Shadowrun Returns Review

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Shadowrun Returns Review

This is the game Shadowrun fans have been waiting for.

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It is quite fun (if you like games like it). A bit linear maybe but I hope that they improve on that in the Berlin DLC/Addon as well as in the Steam Workshop. Especially the Steam Workshop has a lot of potential. There is even a short Fallout game someone is working on.

I've been watching a dude calling himself mach1fireman do a Let's Play series of Dead Man's Switch on Youtube. And while there's a lot of text over still images to get through, it makes a pretty convincing case for this being a fun game to play. Well worth checking out if you're on the fence about the turn-based combat system. I wouldn't have thought it would be my cup of tea, but what the series shows of it makes it look like fun.

--Morology!

Ha! I accutally found there is a hell of a lot more stuff to be gotten from the missions if you are a decker.

Linear, watered down combat (in comparison with stuff like XCOM:EU or Fallout Tactics), mediocre overall.
Not a BAD game per se, but definitely not worth all the praise it's been getting.
I think people are not thinking straight about this one because of cyberdwarves and trolls in tailored suits. Which are awesome but also a part of the setting, not something the developers created.
More like 3/5 than 4/5, in my opinion.

And I call bullshit on the whole "It has editor and steam workshop" thing. That is a bonus, the main game and it's mechanics must be able to stand on their own.

toms:
Linear, watered down combat (in comparison with stuff like XCOM:EU or Fallout Tactics), mediocre overall.
Not a BAD game per se, but definitely not worth all the praise it's been getting.
I think people are not thinking straight about this one because of cyberdwarves and trolls in tailored suits. Which are awesome but also a part of the setting, not something the developers created.
More like 3/5 than 4/5, in my opinion.

And I call bullshit on the whole "It has editor and steam workshop" thing. That is a bonus, the main game and it's mechanics must be able to stand on their own.

Technically, the developers did create the setting. So yea.

Also, there really kinda isn't a "main game". Shadowrun Returns is a vehicle by which to play various campaigns and modules created through the editor, Dead Man's Switch simply happens to be done by the same people as the rest of it.

If anything, the "main" portion of the game is the editor.

The main vibe that I got from the game was that it isn't strictly speaking a full title. Rather, it's a mod tool for multiple bite-sized games, and I'm okay with that. Sometimes I need a title that'll last me around 5 hours yet can still spring out a compelling storyline with fun mechanics. Hell, that's the same reason I liked Force Unleashed 2.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a larger short game market, that doesn't cost as much as a long and epic experience and can be over with between lunch and dinner? Nowadays I just don't have the time to play videogames, and Shadowrun was a hell of a treat.

Edit: Also yeah, I was a decker and I always felt pretty complete and well-rounded. The main problem was having to invest on 5 different side tiers to get both my social and my pistol skills up. Seriously, gun skills are expensive. If you haven't played yet, do your best to not leave a certain attribute's skill tree or you'll be burned out of karma.

Agayek:

toms:
Linear, watered down combat (in comparison with stuff like XCOM:EU or Fallout Tactics), mediocre overall.
Not a BAD game per se, but definitely not worth all the praise it's been getting.
I think people are not thinking straight about this one because of cyberdwarves and trolls in tailored suits. Which are awesome but also a part of the setting, not something the developers created.
More like 3/5 than 4/5, in my opinion.

And I call bullshit on the whole "It has editor and steam workshop" thing. That is a bonus, the main game and it's mechanics must be able to stand on their own.

Technically, the developers did create the setting. So yea.

Also, there really kinda isn't a "main game". Shadowrun Returns is a vehicle by which to play various campaigns and modules created through the editor, Dead Man's Switch simply happens to be done by the same people as the rest of it.

If anything, the "main" portion of the game is the editor.

Nail on the head. They couldn't ship it without a campaign, Dead Man's Switch had to exist to justify the release. But really the editor will supply the largest portion of this game, along with official DLC adventures/ campaigns.

