Friday, September 11, 2015

Shadowrun Returns is Ballin'

So this blog is about tabletop games, but I need to talk about a computer game for a second. It's still fairly relevant, because that computer game is Shadowrun Returns. I downloaded it last night from Humble Bundle for like three dollars.

As you may already know, I love the setting of Shadowrun, but the system - particularly the last two editions of it- gives me fits.

Ah, but when you have a computer doing all the math instead of rolling literally 96 dice in a single combat round, something amazing happens....Shadowrun becomes fun again. While turn-based, the combat is actually pretty fast paced. I engaged in a shoot-out/spell-out that, while resolved in about ten minutes (at most) of real time, would've probably taken at least thirty minutes in the tabletop game. It was also exciting and tense, trying to find cover for my fragile elven mage before one of the Renraku security goons mowed him down with an SMG. This contrasts starkly to my typical Shadowrun combat experience, where I can afford a short nap or perhaps a workout at the gym before my turn comes around again.

Disclaimer: The system that this game uses is not exactly like the Shadowrun system; it's actually slightly reminiscent of Fallout 1 and 2. There's still enough Shadowrun in it to feel like Shadowrun in all the good ways, though.

I'm also geeked out about this game because it references the SNES Shadowrun game. The combat music is a slick remix of the old SNES diddy that would bleat out whenever you got randomly attacked by snipers or mages in zoot suits, but even better.... the protagonist of the SNES game joins your party as your first NPC ally.

I'm still curious about the idea of a Savage Worlds Shadowrun, but for now, SR Returns scratches that Shadowrun itch.


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