Haven Review: Shadowrun Returns

ShadowrunReturnsFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Shadowrun has not seen a good release on any console or pc in ages. Last time was on the Super Nintendo.

MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, Orcs and Dwarf’s walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. People whom need to have something done outside the law, hire Shadowrunners to do their bidding.

The game start you of on a character creation menu, where the main character is customized to fit into his or her role. After a quick introduction and some exposition the player is thrust into the world of Shadowrun.

The game is built on a grid, with turn based combat and a leveling up system. Where there are objects to interact with, hide behind or demolish.

Each turn of combat the player have a certain number of actions to preform and when those have been executed it’s the next units turn. Though that’s the basic for combat. The game does a decent job of explain how the mechanics works. The fun stuff involves spell slinging, summoning a rampaging spirit or gunning down enemies with drones. At certain parts there is hacking to be done though the Matrix, not the movie. However this is a virtual world where the player avatar interact with the system.

The main character can amongst other things be a kickass kungfu ninja, that also happens to be a 5 feet Troll or a pointy eared Elf with a sledgehammer and a mean attitude. There is that and more. Aside from combat there is a lot of dialogue and exposition going on where choices does matter. As the story progress, the player is awarded with experience points. These are used to make the character better.

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Since there is a lot of customization, there is a lot of re-playability. Since a different background or skill set will alter the outcome and solution to may of the in game quests.

Since this is based on a tabletop game, there is also a scenario editor, where anyone with a good idea and the patience to make a custom module, can make a new adventure.

The in-game sound effects does a good job portraying the world, but it can feel a bit quest at times. That is why there is also a very good soundtrack. Most of the dialogue is done in silence through text boxes.

The graphics are made up of crisp and clean sprites, that populate an isometric world. It truly looks like a dark and dank world, where unimaginable things lurks in the shadows.

I would personally recommend it since I like this kind of turn-based role-playing games. Though I would not give it to someone whom is not a teenager or above, due to mild violence and the heavy dialogue.

For the most parts it is a very fateful adaptation of the rules with a lot of the ambiguity removed due to engine constraints. Besides the ai would make for a terrible dungeon master.

-Njål Sand-shadowrun