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  1. #1
    Network Hub LordShadoko's Avatar
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    So, the Shadowrun games...

    Self-explanatory title, I think.
    So I was browsing Steam for some low-specs RPG to play on my laptop, and while trying to fend off the horde of romantic visual novels with clearly underaged girls, I noticed that I had some Shadowrun games in my wishlit since quite long. "And why don't you look at the steam reviews, Shadoko ?" Well, that's because they are very mixed and I can't make up my own mind.
    On paper I love the idea behind this universe, and the games seem to be heavily story-driven, which is good. On the other hand, gameplay seems fairly basic and exploration kept to a bare minimum.
    Has anyone here played one of the Shadowrun games ? Are they worth anything ?

  2. #2
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    I enjoyed playing one. Returns, I think. I'm not a big player of this kind of game though, so my standards probably aren't all that high.

  3. #3
    I enjoyed all of the Returns, and thought that the elements they introduced into each sequel did a decent job of building upon previous ones. The plots and characters are very much pulp cyberpunk, but without being too shallow. The gameplay isn't spectacular, but for the most part it's fairly solid.

    I've only played through each of them once, but had a good time with them.

  4. #4
    Network Hub LordShadoko's Avatar
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    I enjoyed all of the Returns, and thought that the elements they introduced into each sequel did a decent job of building upon previous ones. The plots and characters are very much pulp cyberpunk, but without being too shallow. The gameplay isn't spectacular, but for the most part it's fairly solid.
    So it seems like a good RPG to casually play on a laptop, then. I was mainly concerned about the gameplay, as some described it to be way too easy and simple. On the other hand, I'm usually shit at turn-based RPG, so...
    Last edited by LordShadoko; Yesterday at 08:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node Tevildo's Avatar
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    Yes Dragonfall DC is quite good. Might be my favourite RPG from 2014. But I might be biased since it's set in my neighbourhood (although heavily fictionalised).
    Last edited by Tevildo; Yesterday at 09:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Viral Frog's Avatar
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    The Shadowrun games are absolutely fantastic. Returns is pretty basic. Dragonfall (the best entry, IMO) takes everything good about Returns and improves upon it, expands upon it, and adds more to it. Hong Kong is pretty great, but I feel like the story falls to heavily on the "the player is the chosen one, who could have guessed?" cliché. That said, the writing in all three games is absolutely fantastic. Dragonfall in particular has the most memorable characters I've encountered in a video game to date.

    The gameplay is pretty simplistic. But I never once found myself being bored by it. I even went out of my way to do side quests and what not, and that's something that I rarely do in any game I play, regardless of how into them I get. I think the writing definitely helped me see past the simplicity of the systems. If you find the game a bit too easy, kick the difficulty up a notch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tevildo View Post
    Yes Dragonfall DC is quite good. Might be my favourite RPG from 2014. But I might be biased since it's set in my neighbourhood (although heavily fictionalised).
    A big reason I got on so well with Returns is because it's set in Seattle, and I purchased it (right around it's initial release) shortly after moving to the greater Seattle area. It was really cool to be playing a game set in the area I live in.
    Last edited by Viral Frog; Yesterday at 09:37 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I love those games, absolutly right up my valley. Dragonfall is probably the strongest. Hong-Kong is neat too. Reteruns was weakest overall but has some cool moments.

  8. #8
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    Shadowrun Returns is fine, but it is really rough on the edges and extremely linear. Kind of like a showcase of the setting, a prototype perhaps. I do not recommend it if you are picky. Play it if you are a fan of cyberpunk, shadowrun or you are just a completist with tons of time.

    Dragonfall and Hong Kong are excellent well-written cRPGs with fun tactical combat and greatly improve the systems, mechanics, etc. If you pick them, remember to play Director Cut versions!

  9. #9
    Returns left me absolutely cold after maybe an hour. Dragonfall's world and characters drew me in right away, but I stopped playing (after about 20 hours, mind, so it's not like it's bad) when I realized I was suddenly very close to the end of the game but didn't feel like the combat had become any more interesting, like my characters had really developed, or the game world had changed at all.

    Your options for builds are basically two: dump your skillpoints into two or three core skills which your character will eventually be fairly good at by the endgame, but which won't change the feel of combat at all (contrast XCOM, where each new perk or weapon adds something to the strategy, the visuals, the rhythm, and the texture of the missions); or spread your points around to make a more interesting but basically useless build. And no matter what, combat just feels... sludgey. Slow and without any weight or impact. The only really fun stats to boost are those that end up allowing new dialogue options.

    But even then, the world, the NPCs, your party, and even your avatar are really quite static. All there is to really engage with is the story, and, as others have pointed it, it's basic cyperpunk pulp, and it's essentially on rails. My experience is that it's a pretty nice-looking, marginally diverting choose your-own-adventure with some bog-standard turn-based combat bolted on. I enjoyed what I played, but that was when I thought it was building up to something. It keeps promising to open up and get really good, right up til the end.
    Last edited by GunnerMcCaffrey; Today at 12:16 AM.

  10. #10
    Dragonfall is great. Returns is marred by a level of being forced to kill hordes of the ravenously mentally ill, to get at the cackling doctor they all of course will defend to the death.

    There's pulp, then there's stigma-tropes that should be left in the bin. Returns has too much of the latter.
    Steam: Dilapinated

  11. #11
    Network Hub gordianblot's Avatar
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    I didn't like Returns.

    I actually liked the first half of the story when it was just about tracking down a murderer. It's a fun setting taking every pulpy backdrop and mashing them into one, the story is moving along and you're meeting characters with catchy hooks. But Just before there's any payoff on that plotline, the game goes off on a tangent about...well, I'll just say it's really stupid.

