Shadowrun Returns Review
Kickstart your Halloween by solving a murder in a cyberpunk future with Shadowrun Returns for iPad and Android
Shadowrun was originally a tabletop fantasy role-playing game from around 25 years ago, and its popularity spawned many games, novels and collectable cards over the years. The game’s creator, Jordan Weisman, and Harebrained Schemes have now produced an iPad version of the game that brings it up to date with today’s technology – including 3D graphics, touchscreens and interactivity.
Shadowrun Returns is set in a future that mixes technology and magic with fantasy and ruthless corporations. There are trolls, dwarves, orcs and more and your mission is to discover who killed your friend Sam. The game begins with you choosing which character to play, such as Shaman, Street Samurai, Rigger – and this determines the skills that are available to you. It is a classless system and upgrades are available, so you can choose the direction in which to develop the character. There are three modes of play, and in interactive mode you direct your character to explore the area, interact with people, pick up objects or use them in the case of computer terminals. There are many characters to talk to and this is where the game enters a different mode that resembles an interactive book.
You’ll spend a lot of time talking to characters and choosing the right questions to get the right responses, which is key to finding out valuable information. Get into a scrap with a bunch of bad guys and the game switches to turn-based action. You control your team, move them into position, duck behind objects, choose weapons, reloading, blast the enemy and so on. Then the enemy has its turn, moving the characters, shooting and so on. There are ranged and close-combat weapons such as rifles, shotguns, swords and so on. Riggers can control equipment like a drone, which can be sent ahead so you can see what’s waiting around the corner, or in the next room. Shamans can summon up spirits to help the attack.
There are many levels to work through and the gameplay is fairly linear. You’ll spend about a third of your time in each game mode, so you will have to enjoy the interactive book side of Shadowrun Returns as much as the action, but overall it’s very good.
A gripping interactive story mixed with the exploration of a 3D world and turn-based battles with bad guys.
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