Believe it or not, but very little can sometimes make you so happy. For instance, if I told you that the last few days I have two games that have started to dominate my game time. This summer has been good, real good and the top has been Red Orchestra 2 – but my MP time has been seeing more and more of the War of the Vikings Alpha – really fun and makes some real nice little changes into the gameplay vs the War of the Roses game. It is still a bit unpolished, but really fun and adds a lot of fun things. But it is not this title that has eaten my last days – no the game with no voice actors in it – heck a game with no save but auto save. A game that is an adventure more than a game – it is just that the adventure takes place in the Shadowrun universe.
Yeah, Shadowrun returns, the kickstarted game is here and I’m loving it. I can’t really describe with words how much I like these Isometric games. In the beginning, no free camera, no saves, no voices, no real strategy commands except the maps positions give you advantages etc – I love it. It is so simple, and the game looks and plays a vee-bit like Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. The animations seem like they have been forcefully pulled out of it. The rest of the game leaves some to be wished for indeed. The above comments about save, voices, tactical settings for combat, more control over items, loot etc would be nice to have a fuller option of – but bar that – I am happy with what I have.
So, will everyone like it. No – definitely no. The game is missing a lot of really important design options for games of this day. It is a bit unpolished and if you don’t like to read a lot of text to get you up and running for what is happening around you – well lets say that there aren’t any cut-scenes, no QTE events. This is a RPG game of the older school with options displayed in layers of text with your characters attributes and choices making your path evident. You chose wrong, you pay the price. In this instance – you have to replay the latest map-reload usually and may have to rethink your strategy completely for a tougher fight.
But – it is SHADWORUN. It breaths and exhale Shadowrun and even though I’m not 100% comfortable with the latest rule set nor this games rule set and/or how well the books are implemented it. (I’m an old 2nd and 3rd version pen and paper gamer). I do find the creation fo a character to be real fun. In my head the character takes shape, and I don’t need the voice over, I don’t need to be able to colour the clothing etc. The game delivers something I’m familiar with and something new to learn. The setup at first is a bit different from what I know of Shadowrun, there are totems missing from the Shaman – and the shaman has conjuring and not so many spells – but then I remember – this is a game not of the D&D school – you can make your own choices and indeed a character from scratch.
The adventure is really linear – but in these games I think that is actually a nice change from the overly used open world games flooding the market and a tight adventure is fun. If you also take into account that the game has full STEAM workshop integration and many adventures to download and play – well – you will have your hands full and you can play online (not tested it – but there should be a hot seat for a DM to throw unaccountable enemies at player parties etc.)
If you like isometric games that aren’t Diablo clones, but the old isometric games where you have turns, make small parties and solves adventures – this game is for you. If you like Shadowrun – this is double for you since this game is not only IMHO a good game – but it is the only game of Shadowrun universe for a LONG time that doesn’t frag it up chummer!