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Enless Shadowrunner photo
Enless Shadowrunner

Shadowrun returns again with Shadowrun: Hong Kong

Coming this summer
May 22
// Steven Hansen
One of the concerns I've had that could affect a possible Kickstarter bubble burst is a sort of "what next?" Fans fund an IGA-led Castlevania-like en masse, then what? Do they fund it again once the novelty wears off? In 201...

Review: Shadowrun Chronicles - Boston Lockdown

Apr 27 // Chris Carter
Shadowrun Chronicles - Boston Lockdown (PC) Developer: Cliffhanger ProductionsPublisher: Nordic GamesReleased: April 28, 2015MSRP: $39.99 As a quick crash course on the story, "Shadowrun" literally refers to the act of carrying out plans which are "illegal or quasi-legal." You'll have plenty of chances to engage in said debauchery, as the world has gone through an "Awakening" 65 years before Lockdown, which takes place in 2076. Magic has returned to the world, dwarves, elves, orcs, and trolls are a thing -- oh, and dragons too. Returns took place in Seattle, Dragonfall was in Germany, and this is in Boston. Got it? Action will take place in an isometric strategic format very similar to the XCOM series. Using a classic mouse and keyboard setup, you'll have two maximum movement grids, the second layer of which will allow you to "sprint," and immediately end your turn. The first threshold will still allow you to attack, use a skill, or interact with the environment accordingly. Gameplay is all about positioning and outflanking your opponent, as well as placing emphasis on a risk-reward melee mechanic. For the most part you'll want to conservatively duck into various bits of cover, but since hand-to-hand attacks always result in a higher damage output, there's the chance to get up close and personal. It's all very functional, but to be frank, that's about as technical as the game gets. [embed]290948:58338:0[/embed] As you progress and earn more skills, you'll have the opportunity to delve into various trees and specialize in something that's more your style. Beyond your typical passive bonuses (Mind, Body) there's weapon-centric trees (blades, blunt, pistols, shotguns, automatics), summoning, spellcasting, hacking, and rigging -- the latter of which is more like a "gearhead" conceit. You don't need to hole-up into just one role (although you likely will at first), as you're free to distribute your skills as you see fit. Personally, I went with the automatic rifle route combined with a touch of summoning. Your basic summon includes a spirit bear, which can maul or stun enemies as its own autonomous unit -- it's really cool, but later skills are often less memorable or endearing as more progress is made. With 11 trees that feature anywhere from 13 to 20 skills each, there's a decent amount of options available, but since a lot of those double-up as "advanced" versions, there's not as much variation as I would have hoped. This is by design, as Cliffhanger Productions has stated that it wanted a more streamlined approach with Lockdown. I'd say that with some sacrifices the studio has achieved that goal (for instance, actual statistical changes for different backgrounds and races are marginal at best), but missions often lack that spark often found in other genre staples. Most runs are predicated on simplistic kill orders, which often result in a simple flank with a series of firefights. There's very little room for nuance when most of the weaponry effectively feels the same. The script also doesn't feel as poignant as Hairbrained Schemes' titles, and although there aren't a lot of glaring problems with it, it's tough to truly resonate with Lockdown's world beyond the occasional Red Sox reference. Your gameplay loop precedes as follows: a hub world visit to grab a mission, running said mission, returning to the hub to upgrade, and so on. There's no looming open overworld, no MMO-like exploration -- the hub is one small Boston neighborhood, with a taxi that takes you to each stage, an instance across the city. Along the way you'll earn cash to buy new weapons, armor, and augmentations, and karma nets you more skills -- that's all you need to know. It's a rather confining means of play, but it works, as the almighty call of upgrades and loot is just as powerful as it is anywhere else. So about that former "Online" moniker -- the first thing I noticed as soon as I booted up Boston Lockdown was the chat function. Nearly every avatar looks different due to the heavy amount of cosmetic options, which range from tattoos to visors that would make Geordi La Forge jealous. Even in the tutorial you're privy to a gathering of players, some of which are looking to help out new players, and others advertising their HP and gear to find a more professional-oriented group. The entire interface has been vastly improved from its former Early Access state, as players can simply click on someone's name or their avatar in the hub world to form a group. Friending people is also as easy as sending a request, and the UI itself is very clean, completely devoid of clutter. Players who enjoy a breadth of options are likely going to be disappointed, as Boston Lockdown only allows you to tweak your resolution (up to 1920x1080), fullscreen (with no full-windowed option), a few mouse scrolling variations, and volume control. That's about it. Dedicated Shadowrun fans will likely be disappointed at the lack of depth, and your mileage may vary in terms of the appeal of the multiplayer function, which seemingly took over some of the other more endearing aspects of the series. If you haven't played a game in the series since the SNES however, Boston Lockdown is a decent starting point, and a perfect way to re-acclimate yourself to the genre with friends. If you prefer to fly solo, just go with Shadowrun Returns instead. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Shadowrun Boston review photo
Not featuring Boston's Favorite Son
In case you haven't noticed, Shadowrun has been making a comeback lately. With Harebrained Schemes' Shadowrun Returns in 2013 and the subsequent Dragonfall follow-up, the series has enjoyed triumphant return to...