So far I've loving it. The main campaign was interesting and played smoothly, and another campaign of equal length was already released by a fan on the day of release. For the 17 bucks I paid, that and the promise of more is adequate.

As far as the statement that it is more editor than game, I actually find this rather fitting. 1.1M (minus KS bonuses) got us the structure of the game. The whole Kickstarter thing was pitched in terms of a community, having the game ship as a community driven seems perfect to me. It's a simple way give a project funded by the fans a lifespan that is limited only by the passion of those fans. It's going to be a viable game for a very long time.

The editor is pretty damn bad, too. Here's a quote from a modder who tried it:

"Well I wouldn't get your hopes up, the editor is abysmal to work with. Only SR diehards are going to work with this in the longterm.
You can paint maps easily but in the end you have dumb restrictions all over the place, all of which make the editor a nightmare to work with.
A map can only be a few screenwidths in size before the tile renderer falls apart, these guys don't seem to understand basics of culling and streaming textures. Tile engines from a decade ago can do a much better job.
The game can only save very select variables. When you move between areas, it actually doesn't remember anything AT ALL. No NPCs, no items on the ground, no combat states, nothing. The game is physically incapable of storing active data between scenes.
Every time you want to create a connected area, you have to go out of your way to save each and every change via a manual variable with this fucking elementary script system which is so lovingly put into comboboxes instead of an actual script you can write within seconds.
My only hope for this shit is that someone can create an external script editor to reduce some of the tedium, but it won't alleviate the fact the scripting language is missing dozens of key features.
The editor is fine if you want to travel in a straight line, but god forbid you walk off the beaten path... which I tried, and found out wasn't worth the effort. I'm not putting much stock in things changing in the future given they're moving right onto DLC/Mobiles after absorbing 1.5 million.. and still can't figure out how to save their own gamestate."

Bottom line, don't get your hopes up, it's not getting any better than Dead Man's Switch.

This review......I'm amazed actually. For the most part I have always felt the reviews on Escapist where pretty fair.

I don't think SR is the worst game every, but it's certainly not what people where waiting for, and I have had much more fun with free flash games then I did with SR. The combat is junk....not even up to the standards of games made 20 years ago in many cases. The character generation is horrible....and doesn't even follow the core Shadowrun rules. The matrix was just slapped on as an last minute (oh yeah..we probably should have this), and the official campaign that comes with it...might as well just be a not very good shadowrun book.

I wouldn't say it was absolute trash like many people have, but.....it's certainly not even close to as good as even the SNES game was, let alone the Sega game. I have recently replayed both...and that leads in large part to my disatisfaction with SR. It doesn't compare to the games I enjoyed so long ago in any way.

And the excuse (It was only $20) doesn't hold water for me. Similar games....even longer then the old ones but without shadowrun themes...have sold for half that at launch.....and been a blast!

I can at most say that I was at least able to finish the official campaign....so the game doesn't deserve less then a 3/10 (since if I can actually finish it...it's not a totally broken/worthless game). I didn't really enjoy myself along the way though, so I couldn't possibly give it more then a 5/10.

There are some that seem...somehow...to really enjoy the game. I am glad for them, but there are many who either didn't enjoy it, or actively dislike it....and if you see so many people actually posting about it on the boards (which I hadn't till seeing this on the Escapist)...how many more people are unhappy and just stopped playing and moved on like me?

Very dissapointed.

Hooray! A crowd-funded game actually came out and it was good(ish0. Hopefully the content tools can be used to make this a basis for a lot of adventures. Here's hoping.

This isn't a four star game. It's a three for a SR fan, a two for anyone else. This review is off the mark.

The combat mechanics are like a poor man's version of X-Com and have little to do with SR itself. Now, I'm fine with deviating from SR canon, devs should do whatever they need to do to get a fun game out of the source material. But the combat doesn't hold up. And if you're changing things from SR game mechanics, why would you keep the one most broken thing in place: Deckers are useless 95% of the time. Basically, they got rid of the good and held on to the bad in terms of mechanics. And "good" deserves quotation marks as the combat gets broken easily by skills that were never playtested. FullAuto for rifles and kneecap for shotgun are just ludicrously powerful, as an example.

