Silent Running: Shadowrun Chronicles Is Out Now

I was as surprised as anyone to see a whole new Shadowrun campaign on Steam this morning. So surprised, in fact, that I had to do some catching up to understand what exactly I was looking at.Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown is the game we once knew as Shadowrun Online. The fact that its campaign of XCOM-like tactical combat can be enjoyed by a single player presumably made the “Online” part of the title unnecessarily offputting. Remember when “Online” was a promise rather than a threat?

Chronicles has emerged from Early Access and is ready to welcome new Runners. Perhaps the trailer will tempt you.

The Boston Lockdown subtitle strongly suggests this will be the first setting of several, as does the impressive work that has gone into the campaign itself. The Digital Deluxe and RPG Super Deluxe editions of Chronicles contain intel for use in the pen and paper Shadowrun system, including (at the highest pricepoint) a 240+ page campaign book in PDF form.

Chronicles can be played cooperatively or on your lonesome, and is typical Shadowrun cyberstuff. Dragons, Megacorps, conspiracies. It probably works as a metaphor for the UK General Election because why not? We’ll take a look at it as soon as possible and let you know how well it all hangs together.


  1. loquee says:

    We just made a Devs play co-op video, watch me almost ruining one of the easier runs in the game:
    link to

    Looking forward to hear what RPS thinks about Shadowrun Chronicles!

  2. qrter says:

    Actually, the online part of the original title still applies – you still have to be online even when playing singleplayer.

    • Harlander says:

      It was kind of designed as an MMO, though.

      • qrter says:

        Oh I know – I’m actually not that interested in the game myself, but the “online only”-thing is a regular problem for some people.

    • Czrly says:

      Read “Online” in the title, lost all interest. 10/10. Would lose interest again.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      Well that explains why I had told Steam ‘Not Interested’

  3. bill says:

    Er, hasn’t RPS been plastered with a full page add for Shadowrun Chronicles all week? Or did I imagine that?

    Adam, are you using adblock? Tut tut…

    • dontnormally says:

      Hey who knows, maybe he’s a supporter!


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      Adam Smith says:

      No comment. Except this one.

      Actually, the truth is that I probably spend more time fiddling with the back-end of RPS (ahem) than looking at the frontpage. And when I am on the frontpage, I don’t usually notice the ads. I’m a terrible advert for adverts!

      • bill says:

        That’s ok, I don’t usually notice ads either. Except in this case because I had to do some catching up to understand what exactly I was looking at.

      • Ross Angus says:

        Advert blindness is a serious condition. Ask your GP for a pamphlet.

        • noom says:

          I got one of those. Unfortunately it looked too much like an advert and I couldn’t read it.

  4. JarinArenos says:

    So wait, does this have any relation to that Shadowrun Returns game? That was a tactical strategy combat thing too, right?

  5. CurseYouAll says:

    SR: Dragonfall by Harebrained Schemes was brilliant, and now with SR: Hong Kong coming, who needs this Chronicles crap?

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      Because it’s, you know, fun? Not saying the other one isnt, just saying this one is.

      • Harlander says:

        Also, I’ve been hoping for some co-op computer-based Shadowrun for quite a bit.

  6. Philopoemen says:

    Shadowrun Chronicles appears to be to Shadowrun Returns what Fallout Tactics was to Fallout 1/2 – a good squad-based TBS set in the same universe as a good RPG.

    I prefer the RPGy bits and find combat grindy at times, so will likely give this a miss for the moment.

    • Craxel says:

      Dunno, this seems to miss much of the atmosphere and the detailed art that made me enjoy SR & SR:Dragonfall so much. I can’t really say that about Fallout:Tactics versus Fallout 1/2.

  7. Ejia says:

    Now I’m confused. How many Shadowruns (Shadowrun? Shadowrunners? Shadowmarathon?) are there now?

    • Deano2099 says:

      Loads! 2013 is the year of Shadowrun! (And stuff got delayed.)

  8. Plyskeen says:

    Is there a single player mode, or does it have to be played co-op (yep – I’m one of them antisocial gamers!).

    • stonetoes says:

      Looks like you can hire NPCs like in Shadowrun returns and you can control them but you can’t equip them? I’m guessing they’re pretty suboptimal compared to playing with 3 other real people using their own player characters though. On the other hand it’s probably much easier to plan and take your time in single player, so I’m guessing it evens out.

      Best plan: buy the game four times and play all four characters.

      • Plyskeen says:

        I think that I remember something about the devs mentioning that you could “hire” other people’s (your Steam friends’?) characters, and use them as additional runners (and they would even get a bit of experience, so people would want to share them). I guess that, in like pretty much any other game, you can create multiple characters. I wonder if you can use more than one at the same time (sounds reasonable).

  9. ChairmanYang says:

    It’s a little odd that this claims to have XCOM-like tactical combat as a distinguishing feature, when the Harebrained Shadowrun games already have exactly that (and done in a reasonably well-implemented way, too).

    • stonetoes says:

      Unfortunately it sounds more simplified than either XCOM or Shadowrun Returns, with no interrupts or suppressing fire or multi-level maps. Boo.

      • Machinations says:

        Erm, I know I am in the minority thinking Shadowrun Returns was overhyped undercooked rubbish.

        I am genuinely curious – what was not simplified in SR:R? There was no overwatch fire as I recall, ammo was abstracted out, in fact the whole tactical combat part just left the taste of wet cardboard in my mouth. Has this actually changed? I havent booted it up since release to find out, since the whole thing felt like a cash grab.

        • ChairmanYang says:

          Shadowrun Returns (and the expansion campaign, Dragonfall) do indeed have overwatch fire; I can’t remember if the original campaign had it implemented on release, but it’s definitely there now. They also have ammo reloading. In general, the SR combat has gotten better over time, with frequent rebalances, better combat encounter design, and added complexity and nuances. I wouldn’t put it on par with XCOM, but it’s gradually getting there.

        • Steve Catens says:

          The original release of Shadowrun Returns was definitely undercooked. The ultimate version of the game in the form of the Dragonfall Directors Cut edition is a great rpg, and one of the best written RPGs in recent memory. I enjoyed the story, characters, and dialogue more so than that of Pillars of Eternity.

          • Czrly says:

            I thought Dragonfall was an entirely different story arc that logically occurs AFTER the one in Shadowrun Returns. Is this not the case?

          • Czrly says:

            EDIT: And the “Director’s Cut” was just Dragonfall released as an expand-alone – it was originally released as an add-on to Returns.

    • Harlander says:

      Let’s see if I can get this the right way round:

      Returns is more like X-COM, while Chronicles is closer to XCOM

  10. kwyjibo says:

    This was sold to Kickstarter backers as an MMO-like cross platform persistent world. It now seems to be a standard single player game with optional co-op.

    Why did the Shadowrun license even split? I know with Fallout, the main game and the MMO rights went separate ways (now reunited), did the same thing happen here? Only Cliffhanger then gave up on MMO?

    • Harlander says:

      I think it’s the latter. To be honest, it looked early on like Cliffhanger had bitten off a bit more than they could chew. I’m kinda impressed with the state they managed to get it to given the way things looked earlier on. Guess that’s the power of crunch mode.