Watch Out For: Shadowrun Returns


For this week’s Watch Out For article, a game that is going to be coming out in the very near future!  Not like a lot of the other games cover, the last of which (Star Citizen) probably isn’t even coming out until next November.  I speak, of course, of Shadowrun Returns; the tactical, turn-based, point-and-click RPG set in futuristic Seattle.  Returns is set in the same universe as the Shadowrun tabletop game and SNES/Genesis games from the early 90s.  There was also a FPS from 2007 that’s almost universally shunned by Shadowrun fans that was apparently only loosely based on the awesome Shadowrun universe.   Developed by indie dev. Harebrained Schemes, which is led by Jordan Weisman creator of the tabletop game, Shadowrun Returns is supposed to have a much more “authentic tone” than the ill-advised shooter. 

Isometic, point-and-click RPG with no real money auction house or always online requirement?  It will never work!

Shadowrun Returns features an isometric grid layout, where the player character is moved around by mouse clicks, similar to other games in the genre.  Once battle is initiated, turn based and tactical elements appear, and the player is given an amount of AP, or action points, based on stats/skills/buffs etc.  The player then can choose movements/attacks until AP is used up, allowing the enemies to make their moves.  Being an RPG, Shadowrun Returns has the standard choice of race/class and abilities that go along with it.  The player can then take their character in any kind of direction they so choose, tailoring their abilities to play style.

Some examples of player characters

One of the unique things about the Shadowrun universe is its blend of Sci-FI and fantasy elements.  The cyberpunk setting would normally lend itself to only a science fiction type of game, but Shadowrun Returns includes magic and creatures normally associated with fantasy settings like dwarves, trolls and orks.  Plus PC and Mac versions of the game (iPad and Android tablet verisions of SR are planned, but no modding tools) come with mod tools, allowing the player to create their own campaigns, locations, quests etc.   

Shadowrun Returns was immensely popular on Kickstarter, reaching its goal of $400,000 in only 28 hours, and totaling over $1.8 million at the end of its fundraising.  Many fans of the series were probably itching for a new title, but a lot of people (like me) just think the universe and game seem like something awesome to explore.  Luckily, unlike other upcoming games I’ve covered, Shadowrun Returns is coming out soon.  As of this writing, SR is slated for June 2013 release on Steam, with iPad and Android releases in the works and coming later.  Only about a month!

Shadowrun Returns Alpha Gameplay