Alexander Kucera

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Shadowrun Returns

I got access to my copy of Shadowrun Returns right on release, July 25th, and immediately ended up playing it of about five hours. Probably your first clue that I liked it.

It has been described as Neverwinter Nights meets XCOM by its creators and that description is pretty accurate. I’d add that it at times also has a little point and click adventure feel to it.

On A Budget

Harebrained Software got $1.8 Million from Kickstarter, which, when you take away all the Kickstarter and Amazon fees plus physical rewards, ends up as about $1.2 Million for the actual game. It later racked up the budget with a loan and additional Pre-sales done via their website, so I’m assuming that the actual budget ended up in the $2 Million range again. Which sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t if you do the math.

Anyway, the developers did a remarkable job of translating the Shadowrun experience into a playable and infinitely expandable game. The environments are gorgeous, the first story that came with it is pretty solid and supposed to be about 12 hours of gameplay.

You can really only tell that they needed to cut stuff by the lack of detail in the characters. They just feel a little unpolished at times. The 3D characters that is. The character art is top notch.

Another thing that’s sorely missing to give the game that extra bit of atmosphere is a voice over track. It’s just a little lackluster to read all the dialogue. But I guess with the idea of an editor that allows you to expand the game ad infinitum, a VO track seems a little unrealistic.

But in the end, Shadowrun Returns remains a great, atmospheric game and anyone even mildly into the Shadowrun universe owes himself to check it out.

Subtitle: Game Review