Shadowrun Online update photo
Shadowrun Online update

Shadowrun Online gets major Early Access update

Adds new Rigger class, custom character creation, and much, much more!
Feb 18
// Rob Morrow
"Watch your back. Shoot straight. Conserve ammo. And never, ever cut a deal with a dragon." Hoi, Chummers! The eighth Early Access update for Shadowrun Online just went live yesterday and it's a massive one. Major f...
Shadowrun photo

The next Shadowrun game comes to Kickstarter, funded almost immediately

Shadowrun Returns Again
Jan 13
// Mike Cosimano
Shadowrun: Hong Kong, the third videogame adaptation of the popular tabletop RPG series, is looking to Kickstarter for funding. The game will -- obviously -- take place in magical cyberpunk Hong Kong, where the player uncover...

Shadowrun photo

First look at Harebrained Schemes' return to Shadowrun and Kickstarter

Seemingly set in Hong Kong
Dec 24
// Jordan Devore
So long as Harebrained Schemes has financially supportive fans, the company isn't done making Shadowrun games. In fact, there's going to be another Kickstarter in January. This concept art represents the "look and feel" of th...
Dragonfall trailer photo
Dragonfall trailer

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut features alternative endings

Here's a trailer
Aug 26
// Steven Hansen
Shadowrun Returns' main expansion, Dragonfall, is getting a stand-alone Director's Cut on September 18. This is a trailer for that. With the expansion you can expect, "5 all-new missions, alternate endings, ne...
Shadowrun photo

Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut will release on September 18

New missions, UI improvements, and more
Aug 18
// Rob Morrow
Harebrained Schemes recently updated its Kickstarter page for Shadowrun Returns with new details about the standalone version of Dragonfall, the Director's Cut. The updated version of the base game's DLC will include new...
Shadowrun Online photo
Shadowrun Online

Shadowrun Online adds character customization, random co-op

New update out now
Aug 08
// Rob Morrow
An update for Shadowrun Online has recently arrived and it's filled to the brim with new features, improvements, and fixes. This is the one I've been waiting for, people! We can finally create our own characters and enter r...
Shadowrun Returns photo
Shadowrun Returns

There's a Shadowrun: Dragonfall extended director's cut incoming

A new version will arrive in September
Jul 26
// Alasdair Duncan
After a few weeks of disappointment and controversy regarding certain Kickstarter projects, it's maybe worth reminding ourselves of some of the successful ones. Shadowrun Returns was a really well received game from last yea...
Shadowrun Online photo
Shadowrun Online

Early Access version of Shadowrun Online launching March 31

Combat-focused prologue to full campaign
Mar 27
// Conrad Zimmerman
Cliffhanger Productions has announced a Steam Early Access release date for Shadowrun Online, the successfully crowdfunded MMO set in the magic-meets-technology setting of Shadowrun. Launching on March 31, the game will begi...

