the board then frankly I’m not shelling out, I spent more time playing User Modules than the actual game and I don’t want the Save fix only to apply to this new expansion.

      • S Jay says:

        It will be applied to the base game too – I am just unsure if it will be a base game update or part of the DLC (which would make less sense).

      • Nick says:

        The save anywhere feature will be added to Dead Man’s Switch as well.

    • Jenks says:

      That’s too bad, save anywhere usually kills any sense of danger and accomplishment in these games.

      • Grygus says:

        I don’t understand this. If you want to experience tension and danger, couldn’t you simply elect to not save? Giving other people the option to play the way they want in no way impacts you playing the way you want; why the objection?

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Logically, yes, anyone could just not reload when things go wrong it’s true – that argument always gets banded around and it makes sense. However, we’re not all terribly logical beings on the whole. Frequently if the safety net is there we will use it, even if we had not intended to originally. I think there’s something about even the knowledge that the safety net exists that does something to deflate the tension and in a fit of grief at a crucial moment a sneaky reload (who’s going to know?) in a fit of passion is easy to do and yet can really sour the taste of the experience. Obviously these things are relative and it’s not a big deal the grand scheme of things but I do think it is valid for someone to feel this way about save game mechanics.

          I like the concept of the Ironman mode myself. It’s a very minor adjustment for most games and it has a dramatic affect on the psyche.

          • Burzmali says:

            If you can save any where then most of your players will save any where. Ergo, you must design and balance your game around that. I’m not horribly interested in games designed around the closet monsters and insta-death traps required to make a save-anytime game suspenseful. Hopefully they wouldn’t rebalance SRR and just suck up the “0/10 too easy, no suspense” reviews.

          • Distec says:

            Autosave feature?

            If you want to save where you want, quicksave. If you want “tension” and trust the developers, let them do it for you. Best of both worlds.

            If it came down to one or the other though, I’d go quicksave all the way. I’m fond of the idea of playing games how I want to and at my own pace, and I don’t want to be railroaded into your checkpoint system because otherwise your precious game is broken.

            If it’s a “struggle” for you to decide when to save your game (even though most games allow multiple saves), then that sounds like a personal issue TBH.

          • Josh W says:

            I love ironman mode, especially in those situations where games are designed to take advantage of it, where you can keep going and trying to salvage victory from disaster.

        • Jenks says:

          Why would I want to wrestle with the decision to save or not after every move? Forcing that decision upon the player breaks the tension.

          • kangaroo_island says:

            Enabling quicksaves doesn’t mean that autosaves would stop working. You can have both at the same time.

          • Jenks says:

            Artificially inflating the difficulty of a game by ignoring gameplay features is not as rewarding as beating a game which is actually difficult.

          • Distec says:

            Pretty sure that quicksaving is not a “gameplay feature” and more just a feature.

            Your argument about fake difficulty can go the other way, too. It’s not real difficulty if I have to restart a whole section over a single mistake or bad luck. A challenging part of the game should be challenging whether you’re allowed to quick save or not.

            Put it this way: Save systems have NOTHING to do with the actual difficulty of the game itself.

          • Convolvulus says:

            @Jenks

            The developers said they disliked the checkpoint system but, being a small studio, weren’t able to provide anything better prior to launch, so your argument in favor of an admittedly poor game mechanic is essentially the same thing you’re complaining about: a demand for artificially inflated difficulty.

          • Jenks says:

            ” It’s not real difficulty if I have to restart a whole section over a single mistake or bad luck.”

            That seems like real difficulty to me. Not really sure what it is in games that you find difficult if it isn’t making the correct choices.

        • qrter says:

          If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that players will do anything to to avoid taking responsibility for their own fun. It’s one of the most insane aspects of gaming I’ve seen again and again. Everyone can’t stop babbling about wanting more player agency, except when it comes to the actual role of the player him- or herself within a game.

          A game has an exploit? The player will absolutely hammer the exploit, and then complain that the game ruined their fun. It makes you wonder how these people manage to play a boardgame, or schoolyard games when they were younger – no machine there to tell you what you can or can’t do! It must’ve been total anarchy.

          • Jenks says:

            How silly.

            I love playing FPS games with only a keyboard and not a mouse, because a mouse makes it too easy. Arbitrarily ignoring game features makes every game the perfect difficulty! Hooray!

          • Convolvulus says:

            @Jenks again

            That’s a false parallel. Refusing to quicksave isn’t an arbitrary constraint like not aiming in an FPS. It’s common to see altered save functions for higher difficulty settings or digital baubles for not save scumming. Why do these conditions instantly become silly when self-imposed?

