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.