Review: Shadowrun: Dragonfall

Mar 13 // Alasdair Duncan
Shadowrun: Dragonfall (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Harebrained SchemesPublisher: Harebrained SchemesMRSP: $14.99 / £11.99Release Date: February, 27 2014 [Full disclosure: I was a Kickstarter backer and received the Dragonfall expansion free as part of my backer rewards.] Dragonfall moves the action from the rainy streets of Seattle to Berlin, part of a splintered Germany. In 2012, the age of magic began again and a great dragon Feuerschwinge devastated much of the country. Now in 2054, the city is controlled by an anarchist flux state and it's here that your Shadowrunner has fled after a botched job. Hooking up with an old friend, you're immediately on another run but one that ends in tragedy; now with a new crew in tow, you'll seek to uncover the reasons your arrival in Berlin has been a traumatic one. This expansion mixes up the formula from the original Shadowrun Returns campaign, Dead Man's Switch, in a couple of ways. Right from the start you'll be working with a fixed crew: Eiger, a troll and former soldier; the punk shaman Dietrich; the heavily-augmented cyborg Glory; and the wisecracking decker Blitz. Dead Man's Switch had you using specific characters in certain missions and recruiting other Runners to your team when required. The option to recruit new team members is there but you'll only really use it if one of your team is killed in action, or you feel you need a certain role to help with an individual mission, like having an extra street samurai if you're expecting plenty of trouble. [embed]271790:52947:0[/embed] The other big change is the introduction of a fixed hub area, dubbed the Kreuzbasar, as your main base of operations. From here you can access the subway to get to mission areas and there's plenty of shops and characters in the area to interact with. Early on in the game, your crew needs to amass money, and lots of it. So instead of taking on a linear path from mission to mission, you're free to choose between a number of side jobs each with their own dangers, rewards, and repercussions. Complete enough of these and you'll make enough money to get you moving onto the end game.  There's a nice sense of constant progression from the start as your character is left with an inherited crew, some of whom are wary about your leadership, and just a few clues as to who is behind things in Berlin. Whereas Dead Man's Switch started off as a murder mystery, Dragonfall's story has a bigger sense of scale as there's the troubled history of Germany and the distinct characters of the Flux states. A steady ceasefire between gangs and factions holds the region together and you'll get your chance to meet them in some of the side missions; whether your choose the diplomatic or violent route is up to you but there's no overarching faction system so you don't need to worry too much about your actions carrying over into the main story.  If you had played Shadowrun before, you'll find that there's no real mechanical differences in Dragonfall. There is one major addition and that's that ability to save your game at any time outside combat. This is a big change and it reduces the amount of frustration you would have felt in Shadowrun before, where dying or failing a mission had you replaying almost all of it. It's a big improvement and something that the main game needed. There are some elements that haven't been updated in the expansion -- the isometric viewpoint can still make it hard to identify cover and getting your characters to the right spot is still tricky. Having a regular crew is definitely a plus but outfitting them can be a drag; your team will restock supplies but unless you make the effort to go around all the shops in Kreuzbasar, you'll be left lacking some vital supplies. Whilst you can usually choose up to four out of your five regular crew members, it would be nice if there were additional clues as to what you're about to face. Sometimes the term "heavy resistance" might be mentioned but you can often find yourself outgunned three to one on what should be a fairly simple mission.  There's some other elements that would have made a nice addition to Dragonfall. For instance, your crew will level up and gain new skills and abilities but this is all done automatically -- there's no way to customize each member of your crew, to tailor their abilities to compliment your playstyle or tactics. Also, issuing your crew with new equipment is a bit more difficult than it should be; an option to buy gear and have it sent to another character straight away would mean you were going into missions with a better idea of who can bail you out with a medkit when you need it. Shadowrun: Dragonfall doesn't drastically change the mechanics or systems that were introduced in the main game, which is slightly disappointing as there could have been improvements made but the addition of the new save system is a big relief. The writing and story remains the same high quality from the main game and feels a bit more cohesive from Dead Man's Switch; that story took a lot of twists and turns but Dragonfall feels more focused by giving you a personal connection right from the start. If you enjoyed your first taste of Shadowrun, then Dragonfall should be an immediate purchase.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall photo
Improves on the original, but still has frustrations
Shadowrun Returns was released last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign and seemed to please fans and backers alike. In our review, Fraser Brown commented on how the toolset provided with the game would provide plent...


Shadowrun Dragonfall scheduled for February 27

New campaign, new team, new fiddly bits for modders
Jan 28
// Conrad Zimmerman
Harebrained Schemes has announced the release date for Shadowrun Returns' DLC expansion, Dragonfall, now set to arrive on February 27. The DLC is free to backers of the Kickstarter which funded it, while newcomers will be as...