Coming to the editor, well. I tried using it. After finishing the campaign, I thought I'd make the DNA/DOA classic adventure. After 10 hours of working with the thing (three evenings basically) I've concluded that the editor is a frightful mess. Lemme present a non-ordered, non-exhaustive list with the issues I had with the editor: Utterly non-intuitive, next to no official documentation (literally half the wiki is blank) but some video tutorials from fans who bumble their way through, severely limited tilesets to craft maps (Want to make a sewer? Best get photoshop out and create the tiles yerself! Upscale mall? Best we can do is corp office, but feel free to make your own!) and lastly and most importantly the inability to change the core mechanics of the game in any way.

Might be someone creates some good maps with the editor, but the effort these devoted fans put in deserves to translate into more than it probably is going to. They gave us tools to create our own adventures with but they neglected to tell anyone that a rock and a piece of flint can be considered tools as well. The editor isn't a redeeming quality of the game as much as it is a slap in the face with a used hanky. If the "main" portion of the game is the editor, then people should be asking their money back.

Mind you, I haven't even mentioned the save system. The save system didn't bother me personally, as I save scum more than I should and not being able to was oddly liberating. And I still actually finished the game and enjoyed it since the SR atmosphere gets conveyed pretty well (though they're butchering fan-favourite characters like Dodger and Harley, but hey...)

This game is only palatable for hardcore SR fans and even for them I'd seriously encourage them to buy the 5th edition sourcebook that was just released instead. Everyone else should give this a wide berth, even at 20$.

eevangoh:
The editor is pretty damn bad, too. Here's a quote from a modder who tried it:

"Well I wouldn't get your hopes up, the editor is abysmal to work with. Only SR diehards are going to work with this in the longterm.
You can paint maps easily but in the end you have dumb restrictions all over the place, all of which make the editor a nightmare to work with.
A map can only be a few screenwidths in size before the tile renderer falls apart, these guys don't seem to understand basics of culling and streaming textures. Tile engines from a decade ago can do a much better job.
The game can only save very select variables. When you move between areas, it actually doesn't remember anything AT ALL. No NPCs, no items on the ground, no combat states, nothing. The game is physically incapable of storing active data between scenes.
Every time you want to create a connected area, you have to go out of your way to save each and every change via a manual variable with this fucking elementary script system which is so lovingly put into comboboxes instead of an actual script you can write within seconds.
My only hope for this shit is that someone can create an external script editor to reduce some of the tedium, but it won't alleviate the fact the scripting language is missing dozens of key features.
The editor is fine if you want to travel in a straight line, but god forbid you walk off the beaten path... which I tried, and found out wasn't worth the effort. I'm not putting much stock in things changing in the future given they're moving right onto DLC/Mobiles after absorbing 1.5 million.. and still can't figure out how to save their own gamestate."

Bottom line, don't get your hopes up, it's not getting any better than Dead Man's Switch.

From my experience with the editor I find this to be highly accurate. I was hoping for an editor that would allow someone to essentially make their own RPG, as in a proper one where you can revisit areas again and talk to people about past experiences or see reactions and consequences to your decisions... Dead Man's Switch is essentially a Final Fantasy game without an open world aspect - so it's a shit Final Fantasy game.

This game is a 3 stars at the most. It's average. For $20 you get what you pay for, I guess.

I find myself agreeing with a lot of the negative comments here, and I'm as big a Shadowrun fan as anyone. I've played the actual P&P, and I'm even a fan of the Genesis game.

That being said, I can't help but feel disappointed at this release. There are some pretty glaring flaws in the engine that have been summed up by the other commenters, so I won't go into them. It really feels like an unfinished product. If I hadn't gotten it on sale during the preorder for $10 I'd be pretty pissed.

