Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Shadowrun Returns Hype-Train

Alright, with Shadowrun Returns being about a month away, I'm here to run the Hypemobile for it.

Not sure what an ACTUAL Hypemobile looks like... Probably not this.

So, the goal of this post is to explain what exactly is Shadowrun and Shadowrun Returns, and why should you care.  

I did a few paragraph description of Shadowrun awhile back, so the link to that is here. 

Did you read that?  So we can continue right?



Here's a few key things to take from it.

  • Cyberpunk Dystopian future.  Set around 2040-2060.
  • Matrix is the global internet framework.  It has crashed on two occasions, both leading to some interesting developments, like Technomancers.
  • Concerning the Matrix, everyone and everything is always connected to it.  It is seen as suspicious if your ID suddenly disappears off the 'grid', so, say 'hi' to Big Brother.
  • Due to some weird events, humans aren't the only intelligent species.  Metahumanity has sprung up in the form of Elves, Trolls, Orks, and Dwarves (not just little people any more).
  • Also, magic has returned, and it's mechanic is still a little wonky, but it works.
  • If you think the companies NOW are bad, in the future there about ten AAA Megacorps that run everything.  They are considered independent entities that can have their own standing armies and security forces.  
So generally, it's a crapsack world.

In 1993 and 1994, Shadowrun games were released for the SNES and the Genesis, respectively.  The games aren't the same game, but they were both received as underappreciated games of the consoles, becoming cult classics.  They were both action-RPG-ish (for that time), and captured the feel of the tabletop game, according to players.  I've only ever played the SNES one, so we're going on a musical safari to the land of Genesis Shadowrun.

Or one of the SNES, since my Youtube Fu wasn't strong enough.

Whatever.  Moving right along.

Then in 2007, we have the Xbox/Windows cross-play Shadowrun.  This was a First Person Shooter that was pretty much panned by fans of the Shadowrun universe.  

But now the main reason why the hype train is in town.  Shadowrun Returns.

Toot toot.

Shadowrun Returns is a PC/Mac/Tablet/Smartphone game that's coming out next month.  It's being made by Harebrained Schemes, which contains people who helped develop the Shadowrun pen and paper game.  In addition, they've brought on the people who worked on the music for both the SNES and Genesis soundtracks to work on the SR:R soundtrack.  This game was funded via Kickstarter, and received over $1.5 million from it's backers. 

 It's going to be an Isometric 2/3D Tactical RPG.  There is no multiplayer planned for it at this time.  They are focusing on a strictly single player experience.  You will be able to create your character from about 5 archtypes, and able to customize further once you gain some karma (the game's XP system).  The makers are touting their AI system, that reacts in stages, to try to realistically respond to a potential threat.  This means, that you can talk your way past guards, or stealth past, or steal the keycards, and sneak in, or just kill them.  There is a bevy of different ways you can play this game.

In addition to the game itself, there will be a DLC expansion released after the game is out that takes place in Berlin.  Also, players will have access to the same builder that the developers used to make the game, so  people will be allowed to make their own campaigns, missions, and entire storylines using the same program they used, along with some additional art assets.

I'm going to sign off and leave you with a gameplay clip from the alpha build of the game being played by two of the devs.



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