Shadowrun Returns Berlin expansion dubbed 'Dragonfall'

Lots of new details on content released
Nov 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
The massively successful Kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns reached lofty numbers, achieving a stretch goal which would add a second setting and campaign to the game as DLC, with the backers selecting Berlin as the locale...
Shadowrun Returns photo
Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns can now be released without DRM

Coming to
Nov 12
// Jordan Devore
If you missed the opportunity to get Shadowrun Returns free of DRM during its Kickstarter fundraising and didn't eventually cave for the Steam release, you're in luck. Harebrained Schemes has successfully negotiated with Micr...

Shadowrun Returns now out for Android and iOS

$9.99 for the full game, minus editing tools
Sep 27
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The iOS and Android tablet versions of Shadowrun Returns has finally been released. It's available for $9.99, and includes everything except any editing tools. So no editor and no access to community created content. That sai...

Review: Shadowrun Returns

Jul 29 // Fraser Brown
Shadowrun Returns (PC)Developer: Harebrained Schemes Publisher: Harebrained SchemesReleased: July 25, 2013MSRP: $19.99Rig: Intel i5-3570K @3.40 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 670, and Windows 7 64-bit The beginning of the 21st century brought more than technological innovation to the world of Shadowrun. Magic was reintroduced to the world, ancient dragons reappeared, and infants were born with bizarre mutations, giving rise to a new species of meta-humans. The Sixth World, as it became known, is a place where science and magic co-exist, and huge corporations exploit and manipulate humans and meta-humans alike.  Clinical, perfunctory tech dots the streets next to dirty market stalls, holograms, and spirit totems, with skyscrapers towering above it all. Garish neon signs light up homeless drug addicts huddled in alleys and businessmen gathering beneath large umbrellas, attempting to escape the constant rain. Shadowrun Returns is not a pretty game, but it's one lavished in detail with an abundance of personality and atmosphere.   [embed]258733:49767:0[/embed] In this world where the familiar is juxtaposed to the alien and the exotic, shadowrunners ply their trade. Infiltrators, assassins, thieves -- they come from all walks of life, all races, but the thing that binds them is the risk inherent in their meal ticket. It's not a glamorous job, this fact emphasized by the situation the protagonist finds his or herself in at the beginning of Shadowrun Returns.  Broke, no jobs, a list of dead or missing contacts -- things are looking grim. A message from beyond the grave promises to change all of that though: find a retired colleague's murderer and get a nice, big payday. Seems simple enough. It isn't, of course. At its heart, Dead Man's Switch, the main campaign in Shadowrun Returns, is a classic noir mystery; a murder investigation that opens up a whole can of worms, with conspiracies, police corruption, eerie cults, and a whole slew of untrustworthy ne'er-do-wells spilling out. But it's not really the mystery that makes the campaign so damn compelling -- especially near the end where it starts to peter out and become a bit silly -- rather, it's the exceptionally slick writing and the strong sense of place that is developed over the 12-or-so-hour jaunt. Characters are driven by relatable motivations: greed, revenge, honor. But it's through snappy, nuanced dialogue that you learn more beyond these simple driving forces. There's no plodding, over-exposition; you won't strike up a conversation and suddenly discover everything about a character, and by the end of my journey through the dilapidated future version of Seattle, I can't rightly say that I truly know its residents. But the glimpse of their lives that I did get made them all the more fascinating. Seattle itself and, indeed, the Sixth World in general is similarly revealed in snippets. Mentions of the SINless non-citizens, meta-humans who would need government intervention to gain the right to vote, the conflict between the elves and California flesh out the setting, but Harebrained Schemes never hits players over the head with information. Dead Man's Switch inspires more reading, and demands that players find out more about the role-playing game that started it all.  