I don't have as big a problem with the editor as some people are having, even though I recognize their problems. I think the whole "revisiting an area" thing could be worked around by saving the bare bones map of a place like a bar or small neighborhood, and essentially making new scenes to reflect story progression. It's not perfect, but there are some tricks. It reminds me a lot of the old StarCraft level editor, in terms of triggers and regions.

I'm interested to see where the community takes things, since there seems to be a lot of potential (there's already several tricks and workarounds in the Steam Workshop). But as of right now, it's a bit lackluster.

wulfy42:
I wouldn't say it was absolute trash like many people have, but.....it's certainly not even close to as good as even the SNES game was

I must respectfully disagree. I played through the SNES game for the first time (so no nostalgia goggles) immediately before I started playing Returns, and the game was a boring and unintutive grind with only the barebones of a story sprinkled over it.

I haven't played the Mega Drive game, and Returns can't really compete with XCOM: EU in terms of battle systems, but Dead Man's Switch was a very enjoyable campaign.

Am I the only one here who thought this was a fair review?
I got the Shadowrun rulebook a few days before buying the game. So, I'm new to Shadowrun, and don't have the bias that a lot of people have.

I saw that the main campaign was decent and a good modernization of old isometric games, similar to how Legend of Grimrock is a nice throwback to old dungeon crawlers. No, Shadowrun didn't innovate anything, but it wasn't trying to. No, it wasn't able to give a faithful representation of a pen-and-paper RPG, but I have yet to play a game that has. It's simple and charmingly familiar. With the small budget that they had, I'm glad that they even got that far.

The main focus of SR:R was faithfully recreating the setting and atmosphere of the Shadowrun universe, which it does perfectly. Everything from the color palette to the details within the flavor-text were given careful consideration and executed very well.

Also, for those who think that this is the final product, think again. The dev team is very busy. I mean VERY busy: http://harebrained-schemes.com/post/whats-happening-and-whats-next/

I'm enjoying and look forward to more content. I'll probably buy DLC if the price is right, however the UI needs some serious work. I have all these keys on my keyboard, why can't I use them for shortcuts?

I love the universe and the potential framework that SR provides for future content, both developer and user created, but it's certainly not without flaws. I'm nearly at the end of the packaged campaign and I find that the UI still isn't comfortable to use. I also agree with the perspective that Dead Mans Switch is more of a sampler platter that shows a little bit of everything that can be done as opposed to a dish that really totally satisfies in any one area. Once again, though, I feel it's not so much that the game can't do it, it's more that DMS isn't set up to reward it.

For those interested in Shadowrun, I would absolutely recommend trying the game. As evidenced by this very thread, you might love it or you might hate it, but the one thing it almost undeniably gets right is the way it treats the universe if not all of the mechanics. Maybe, and I'm probably dreaming here, but maybe if SR is successful enough we'll see more games in the Shadowrun universe again (beyond the already in development Shadowrun Online, of course).

repeatedly missing with shotguns at point blank range gets really old really fast.

randomrob1968:
repeatedly missing with shotguns at point blank range gets really old really fast.

Really? I don't think I ever missed with a shotgun at close range. Seemed to be permanent 99% odds to hit across the board. Combined with the close range spray (forget the name), and a single shotgun-wielding character could clear entire waves of enemies on his own.

PH3NOmenon:
Snip

I actually think you may have gotten things the wrong way round in your second sentence. Never played any other Shadowrun game, or Shadowrun itself, but I thoroughly enjoyed Shadowrun Returns. I've finished the campaign twice (first time as an Adept, second as a Shaman) and thought it was great. Probably a 3 or 3.5, and I wasn't surprised to see the review give it a 4 as I assume a bit more appreciation for the setting can take it up a notch.

However, almost all the people I've seen that disliked the game were either people that played Decker and were annoyed at the lack of things to do, or previous fans of the setting (and there seems to have been a considerable amount of overlap, as if almost all existing fans default to the Decker).

I'm not bothering with the editor, because (although I am a GM for pnp games) I have little interest in it. I have played a few fan made creations, and they've been entertaining (although sometimes buggy as hell).