            I don’t need an official reward to find something rewarding, and you’re probably the same way if you think about it. You may have tried to beat a previous time for a course you’ve cleared, tried to get through a level without losing health, tried to win three straight in a best-of-five match against the computer and then kept going to see how many you could win in a row, tried to find an easier way to kill a boss you’ve just beaten [thanks, quicksave], tried to get through a game with the weakest weapon available, and so on. Doesn’t every gamer set personal hurdles once in a while? And how do mods fit into your avowed philosophy?

          • Jenks says:

            I don’t play with mods that alter the game difficulty.

            Why do you think Dark Souls is so popular? You can make any game that difficult if you just ignore the features that make them easy.

          • Josh W says:

            I’ll be honest, when I was looking for more agency in games, I wasn’t really looking for more ways to make the game unfun for myself! I don’t think it’s a hypocrisy thing.

            There are those people who push exploits and find the game unsatisfying, but that is because they are seeking games that are tested sufficiently that you can just throw yourself against them with whatever you’ve got and come out ahead. To take the perennial example darksouls; there are loads of exploits, they’re cool exploits for the most part. Same with quake. These are games where all the crappy bugs have been tested out and only the awesome or amusing bugs remain, and there’s still challenge in using them. For years people have made platformers that way, working around the bugs they like and stomping the ones they don’t.

            I’m sure there were people praising the early 2d platformers with unintuitive controls or flagrant random bugs, because people just weren’t putting in the effort to memorise their quirks, but thankfully game design moved on past that, and people started expecting the games to be good, rather than blaming players for it.

            The argument goes further in fact, because I take responsibility for the fact that I bought badly designed games. Yep, that game wasn’t that good, I bought it, I’m obviously responsible. But so what, my little responsibility there doesn’t negate my criticism of the designer for doing poor design or insufficient testing, or anything else, more than one person can be responsible at any one time!

            And I don’t need to make a little confession before I criticise them for it either.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      I loved it, I’ve played a few user missions too and some are very good, I hope they continue to refine the game with each expansion, also gibs and gore and razorwire!

    • Makariel says:

      “it was fun. Isn’t that enough for people?”

      Fun is a meaningless concept. We need emotion, emotion requires 20 million polygons for facial muscles alone.

      But I quite liked SRR, even finished it twice because I found the character classes interesting enough to have a second try.

    • Bluerps says:

      I don’t care so much about the money because in the end it has to be worth the time I spend playing it – and I think Shadowrun Returns was absolutely worth the time.

      I think it could have been a bit more interesting mechanically, because levelling up and getting new equipment was not really that exciting. Also I think the magic was rather underdeveloped and I missed Astral Space.

      However, all of these were only minor flaws to me, and I enjoyed the game a lot.

  2. Jockie says:

    Has anyone tried any of the user made modules? Most of them look to be works in progress or unfinished, which is understandable – it takes quite a long time to make these things to an acceptable standard.

    • Danarchist says:

      I love some of the player made stuff, and yes not allot of it is “finished”, but it has a very imaginative community. The two I have enjoyed the most are Razors edge and life on a limb. All the player made stuff seems to be perpetually work in progress, but after working on my own for some time I understand why. The tools are great, just very very granular. It reminds me allot of setting up sharepoint farms for some reason.

      • InternetBatman says:

        This is very true. It’s not nearly as easy as something like the NWN editor. This enables dedicated users to do really clever things, like use the same 15 tiles to make three distinct buildings, but it also means that you can’t just plunk down a bunch of buildings like NWN.

  3. Lobotomist says:

    SAVE GAME FIXED!

  4. Awesumo says:

    Planetary Annihilation was the worst of the kickstarter rip-off merchants. Also most of the people that ripped into Godus, attacked people for saying bad things about PA a few weeks earlier… when the latter was more deserving of scorn (in particular certain famous youtube commentators…). PA was overpriced and almost unplayably buggy when it went early access, Godus was atleast playable – even if you did have to click a bagillion times a minute.

    • Tacroy says:

      … you really don’t understand what “alpha” means, do you? I guess it’s understandable, in this day and age, when “beta” means “we aren’t ready to call this the full product but we’ll still charge you money”.

      • Awesumo says:

        When people are paying for full page adverts to sell their unfinished game then they are not deserving of your sympathy or the ‘it’s not finished’ defence – if it isn’t finished then they shouldn’t be spending hundreds of thousands on adverts to drive immediate sales.