Where the earlier Shadowrun games gave players defined characters, such as the SNES version's Jake Armitage, Shadowrun Returns features a robust character creator. Archetypes exist for the uninitiated, or those just desiring a convenient starting point: the Street Samurai is an all-round warrior, proficient in guns and melee; the Rigger commands little bots that can heal, shoot, and support teams of runners; and Shamans can summon spirits to aid them, or employ magical buffs. Six archetypes are available, all of them distinct. They are just starting points, however, and it's entirely possible to create a Street Samurai who controls bots, or a Shaman commando. Perhaps the most interesting of the bunch, in theory, is the Decker: an expert hacker that can infiltrate the Matrix, a blue neon world of digital information, and attack programs. The Decker can enter the Matrix mid-battle, jacking into a nearby port, and then play through its own separate digitized dungeon, helping the rest of the team by unlocking doors, taking over sentry turrets, and discovering information that can later be sold. Unfortunately, the Matrix dungeons and the enemies found therein are a bit bland, offering little diversity, yet it remains an interesting addition to combat scenarios. A player's time is split between point-and-click exploration and dialogue and tactical turn-based combat. The former sees surprising use of skills, with strength being used to intimidate folk, decking being employed to hack terminals, and the various unlockable etiquette abilities allowing players to ingratiate themselves with a variety of groups, from corporate wage-slaves to street gangs. The use of what would otherwise just be combat skills in conversation and exploration is reminiscent of Planescape: Torment, and feels true to Shadowrun Returns' tabletop forebearer. Combat is rough, sometimes messy, but comes laden with options. It's similar to XCOM, with cover-based shooting and spell-slinging dominating battles. Cover is even represented by little shields. The long list of spells, weapon abilities, bots, and the Matrix ensures that scraps never become dull, but what works early on continues to work throughout the game. There's rarely a need to change tactics, and enemies don't tend to pose significant threats.  Not being able to turn the fixed camera is a minor problem, but one that rears its head quite a few times. Enemies and allies can still be seen behind cover and walls, represented by a silhouette, but targeting them can be a right pain in the arse. There's also the occasional scripted sequence that stops a character right in its tracks, leaving them vulnerable and in the open, even if they were on their way to cover.  Although there's a fair amount of it, combat never feels particularly important outside of its role in the narrative. Intensity is diminished due to the lack of truly dangerous foes, and they never drop items or cash, nor does killing folk dole out experience.  Characters progress in two ways. The first is Karma, Shadowrun's experience system. Karma is awarded quite frequently, but not for combat. The positive connotations of "gaining karma" might seem strange in a murky, hardboiled, cynical world such as the the Sixth World, and it does limit interactions to a degree. Players may still opt to roleplay a complete bastard or a selfish goon, but there's constant pressure to be the "good guy," as that's the best way to get more upgrades.  The second way one progresses is through gear upgrades. My use of the word "upgrade" is very deliberate, as there's very little variety present in the equipment that may be purchased. At set times, the few shops one can access get new stock, with weapons, items, and outfits that simply have slightly better stats than the previous ones that were purchased. While I'm all for limiting gear to make each piece more meaningful, that's not really the result here. The lack of questing for loot is welcome, but without anything in its place, I felt like my character build was being restricted.  The linear gear progression is at least in keeping with the mainly linear overall experience. Aside from one or two side missions, Dead Man's Switch is very much an A-to-B affair -- though that's far from a complaint. The main quest, if you will, is important enough so that it makes little sense to go off gallivanting on some other adventure in the middle of it. The runner's core mission is given greater weight and urgency with this focus.   As a standalone experience, Dead Man's Switch is a delight: a clever but short whirlwind tour of the oft depressing world of the shadowrunner. It is not, however, the entirety of Shadowrun Returns. Instead, it merely serves as an example of what can be crafted with the complex editor tool that all players have access to.  The huge, flexible editor holds within it the promise of limitless adventures, both set in the Shadowrun universe and outside it. I am reminded of the many amazing community creations worked on using Neverwinter Nights' Aurora Toolset, and how years after the main campaign was forgotten, dedicated modders diligently gave life to countless worlds and stories that completely overshadowed BioWare's creation. So what we have here isn't just a great game, but the potential for even greater ones. 
Shadowrun review photo
An elven hacker, a troll mage, and a robot walk into a bar...
High fantasy, cyberpunk, and film noir collide in a way that makes you think they were meant for each other all along in Harebrained Schemes' appropriately, if not imaginatively, titled Shadowrun Returns. Based on the popular...

