Adds new Rigger class, custom character creation, and much, much more!
“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 features include the drone-controlling Rigger as a playable class and the eagerly-anticipated ability to create and customize our own Runners. Metatypes available in the current build include Human, Elf, Troll, Orc, and Dwarf.
If you’re unfamiliar with Shadowrun Online, that’s really not all that surprising. It doesn’t get near the amount of press coverage Harebrained Schemes’ Shadowrun games do, but I don’t think that’s what Cliffhanger Productions is after at this point. Instead of dedicating time and resources to pitching the game to enthusiast websites, it’s been quietly at work in the shadows, building what may turn out to become the definitive Shadowrun videogame experience.
I’ve been playing the Early Access version of the game for quite a while now and it just keeps getting better and better with each new update. Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges in places. Being a work-in-progress, it’s obviously not yet feature complete — but what the developers have implemented truly shines. Think pen-and-paper Shadowrun crossed with functionality and ease of use of XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘s turn-based system; throw in the ability to play online with your friends, and you have a pretty good idea of what they’ve got going on.
February Update Notes:
- Character Creation Screen now available. Includes metahuman traits (perks), various character backgrounds (adds +/- stat changes) and all new character portraits.
- An extended real-time hub has been added to the game, featuring not only quest givers, but also shopkeepers and NPCs. Later, teams will be able to play in the same hub as a group.
- Improved grouping: You will now be able to form groups with people who aren’t on your friend list – just click on them in the chat and invite them to join you.
- Gear selection has been added, allowing you to select weapons, armor and consumables for your run.
- Shopkeepers in the hub will now sell items to better prepare you for your next run.
- New clothing screen allows you to customize your character’s outfit.
- The in-mission UI has been updated again and now shows more information about your characters and enemies. Hover over any character or enemy to find out more details.
- Rewards: Johnsons will now reward your efforts with Nuyen and sometimes items.
- Armor is now available in the game, adding an extra level of personal protection.
- Grenades, Medkits and various consumables now available for purchase in the hub.
- All Skill Trees have been extended to rank 10 and skill values have been rebalanced.
- The Rigger Class and associated skill tree is now available in the game.
After spending many, many years playing the pen-and-paper version of the game, I’ve found that even in Early Access, Cliffhanger Productions’ multiplayer-enabled, tactics-focused take on the tech fantasy universe is the purest Shadowrun videogame experience on offer today.