        • mouton says:

          Why not? Early access/alpha games are always clearly marked as such. If you don’t want to be “ripped off”, then perhaps you shouldn’t impulsively buy them?

  5. dE says:

    Shadowrun Returns was alright. Somehow my own hype made me expect a Genesis Shadowrun with all the Freedom of that game, when all the pointers said SNES Shadowrun. The endresult was somewhat less than the SNES Shadowrun, if only for the lack of semi-freedom in moving between different locations at whim and the savesystem.
    After I got over that, it was actually fun. Not great fun, just playable fun. With a proper savesystem, the editor might become more viable too. I gave up on it, after realizing how many insane work arounds I had to make, to gloss over the savesystem.

    I hope the Story is a bit more consistent this time around. The characters and the setting definitely hit the spot. Great writing there. But the Story itself started out as your typical Noir Story, which is perfectly fine for Shadowrun. Then took the usual nonsensical Brotherhood turn. That’s fine too, a Shadowrun staple. Some of the best novels in the shadowrun universe took the Brotherhood turn and lived through it. And then they suddenly decided to go full Ryan Mercury on the story. That made no bloody sense whatsoever and it appears shoehorned in too, indicative by how they had to change some rather important parts of background of Shadowrun (that’s NOT how you deal with Brotherhood Nasties) to fit their appearance of the big guys. And they used one of my favorite characters and made him a complete laughing stock. GRRRRRR.

    /Edit:
    Oh god, berlin? Please don’t take inspiration from Hans Joachim Alpers, please don’t take inspiration from Hans Joachim Alpers… *mantra*

    • Unruly says:

      I definitely would have preferred it to be a bit more like Genesis Shadowrun, with one caveat – It needed to have more direction on where to go to continue the story than the Genesis Shadowrun had. I loved the sandbox, do random runs, raid random cyber systems, and travel almost anywhere at any time part of the Genesis game. I also loved that you could upgrade your weapons and everything. But to this day I can’t remember where I need to go or what I need to do to further the story beyond going to the Elf Johnson after stopping at that girl’s apartment(the one where the gunman busts in and kills her).

      Instead, we got a game that was 100% on rails with practically no side missions, very, very limited customization in terms of weapons and cyberware, and very little time to actually customize your character. Plus, it was short.

      Don’t get me wrong, the game wasn’t all bad. I liked the turn-based, tactical combat over the real-time stuff from the Genesis version. Especially in cyberspace. And, as someone who is only passingly familiar with the Shadowrun lore, I found the story decent. I liked how it built up to the loss of Chicago to the Insect Spirits, which was something I actually knew about. But again, I’m only passingly familiar with the lore so if they screwed something up majorly it doesn’t really bother me as much as it might have bothered someone more in-the-know.

      But yea, I definitely wish it was at least a little bit more like the Genesis Shadowrun. Never really played the SNES one.

      • dE says:

        Oh, yeah. I definitely agree about the Genesis storyline. Case in point, when it came to the final fight, I was faced with a complete brickforce of a bossmob. I killed that thing in what amounts to 2 very real hours of fighting, non stop casting spells. It was actually pretty funny, after about 30 minutes the boss was out of “mana” and unable to cast anymore spells. He had run out of whatever absurdly high amount they set his reserves to. I must have killed him 1 hitpoint at a time.
        Here’s why I mention it: Years later I found out, I’ve skipped a rather important and central part of the final story. The game never gave any hints. It just said “it’s time for the final battle” and never bothered to mention you need to check a certain other place before that. I never checked that place at that point in the story, especially since I had checked it before, when I was exploring and it looked like yet another location.

  6. LazyAssMF says:

    I think this game is GREAT! It’s been a looooooooong time since i played and old school game like this and i totaly enjoyed playing it. I enjoyed it sooo much i didn’t even notice any problems with it. Can’t wait for this DLC.

  7. Keyrock says:

    I enjoyed Shadowrun Returns and definitely got my money’s worth as a backer. So much so that I’ll probably buy the game again just so that I can play it on my phone also(I know, I know, mobile gaming evil, burn him at the stake, stab him with pitchforks, go play angry birds you loser, and all that). It was far from perfect, I wish you had more actual choices, some of the skills didn’t come into use nearly enough, I wish it was much less linear, and so on. Still, the writing was genuinely witty and enjoyable, and the combat allowed for some decent tactical decision making.

    I’m pretty excited for the Berlin campaign. The idea of playing a German Ork is most definitely appealing.

  8. Ricc says:

    Great faces on each of the characters in the artwork at the top.