New releases photo
New releases

New releases: You had me at isometric cyberpunk fantasy

Plus, Teleglitch, Runescape 3, and silly blue people
Jul 23
// Fraser Brown
New releases is a day late this week, as my ISP got so excited by all of these games coming out that they decided to screw with my connection. Well, that's what I pay them for. This week's actually a bit quiet, with only a c...
Shadowrun Returns photo
Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns delayed until July

Kickstarter project was initially meant to be released in June
Jun 18
// Alasdair Duncan
It's been a long time coming but it appears we'll have to wait a little while longer for Shadowrun Returns. In an update posted on its Kickstarter page, developer Harebrained Schemes have announced the new release date as Jul...
Cyberjunk photo

Shadowrun Returns now available for pre-purchase on Steam

Also, new video shows Matrix realm
May 01
// Allistair Pinsof
Cyberpunk role-playing game Shadowrun Returns is now available for pre-purchase on Steam. $17.99 for the standard version or $31.49 for the deluxe version, which includes a soundtrack and an eBook (PDF) that contains short s...
Shadowrun Returns photo
Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns comes to Steam this June

Collector's Edition pre-orders end April 28
Apr 10
// Allistair Pinsof
Shadowrun Returns, the long-awaited Shadowrun reboot funded through Kickstarter, will come to PC in June, developer Harebrained Schemes announced in an update. As the days to release count down, so does the time before the Co...

Deadpool, Dead Space & Dead Tired Of SimCity's BS

The Destructoid Show got sent home from school today for cursing
Mar 08
// Max Scoville
Hey everybody! Here's today's Destructoid Show! I'm guessing you guys have heard about all the nonsense going on with SimCity, so if you're sick of it by this point, I apologize. There's a new trailer for Deadpool, which I'm ...
Shadowrun Returns video photo
Shadowrun Returns video

See your Kickstarter cash at work with Shadowrun Returns

Welcome to Seattle 2054
Mar 08
// Chris Carter
Developer Hairbraned Schemes is ready to show off a full 20 minutes of gameplay for its Kickstarter project, Shadowrun Returns. The demonstration moves around from the free exploration to combat pretty consistently, so you c...

Shadowrun Online Kickstarter has just one week left

Aug 07
// Brett Zeidler
With just six days left for funding, Shadowrun Online has only made a little over half of its goal of $500,000. Don't confuse this project with the first Shadowrun Kickstarter, which more than quadrupled its goal. This one is...

VGdrum goes cyberpunk with a Shadowrun cover

Aug 03
// Tony Ponce
Oh, Pat Kulikowski! You bang the drum kit of my soul! This week, my good buddy NukaCola has chosen to direct his skills towards Shadowrun on the SNES. There's a property that has been getting some coverage lately! Back in Ap...

Shadowrun Online adds OUYA and Linux versions to the list

Aug 02
// Jordan Devore
And so begin the posts about individual games being announced for OUYA. Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions is the one pledging support for the upcoming system this time around. Not to be confused with the alre...