Regardless, for $20 it seemed to me as a great little tactical RPG with a fascinating setting. I have no issues with the review score, as I imagine there were a few subtleties that passed me by. Very happy with the $20 I spent, and I full intend to get all the DLC they put out for it in future.

If this is the standard of quality we can expect from most Kickstarter games, then I'm feeling truly optimistic about the future of the game industry.

I don't see why is everyone hating on Decker so much. My first char was a Decker and by the time you get Dodger in you group I was already better hacker than him while being good with pistols and shotguns :P I only wish there was more of the Matrix throughout the game, but I still enjoyed playing Decker.

My biggest gripe was with the checkpoint saving system. If it was done to create tension so that you have to run through the scene in one go, sure why not, but "save and exit" would have been really nice. Overpowered Kneecap got nerfed with a cooldown, so there goes that complain. What's kinda weird is that my shotgun generally had better chance to hit than my handgun on long distances (even than my smartlinked revolver at the end). Also where are all the smartlinked weapons? I wound only a few top-tier on the last vendor but NPCs had them throughout the game. Did I just miss them?

I don't have any complains about combat, because it works and that's fine in my book. I'm not really sure what did everyone complaining about it expect.

I also feel the need to mention that this was my first exposure to the Sadowrun setting apart from skimming the rulebook and I liked what I saw. I was hoping for a less linear game but I enjoyed The Deadman's Switch anyway.

Hoplon:
Ha! I accutally found there is a hell of a lot more stuff to be gotten from the missions if you are a decker.

My first char was a decker, and I found a decent amount of use with the skill during various runs. I think the main drawback is a lack of Matrix runs in the main campaign, and virtually none in side missions. I'm looking forward to the user-generated scenarios that will hopefully employ more use of the Matrix.

I also noticed that the devs have been tweaking the game a bit for more challenge. My first time playing DID seem like a milkrun. I never used a single medkit until midgame, but upon restarting with a new char recently, I actually had to patch myself up more often in the early game.

All in all, I am very satisfied with the work Harebrained Schemes did, with the budget they were able to gather from crowdfunding.

I really enjoyed the game immensely. Can't wait for the Berlin dlc in October.

I wanted to play an full charismatic elf female because I have heard it is very story/text/dialogue heavy, but it barely helped in conversations. The etiquette option came up maybe like 20 times maximum in my 10hour'ish playthrough. I managed to finished the game based while focusing primarily on assault rifles and quickness.

I think best decision is to go with a full customized character because usually the presets tend to waste points in some tree skills that you may not need.

KazNecro:
My first char was a decker, and I found a decent amount of use with the skill during various runs. I think the main drawback is a lack of Matrix runs in the main campaign, and virtually none in side missions. I'm looking forward to the user-generated scenarios that will hopefully employ more use of the Matrix.

My first character was a decker, and I found myself constantly wishing I'd picked something else. Unfortunately, it's a problem games that give some classes unique systems always struggle with. The more effort you put into optional systems, the less effort you can spend on the general game that everyone is definitely going to see. See also things like rogues in D&D games, hackers in Mass Effect, various faction related skills in TES games, and so on. With Shadowrun, if you make the Matrix too prominent then players will feel compelled to use a decker. If you don't make it prominent enough, they'll feel that deckers are pointless. It's very difficult to hit the sweet spot in the middle.

I enjoyed the game. HBS have a lot of work ahead of them to make all the moaning go away. But it was a game made quickly and not for a lot of cash, so to be honest i'd give thme a little time to build on what they've done. Anyhow cheers for the review I more or less agree with it.

About the Decker problem: I'm playing a decker/rigger as my second character and she really is weak compared to the monster I had as the first char. I tried going for Mark Target combined with drones and occasional pistol shots but it doesn't really wok. I think if they'd buff mark target (e.g. also buff crit not just accuracy) or even add additional decking abilities to make guns, drones and cyberware malfunction, a decker would be a lot stronger. Pistols (except maybe the revolver) also kinda feel like they could use some changes...

