Shadowrun: Dragonfall Now Has Standalone Director’s Cut

Shadowrun Returns returns! Or rather, its expansion Shadowrun: Dragonfall is returning, this time as a standalone release called Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut. To justify the title, the cyberpunk RPG expandalone is being expanded further with five new missions, a re-designed interface, new endings, new music, and a bunch more. There’s a trailer below which details the biggest of the changes, and it seems there’s good news for both new players and old.

The good news for new players is all that polish and extra features mentioned in the trailer above. Weren’t you paying attention? The good news for existing players is that if you’ve previously bought the expansion, you’ll get the Director’s Cut updates for free.

You can read Alec’s review of the expansion (or Jim’s review of the original), but the relevant part of Alec’s piece on Dragonfall is perhaps right in the first paragraph:

Now that’s more like it. Choice! Side-missions! A hub! A strong supporting cast who are up for a bit of a chat! Little-to-no mandatory decking sequences! A mother-lovin’ save (almost) anywhere system! Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall being ‘just’ DLC for last year’s cyberpunk/fantasy mash-up RPG is bittersweet, because it may well be that only existing Shadowrun Returns owners give it a spin. Really, though, this is the point where new players are best off getting involved – a new, superior campaign with no ties to the last one, and quite a few of the major problems dealt with. Now’s the time to play Shadowrun Returns, basically, but please, start with this.

Which makes it kind of nice that developers Harebrained Schemes are making the game standalone, and thus making it easier for everyone to follow Alec’s advice.

Shadowrun Returns was an early Kickstarter success, gathering $1.8 million in funds from an initial $400k goal. Development was delayed as the team met various stretch goals and reviews of the eventual release were mixed, with criticism focused mainly upon the saved game system, but that (among other things) were fixed or improved in the Dragonfall expansion.

The Director’s Cut is due for release next month, on September 18th. You know what I dislike, though? That one of the RPGs not set in a trad-fantasy world is still putting “Dragon” in its name.


  1. hap says:

    I very much enjoyed the base game but never got around to getting the expansion. Guess I have more reason to do so now!

    • Damien Stark says:

      You’ve probably already heard this from others, but Dragonfall is great.

      I too liked Dead Man’s Switch, but Dragonfall was much better. It’s very Shadowrun in lots of good ways. Plus they finally added save capability, which was my biggest annoyance in the original release.

  2. Rincewind says:

    With this coming out on September 18th and Wasteland 2 coming out on September 19th, I’m going to be totally swamped in old-school cRPGs and I couldn’t be happier.

    So glad that I backed both of these projects. Shadowrun Returns was a pretty nice teaser, and even though I haven’t gotten around to playing Dragonfall I know I’m going to love it. And Wasteland 2 is obviously shaping up pretty great.

    Now, as soon as the Christmas Steam sale rolls around I’ll be getting Divinity as well. We live in glorious times, my friends.

  3. Anders Wrist says:

    Having initially bumped off the original campaign, I was pleasantly surprised by the story of the expansion. I was looking for a reason to replay it with a different character; it looks like I’ve found it.

  4. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    I’ve got both the base game and the expansion. Will the directors cut be available cheaply as a result (like wot Deus Ex HR did)? Or is this all part of a patch for those that own it already? I’m confused.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      It’s a free update for backers and owners.

      • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

        Cool. Thank you.

      • HothMonster says:

        Well it is not an update. It will be a standalone client/product. But it is still free to backers and owners of the DLC version.

  5. Leb says:

    Nice, Currently playing through the first campaign – the interface upgrade for this looks amazing.

  6. Distec says:

    Really wanted to get into Shadowrun Returns. After creating a build that was considered to be “gimped” by most of the internet and then restarting my campaign about a third of the way through to rectify the situation, I just lost kinda lost the will to go back to it. I bought the Dragonfall DLC on sale and still haven’t come close to touching it. One day…

    I don’t know exactly why it didn’t gel with me.

    • fredc says:

      Dragonfall is really much better than the first campaign – you should play it. Saving is easy, the story is good and you can’t f*** yourself by choosing the wrong character class / skillset. That’s before this new release.

      I just finished it and am hoping they’ve sold enough to justify another DLC campaign…

  7. Lars Westergren says:

    I hope they get enough sales to consider a third campaign.

    • Gessen says:

      Agreed, I may buy it again just for support and tweet at them. The setting and writing reallllly drew me into this world. I would love more content.

    • caff says:

      Me too. The writing, plot, world etc. of Dragonfall were outstanding, hopefully all these positive comments will spur on those not familiar with it to make a purchase.

  8. Granath says:

    Cool. I enjoyed both the base game and the expansion well enough because turn-based RPGs are right up my alley. Divinity OS is far superior, but I don’t regret my time with Shadowrun. This will give me a reason to give Dragonfall another play through and it will be interesting to see how they improved things.

  9. Wulfram says:

    I recall an anecdote that Wizards of the Coast looked at their sales figures, and determined that books with “Dragon” and “Magic” in their titles sold best.

    So they put out a book called “Dragon Magic”

    Anyway, improved combat mechanics sound good. The combat was kind of dull before.

    • MichaelGC says:

      They were going to do it the other way but Puff threatened to sue.

    • Ergonomic Cat says:

      To be fair, Dragon Magic was also an excellent book. It turned kobolds from worthless fodder in to “First, decide if you’re going to be a white dragon-spawn kobold or not, then proceed with your character.”