Place Your Bets: Hurrah, dystopia! Edition

Apr 18 // Allistair Pinsof
After Double Fine made over a million in 24 hours on Kickstarter -- a first for the four-year-old site -- there was a consensus that nothing going forward could shock us about future Kickstarter successes. And then Wasteland 2 happened. It's shocking because, unlike Double Fine, inXile are developers of some rather dull, mediocre games. Sure, the 2004 Bard's Tale reboot had its fans, but Hunted: The Demon's Forge was one of the most middling games of last year! Nevertheless, people paid attention to this Kickstarter and happily threw their money at it. Over $3 million if you count PayPal backers! Why did it succeed? Wasteland 2 has the promise of being the Fallout 3 game Interplay teased long ago. It helps that the original Fallout's co-creator, executive producer, and composer are all on board. The real selling point though was the well made, entertaining Kickstarter video that likely won over those not even familiar with Wasteland's history. The Kickstarter page was also well put together: concise, visual, and wonderfully structured. The Verdict: Do we really need another RPG in a dystopia? After Rage, I think I had enough of this aesthetic. Upon Wasteland's release in 1988, it was novel to see a game borrowing so heavily from Mad Max. Now, it's just kind of trite. However, I welcome a new tactical strategy game -- I'm not sure others will feel the same though, looking at the response to the recent Jagged Alliance reboot. Furthermore, I don't get the feeling these guys know how to evolve the genre. They talk about exploration and moral choice as if they were still original prospects in games. Far from it. In the very least, you can trust Wasteland 2 won't likely become vaporware since it's from an established studio. Too bad it's one with a very shaky track record. The name says it all. That is if the word "Shadowrun" meant anything for you to begin with. For a lot of us, it brings us back to days spent with the excellent Super Nintendo Shadowrun -- a cyberpunk RPG based on a pen-and-paper game that featured a futuristic dystopia inhabited by creatures typically found in fantasy novels. It was a meeting place between Gibson and Tolkien, where orcs could run seedy dance clubs and a dragon could run a corporation. It was pretty great. Why did it succeed? Like Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns is helmed by its original creator who has a fresh-faced studio behind him. This earns the project a lot of good will. It helps that the group acknowledge that they are against the 2007 Shadowrun FPS -- which, as much as I loved, didn't capture the franchise's essence -- and that the SNES Shadowrun is worth borrowing from. It's also another well made Kickstarter page with a snappy video to boot. The Verdict: I'm worried that the game will be shallow, as they are building it for PC and tablet. I don't see how you can do that without compromising some depth and ideas. However, Harebrained Schemes have proven themselves capable of making a good iOS strategy game with last years Crimson: Steam Pirates (published by Bungie of all companies!) As a Shadowrun fan, I'd be happy just to enter its brilliant world again, even if it means killing cyber-rats for the first hour. So, you just won $42 million dollars! What are you going to do! Make a Kickstarter for a generic fantasy  MMORPG? Uh, really? Well … okay, then. Your World is "a MMORPG Game built by gamers, for gamers and funded by gamers." If that isn't descriptive enough, head over to the developer's website for long, insane outline of the game.The problem is that the lengthy explanation only left me more confused on what exactly this game developer and Mega Milllions lottery winner Ellwood Bartlett wants to achieve. Battles will play like a 2D fighting game? Gladiator foot ball? Cybrogs? Okay, I guess. Cool MMORPG, bro. Will It Succeed? Hell no! If there isn't a law that prevents a multimillionaire lottery winner from asking for $1.1 million for a MMORPG on Kickstarter, there should be. With two weeks left, I don't see this high-asking price being met. That is, unless Bartlett throws his own money in the pot in order to access the $20,000+ already backed. That he got that much for such a poorly conveyed, unoriginal concept is an achievement in itself. The Verdict: Either Barteltt is so far off the deep end that he is onto something brilliant I can't see or he is just crazy. Regardless, I wouldn't bet my money on it. With a name like that, how can you not want to throw money at this project? Before you start writing those $10,000 checks, you should know about its developer Willie Shi and his development studio 8land (which can easily be misread as "Bland," a telling detail). Shi has a long history in game development and as his bio states "He learn new stuffs super lightning fast, He is at least 10 times faster than most programmers/developers." Take a look at his previous projects and you have to wonder how capable he is of pulling off an ambitious FPS where you, uh, shoot animals on an island? My favorite part of the Kickstarter is that he uses a 2002-era looking model of Angelina Jolie as a selling point, despite not having the rights to her likeness. Will It Succeed? Not likely. Unless the fans of Shi's past freemuium iOS masterpieces, including Memory Test Free and Riddles Unlimited, throw down some serious cash for this project, I don't see its half-million asking price being met. The Verdict: lol ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How do you guys feel about the above Kickstarters? What about Kickstarter in general? Want to suggest some awesome or just plain stupid Kickstarter pages for me to cover? Come Tweet at me, brah!

At the end of every year, we walk away with a couple words that define it. Though we aren't even halfway through 2012, I have a feeling "Kickstarter" is going to be one of them. Kickstarter is a site where people like you and...


Another Shadowrun game seeks Kickstarter funding

Apr 04
// Conrad Zimmerman
"Shoot straight, conserve ammo, and never, ever, deal with a dragon." -- Street proverb Legendary designer Jordan Weisman (under his new company Harebrained Schemes) has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a new game b...

KimokawaE brings girl spanking minigames to your DS

Oct 20
// Colette Bennett
You have to love Japan's ability to be perfectly blatant about their obsession with all things kinky (but stammer in public over the slightest little embarrassing thing). It's all so ... in the closet. Yet you can buy spankin...

Shadowrun forums closing, other Shadowrun 'products' likely

Jan 04
// Nick Chester
Former Shadowrun Community Manager Kimona has announced that the official Shadowrun forums will be shutting down within the next two weeks. With the game's developer FASA having closed its doors, there simply weren't enough p...

Shadowrun developer FASA Studio closes doors

Sep 12
// Nick Chester
Sometimes rumors aren't just rumors: Mitch Gitelman has announced that FASA Studio is no more. In a post on the official Shadowrun message board, Gitelman (FASA Studio) broke the news: Today was the official last day of emplo...

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