developer: Harebrained Schemes
publisher: Harebrained Holdings
Game mode: single player
Shadowrun Returns is an old-school RPG, with a turn-based combat system and 2D graphics. This is the first large project of Harebrained Schemes company - so far the team has been involved in developing mobile or independent games. However, the studio was founded by industry veterans, including Jordan Weisman, the man who co-created the original role-playing game Shadowrun as well as Battletech and Crimson Skies systems. The game was financed via Kickstarter.
The story is set in the year 2054, in a universe where cyberpunk meets fantasy. Magic has returned to the world, and the outbreak of a plague known as VITAS has caused new races emerge from human kind, such as orcs, trolls, elves, or dwarves. Another plague (HMHVV) induced mutations that transformed the infected into goblins, ghouls, vampires, werewolves, etc. At the same time, dragons have become a dominant players in the financial market. In this world there live and work shadowrunners. They are mercenaries willing to perform any task for the right sum of money. The player leads such a group of professionals throughout the campaign. The quality of the story is guaranteed by involvement of seven authors who write adventures and supplements to the original paper game.
Shadowrun Returns is an old-school RPG. While in the game you command a team of shadowrunners, and you have a full control over each of its members. Skirmishes are played out in turns, and they require some tactical cunning. Four dimensions are interwoven into the world of Shadowrun - physical, digital, mystical, and astral. Depending on the character class, you can take advantage of an ability to see some of them. For example, the Street Samurai can see tags prompting into covers, possible direction from where enemies may come out, and statistics of the currently used weapons. Battle Mage, in turn, has an ability to see supernatural aura, making it easy for him to find magical items. He can also predict what spell is going to be casted by the enemy in just a moment. On the other hand, hackers understand the flow of data and information, so that by manipulating the digital world they can affect the real one.
The main campaign of the game tells the story of a shadowruner who has a hard time making ends meet. A tape recorded by a now-deceased friend of his asking for unraveling the mystery of his death turns out to be what he needs. During this mission, you can create your own character, but you do not get too much freedom - locations are small, story choices occur sporadically, and battles never get too complex. However, those unsatisfied with this adventure may reach for fan-created scenarios or create their own. This is made possible thanks to an easy to use editor.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 1.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM, graphic card 256 MB (GeForce 7800 or better), 2 GB HDD, Windows XP(SP3)/Vista/7/8