  10. Dominic White says:

    I really hope they provide some way of porting Shadowrun Returns scenarios to the upgraded Dragonfall engine. There’s a number of decent campaigns there now that will probably just end up lost forever if they can’t be easily converted.

    • HothMonster says:

      They said in the original announcement email that they would be getting tools out to make converting to the new engine really easy. We’ll see how true that ends up being though.

      Will be nice to get a fresh market place though. Clear all those unfinished campaigns that were started before the game was even released, and the test projects, and the stuff that was way out of scope for the engine.

    • Gessen says:

      What are the notable good ones? I’d love to get into some good content.

  11. Laurentius says:

    So cool, this year has been so great for me in terms of games tickling my favourite side: first The Banner’s Saga, then Shadowrun Returns:Dragonfall and then Divinity:Original Sin, I loved all three games, already beaten Banner’s Saga twice, this update is great reason for another playthrough of SR:Dragonfall . And this is not the end with Wasteland 2 on the horizon. What a year !

  12. Premium User Badge

    wsjudd says:

    So here’s the question – I’ve never played any part of Shadowrun. So assuming I wait until this comes out, what should I buy? If I get this, do I get everything? What do I play first?

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      Apart from a few very vague hints, the later, far superior campaign, Dragonfall, makes no allusions to the original, rather more linear and limited, Dead Man’s Switch. You’re not missing anything by playing Dragonfall first, so pick up the director’s cut when it is released, then if you enjoy it, you can always have a look at DMS later. Or you can buy the original game + the Dragonfall expansion now and get the directors cut of the latter for free when it is released.

      e: To be clear, the expandalone includes only the Dragonfall campaign, not Dead Man’s Switch.

      • Zonker says:

        I agree, Dragonfall was the more enjoyable and fleshed out campaign for me. More and interesting permanent companions, a slightly bigger hub to roam around in between missions and a certain freedom in which runs to do and in which order. Dialogue also felt like a more varied option.

        Additionally, they fixed and improved some minor annoyances of the original campaign. For example, hiring a decker for a run almost NEVER helped in actually hacking minor / optional stuff. The game would just ask for a certain decking skill on your MAIN character and didn’t even give you the choice of letting another teammember do it. Dragonfall has plenty of examples for this being done better.

        As a German, it was also nice to see the Berlin setting, but that will probably not affect you. :)

      • Premium User Badge

        wsjudd says:

        Awesome, thanks very much for letting me know.

    • caff says:

      Get this new director’s cut and play this. I tried the original but Dragonfall was far superior – a proper and excellent game.

      You don’t need to play the original to understand & enjoy this game. Dragonfall has it’s own self-contained and good story.

  13. Gog Magog says:

    Dragonfall was sweet as sugar-coated shimshams. It does leave you with an inevitably bittered ending though because [INSERT MASSIVE BUT ANCIENT SHADOWRUN SPOILER HERE]. Still. It’s worth it. Even when the plot goes cookie-cutter sometimes.
    (man I need to buy me some sweets)

    • megazver says:

      They’re adding several more endings, where, presumably, you can make Choices.

      • Gog Magog says:

        Which won’t make a lick of fucking difference with regards to the [SPOILERS] I am referring to unless they want to change a pretty cool sequence at the end of the game and also kick to the curb all the lore and canon they’ve so far been meticulously and fairly creatively following.

  14. Wedge says:

    “You know what I dislike, though? That one of the RPGs not set in a trad-fantasy world is still putting “Dragon” in its name.”

    Well come on, Shadowrun is literally trad-fantasy set in cyberpunk future times. That and dragon’s are far more core to it’s lore than pretty much any other fantasy setting that isn’t wholly focused on them.

    • strangeloup says:

      “Watch your back, shoot straight, conserve ammo, and never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon.”

  15. Rizlar says:

    Aw sweet. Played the original release on a friend’s computer, it was kind of alright. Then hearing about how great Dragonfall was got me all excited, but not excited enough to buy both the base game and expansion. Now I don’t have to!

  16. SpacemanSpliff says:

    I just wish the magical aspects of the game were as fleshed out as the cyber aspects. Astral projection and Shamanic Totems being the most obvious

  17. Contrafibularity says:

    Nice. Shadowrun Returns was excellent and I am now halfway through Dragonfall (I think). Now to finish it before the DC comes and I’ll have an (added) excuse to replay it in a few months. Not to mention all the excellent campaigns from the workshop.

  18. steves says:

    link to

    “Your companion characters can also earn unique rewards for completing their story missions”

    “…we’re implementing a system that will allow you to choose one of two all-new, unique enhancements for each of your companion characters every time they advance in skill…”

    “We’re also giving you the ability to customize the weapon, spell, and consumable loadouts for your companion characters…”

    So all those junk weapons I pick up are no longer useless? I like it.

    Dragonfall expansion/DLC/whatever was very far from bad, and much improved over DMS, but this stuff sounds almost like proper party control. Time for a replay I reckon.

    And whilst it’ll never happen, being able to actually get one over on the dragons would be nice…

  19. LuNatic says:

    Is there a way to bypass or automate the crappy hacking sections?

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      Many (I think most) of the decking sequences in Dragonfall could be avoided: They were a way to pick up additional data to flog for a bit of extra cash, or one of several ways to reduce or penetrate security. It was a step up over DMS in that regard, not that I ever minded the decking sequences that much.