    • Makariel says:

      I just realized that it doesn’t sport the usual manly man with gun right in front with a half naked chick behind him, but a quite… unattractive young ork woman in adequate body armor and even the half naked woman behind isn’t really half naked if you calculate with the area covered by actual skin. Count in the two men flanking them that look like they only want your best – your money – and you have a quite unusual cover for a contemporary video game.

      I like!

      • Koozer says:

        The woman on the left looks incredibly grumpy. I think she’s jealous of the other’s shiny armour.

        • Grygus says:

          Probably angry because they’re this far into the campaign and she hasn’t gotten a single shirt drop.

          • The Random One says:

            You need to go to the Gnome Gnomad Camp to learn Torso Awaregness before shirts will drop… wait, wrong game.

      • Foosnark says:

        Yeah, best game art I’ve seen in a while. I love the completely badass and unique cyber-arms on the grouchy girl, the zomg decent armor on the ork samurai, facial expressions on everybody… it’s about a million times better than the elf with inexplicably glowing gas mask they had before.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Wait that Ork’s a girl?!

        I am so pleased with videogames right now, you have no idea.

  9. sandplasma says:

    I found it an enjoyable experience but it felt too much like reading a book. Missing animations like, going up and down the stairs, climbing a ladder, etc did not help.

  10. S Jay says:

    It is a good game, I am glad I pledged. Looking forward for the DLC, if not only for the save fix, at least a more open campaign.

  11. karthink says:

    1. Looking for good user made campaigns? Don’t bother. The thing I’ve realized from trying out a lot of user content is that these modders can’t write. In most campaigns, the writing is almost uniformly terrible at every level: from typos and grammatical errors to stylistic ones, and from poor characterization and absent character motivations to terrible and illogical plot structures. And this is without taking into account dialog tree and reactivity issues, and odd use of Shadowrun slang. If you’re really hungering for more Shadowrun, you can try Razor’s Edge, how many ever chapters of it there are.

    2. RPS’ image really does not do the poster justice.

  12. cpt_freakout says:

    Hopefully this will add more stuff for modders to do, and tweak the basics (thank Cthulhu the savegame thing will be resolved) enough as to allow them to make great RPGs out of the fairly-OKishness that is vanilla SR. Otherwise I’m just mildly excited about this.

  13. Werthead says:

    Great stuff. I’m assuming it will be possible to import your character from the first game rather than having to start from scratch again?

    • The Random One says:

      Bizarrely, you’ll have to start anew because it’s a different character’s story.

  14. The Random One says:

    “without broken promises”

    …eventually.

  15. boats says:

    No thanks. The first one couldn’t be any more on rails. Felt like a bad point and click for tablets.

    • LaundroMat says:

      My thoughts exactly. I was an avid pen & paper DM and player, and pledged when this appeared on Kickstarter. But after a few hours I completely lost interest in the game…

  16. jiminitaur says:

    They lost my respect when they failed to engage in any sort of community discussion about the impact of their terrible choice regarding the save system. It was heavily derided, and not just by a small group of vocal critics, but they didn’t have the heuvos to step up and say “yes, we understand it is not adequate and we underestimated how much it meant to many of you.” Instead they tried to play it off like it was too hard, unnecessary, and they might never do it. Then, they fixed it, proving it wasn’t that hard after all, which is great, except they refused to talk about it for months after the release, treating the customers who cared enough to voice their opinions like they didn’t matter and now they want us to line up and pay for another set of content from a developer that generally failed to wow the first time around just to have access to the feature set that ought to have been delivered from the start.

    • Machinations says:

      Particularly when you consider save states are built into Unity and they had a budget comparable to that used for Fallout 1.

      SR:R isn’t even 1/100th of the game Fallout 1 is.

  17. Enkinan says:

    “Shadowrun Returns was so aggravatingly close to being just the kind of game I wanted that I do have some hope it can yet find its way there.”

    This is exactly how I feel.

  18. Machinations says:

    This game was beyond a travesty. HBS are cash-in artists of the Nth degree. They showed no love, no care in their work at all and delivered a boring, linear ‘RPG’ with no meaningful choices, and because they couldn’t figure out save states (which I should point out are built into Unity) – and apparently had spent all the money on hookers and blow – they pushed out this turd of a game, which I believe received a far too uncritical review on RPS, which led to my buying this abortion, which led to me distrusting RPS reviews.

    Just because a game is indie does not mean we should not apply honest standards when reviewing. *ahem* things like Nidhogg. Ironically, Space Hulk was panned, but is 10 times more enjoyable than SR:R..