But what mostly annoys me is the drone/AP system. Having nearly no AP for movement slows the whole party down extremely if you have a decker with you, especially because you can't quit combat mode during downtime and when it quits the combat mode, the drones reset to following state, which means you have to switch them back on manually, which gets extremely annoying after a few fights.

The feedback some here give about the editor makes me dread that there may not come many good quality mods... I was kinda hoping the engine could be used to make/remake classic isometric tile-based rpgs :(

Kahani:

KazNecro:
My first char was a decker, and I found a decent amount of use with the skill during various runs. I think the main drawback is a lack of Matrix runs in the main campaign, and virtually none in side missions. I'm looking forward to the user-generated scenarios that will hopefully employ more use of the Matrix.

My first character was a decker, and I found myself constantly wishing I'd picked something else. Unfortunately, it's a problem games that give some classes unique systems always struggle with. The more effort you put into optional systems, the less effort you can spend on the general game that everyone is definitely going to see. See also things like rogues in D&D games, hackers in Mass Effect, various faction related skills in TES games, and so on. With Shadowrun, if you make the Matrix too prominent then players will feel compelled to use a decker. If you don't make it prominent enough, they'll feel that deckers are pointless. It's very difficult to hit the sweet spot in the middle.

All excellent points, I'll grant you. With the list you gave, you're pretty much stuck with the class/skills you're restricted to for the entirety of the game, and have to make the most of it. But at the very least with Shadowrun, you can very quickly tweak your char to be lees of one class and more of another, based on the situation. I'll admit, I leaned more heavily on ranged combat skill over the course of the game, and ended up basically being a combat decker.

randomrob1968:
repeatedly missing with shotguns at point blank range gets really old really fast.

I have to agree with this. I can understand assault rifles or other ranged attacks having a higher miss chance up close, but it really seems silly that the shotguns have the same issue.

I think shotguns are insane if they are supported well. They seem to scale extremely well. Unsupported they can suck... add accuracy buff and haste from a mage and a well built shotgun dude kills everything. You can even add Mark Target from your Decker to push them well into mid range effectiveness.
However, you have to look at the stats of the runners you hire. Some of them look great on the gear page but have horrible stats or sometimes even wrong stats/gear.
They are also great weapons for overwatch.

I have to admit I loved this game. The art in it was much better then I expected to find in such a cheap game. I played though with a decker/pistoleer. While kneecap is very cool, I loved the advance pistol options. I had no problem being a decker. It gave me more options and more money. :)

I feel that to properly review this game, you need to separate the game from the packaged adventure. But the editor really is the heart of this. I have just started to play with it and I am really entertained. It does not have quite the same level of control as Neverwinter, but the potential is quite awesome. Man, some of the adventure that have already been released are impressive. Most of the complaints I have seen have already been solved by user content made with the editor.

Speaking of which, some info about the save system. It was not a creative decision, it was a technical one. The engine they are using make save anywhere/anytime close to impossible. Apparently it was try and implement a location based save system or add the matrix and more power to the editor. (oh yeah, matrix was a last month add on. *shrug*) But someone has already made a save anywhere, except in combat, system for people to add to their adventures.

The game is just fun. I can't wait for more content. And for me to have the time to play it all.

Bocaj2000:
Am I the only one here who thought this was a fair review?
I got the Shadowrun rulebook a few days before buying the game. So, I'm new to Shadowrun, and don't have the bias that a lot of people have.

I saw that the main campaign was decent and a good modernization of old isometric games, similar to how Legend of Grimrock is a nice throwback to old dungeon crawlers. No, Shadowrun didn't innovate anything, but it wasn't trying to. No, it wasn't able to give a faithful representation of a pen-and-paper RPG, but I have yet to play a game that has. It's simple and charmingly familiar. With the small budget that they had, I'm glad that they even got that far.

The main focus of SR:R was faithfully recreating the setting and atmosphere of the Shadowrun universe, which it does perfectly. Everything from the color palette to the details within the flavor-text were given careful consideration and executed very well.

