Sometimes a game just slips under the radar. Whatever the reason for this occurring, be it bad marketing, classification problems or a strange concept, some games just fail to find their audience. Here at Player2.net.au we want to highlight these rough gems and that is where “In Case You Missed It” comes in. Some games just deserve a second chance.
In Case You Missed It – Shadowrun Returns
Shadowrun is a name that makes old gamers such as myself smile. Just mentioning the name will cause me to tilt my head and doze off into a “Scrubsesque” daydream of turn based shenanigans. That was of course until Microsoft got a hold of the franchise and turned it into a mediocre FPS. I honestly thought that the franchise was dead and buried but thanks to the wonders of crowd sourcing my time in this unique world was nowhere near at an end.
Shadowrun Returns was one of the earliest examples of a Kickstarter success story. Passionate developers appealed to passionate fans for money and they came through in droves. It allowed the developers to create a game that is both true to the original games but also modern in many of it’s implementations and systems. I must admit I held off on purchasing the game for fear of further tainting my memories of this beloved franchise but I am more than happy to say those fears were unfounded.
Perhaps the most enjoyable thing about Shadowrun is the setting. The game takes place in a future where fantastical creatures exist thanks to an event called “The Awakening”. This has created a world where tropes of both the SCI/FI and fantasy genre’s exist together, something that has rarely been done before. I could play as cyber enhanced elf, computer hacking troll, a spirit summoning shaman or ninja dwarf. The freedom of choice this setting allows character creation is stunning and each of these varied characters play differently enough to warrant multiple playthroughs.
The gameplay is a beautiful mix of X-com style turn based combat and more traditional isometric RPG stylings. Once again the developers have used a deft touch in combining two different genres to bring something unique to the table. Both systems work elegantly together and never once did I feel any sort of disconnect due to this varied approach. There are a few very minor niggles with the combat (it was hard at times to determine if I was in cover or not) but in all this is an excellent package.
If there is one element that deserves enormous praise it is the creation tools included with the game. This very powerful toolset has allowed Shadowrun fans everywhere to create their own missions and stories in this exciting world and then share them with an eager online community. It basically ensures that as long I as don’t tire of the basic systems I will never want for content.
This is a must buy for anyone who enjoys turn-based strategy, unique settings or well told stories. The great Shadowrun Returns campaign and the even better Dragonfall expansion are shining examples of what can be done with crowd funding and a talented, focused development team. The game can be had for under $20 at Greenmangaming and even cheaper on a regular basis so there is no reason not to treat yourself to this amazing experience. Once you dive into the world of Shadowrun, you may never surface again.
*Shadowrun Hong Kong has just been released, stay tuned to Player2.net.au for a full review in the near future. If you have a suggestion for “In Case You Missed It” don’t be shy. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter/Facebook and we may just make it the focus of our next entry.