    The character classes just don't feel good at all. Or maybe there was more malleability but I just missed it. Either way, I ended up with a street samurai that was way better than any other class at killing enemies, but was useless in the matrix levels. I kept a hacker in my team that could actually do stuff in the matrix levels but was completely useless outside them. Then I don't remember any other class because they were all either inferior to the hacker in hacking levels or inferior to the street samurai outside them.

  12. #12
    Honestly, I don't remember much about Returns other than it felt good enough at the time and Dragonfall was much, much better. With that in mind you may as well skip Returns and go straight to Dragonfall.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordShadoko View Post
    Self-explanatory title, I think.
    So I was browsing Steam for some low-specs RPG to play on my laptop, and while trying to fend off the horde of romantic visual novels with clearly underaged girls, I noticed that I had some Shadowrun games in my wishlit since quite long. "And why don't you look at the steam reviews, Shadoko ?" Well, that's because they are very mixed and I can't make up my own mind.
    On paper I love the idea behind this universe, and the games seem to be heavily story-driven, which is good. On the other hand, gameplay seems fairly basic and exploration kept to a bare minimum.
    Has anyone here played one of the Shadowrun games ? Are they worth anything ?
    I enjoyed Returns.

    But, if you're looking for the ultimate in low cost, low spec, high mod, high production (Time relative) values isometric RPGs on Steam.......

    For $6 USD, you can own http://store.steampowered.com/app/500810/

    ARCANUM!

    Yes. I know, 2001!

    You should buy it for the music alone, to be honest.

  14. #14
    Network Hub icemann's Avatar
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    Dead Man's Switch (the main campaign of Shadowrun Returns) is good if you have played the super nintendo game that it is a quasi sequel to. Otherwise Dragonfall or Hong Kong is best.

    Personally I liked Hong Kong most as the degree of choice was a bit better than Dragonfall, and the mini expansion that was released for it a few months later was a great addition.

    For these games I would say that if:

    * You LOVE proper cyberpunk - You'll love this game. If that is the case I'd recommend checking out the UGC (user generated content) side of things as there is quite a fair bit of stuff out there via steamworks. Be sure also to via emulation try out the earlier 2 games from the 90s (1 on the super nintendo and 1 on the sega megadrive/genesis).



    * You don't care about cyberpunk / don't love it - You'll likely not like this game. Play something else.

    For me I had played the super nintendo game decades ago, so already had a great love for the universe and I absolutely loved Shadowrun Returns. It helps that Harebrained did pretty damn detailed Kickstarter updates after each of the games received funding.

  15. #15
    Network Hub LordShadoko's Avatar
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    Well, thanks for your advices, you all, I think I'll take either Dragonfall of Hong Kong, they seem rather promising. Given that I have a steam gift card, I think I'll also take Arcanum, then.
    Just a more technical question : how do the Shadowrun games run ? (Which more or less boils down to : are they made with an engine that looks basic but runs like shit, like Unity ?) And do they like Win10 or not ?

  16. #16
    Network Hub icemann's Avatar
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    It's Unity, but runs quite seamlessly.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Tevildo's Avatar
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    @ Viral Frog : I haven't played Returns yet, but Hairebrained are really good at creating mesmerizing atmospheres with a few audio and simplistic visuals. Didn't like the art from afar but once I got inside it all came to life, Kreutzberg and Hong Kong from the future a,d yet strangelu familiar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Insignus View Post
    I enjoyed Returns.

    But, if you're looking for the ultimate in low cost, low spec, high mod, high production (Time relative) values isometric RPGs on Steam.......

    For $6 USD, you can own http://store.steampowered.com/app/500810/

    ARCANUM!

    Yes. I know, 2001!

    You should buy it for the music alone, to be honest.
    This kind of game I prefer to buy on GOG. You remind me I have to come back to Arcanum. Left my character in a tavern, drunk&bitter not to have this one charisma point that would allow him to have a Troll for friend and not fear the bullys anymore (my character is more of the puny savant with specs type).


    @ Lord shadoko :

    Make sure to install this :
    http://terra-arcanum.com/drog/dest/uap.html

    and there are some dedicated french geeks who did good for Arcanum. Their unofficial high resolution patch is great. I can't find the original link right now but you'll find more informations here :

    http://www.confrerie-des-traducteurs.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5854

    Last edited by Tevildo; Today at 01:02 PM.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus TheDreamlord's Avatar
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    If you choose only one, I would recommend Hong Kong.

    Returns is completely mediocre. Dragonfall is better but has some extended fights which can be extremely difficult if you have not optimised your team, especially the ending sequences (I gave up half way through the final few fights towards the game's end). I found Hong Kong to be the best overall experience. The map is more open (relatively), interesting plot and characters, nice environments and a much improved matrix.

  19. #19
    Network Hub LordShadoko's Avatar
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    Well, I finally took Dragonfall as I had only 15 euros on my steam wallet, the leftover of my Christmas budget. So we'll see. Also, thanks for all the Arcanum links, but I think that's something I'd rather buy on GOG.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordShadoko View Post
    Well, I finally took Dragonfall as I had only 15 euros on my steam wallet, the leftover of my Christmas budget. So we'll see. Also, thanks for all the Arcanum links, but I think that's something I'd rather buy on GOG.
    Just as a note, even if you're not impressed with Dragonfall, you may love Hong Kong. It was, frankly, my game of the year for 2015, which shocked the absolute hell out of me. I think I've only ever been that surprised by a game one other time (Hostile Waters, all the way back in 2001 - NOLF2 was almost as surprising, though, I admit).

    Personally, I thought Returns was pretty much totally rubbish, and for my money, Dragonfall was only okay. But Hong Kong? Pretty much nailed it.

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