Also, for those who think that this is the final product, think again. The dev team is very busy. I mean VERY busy: http://harebrained-schemes.com/post/whats-happening-and-whats-next/

Then why officialy launch it? Why not call it a beta (which, judging by that link and the lack of polish a lot of people are complaining about it resembles) and not have to cry "But we're going to fix it". If a modern game sees most of its sales in the first three months, then releasing this game in a unfinished, unpolished state just kneecaps any potential life time sales (most reviews won't, and shouldn't, give it the benefit of the doubt). Atmosphere and lore are all well and good, but if the gameplay is lacklustre then why should people pick this up over, say, The Last Of Us, One Finger Death Punch or Papers Please? All three of those games executed the perfect balance of gameplay, atmosphere and story.

Abomination:

eevangoh:
The editor is pretty damn bad, too. Here's a quote from a modder who tried it:

"Well I wouldn't get your hopes up, the editor is abysmal to work with. Only SR diehards are going to work with this in the longterm.
You can paint maps easily but in the end you have dumb restrictions all over the place, all of which make the editor a nightmare to work with.
A map can only be a few screenwidths in size before the tile renderer falls apart, these guys don't seem to understand basics of culling and streaming textures. Tile engines from a decade ago can do a much better job.
The game can only save very select variables. When you move between areas, it actually doesn't remember anything AT ALL. No NPCs, no items on the ground, no combat states, nothing. The game is physically incapable of storing active data between scenes.
Every time you want to create a connected area, you have to go out of your way to save each and every change via a manual variable with this fucking elementary script system which is so lovingly put into comboboxes instead of an actual script you can write within seconds.
My only hope for this shit is that someone can create an external script editor to reduce some of the tedium, but it won't alleviate the fact the scripting language is missing dozens of key features.
The editor is fine if you want to travel in a straight line, but god forbid you walk off the beaten path... which I tried, and found out wasn't worth the effort. I'm not putting much stock in things changing in the future given they're moving right onto DLC/Mobiles after absorbing 1.5 million.. and still can't figure out how to save their own gamestate."

Bottom line, don't get your hopes up, it's not getting any better than Dead Man's Switch.

From my experience with the editor I find this to be highly accurate. I was hoping for an editor that would allow someone to essentially make their own RPG, as in a proper one where you can revisit areas again and talk to people about past experiences or see reactions and consequences to your decisions... Dead Man's Switch is essentially a Final Fantasy game without an open world aspect - so it's a shit Final Fantasy game.

This game is a 3 stars at the most. It's average. For $20 you get what you pay for, I guess.

Count me among the people agreeing with the quoted text. There is a reason why more than half of the mods you see on the Steam Workshop are just resource mods and not actual campaigns/stories/ect, and that reason is, the mod tools don't include even a quarter of what a decently robust engine editor should, this is more on par with the map creator from Starcraft 1, and even then not as powerful.

As for the campaign that shipped with the game, it was okay at best. I didn't run into many technical issues personally so I would give it a minimum of 5 just for that. The story was hokey and over the top, but the material and story isn't that far off what you would expect a fresh DM to come up with, so I'll add 2 points for that. Then there was the terrible one dimensional dialogue (not to mention grammatical errors), showing that it didn't even got through a basic editorial process, so it loses a point. The combat was okay, but nothing special, it doesn't gain or lose any points. My overall enjoyment was minor and I had to play in short blocks (the size of a map because if I got bored in the middle of a map, I couldn't save), so once again no added or lost points.

Overall the game receives a 6/10 from me. The editor gives it a 7/10 for just having one, had it been more robust and useful I would have gone up to an 8, but as it is the players/modders are going to have to fix everything to make this as useful as it should have been. I have to wonder where that extra 1.2m dollars went when they made this game (they were only asking for 400k for the kickstarter).

Cleggster:
snip

Speaking of which, some info about the save system. It was not a creative decision, it was a technical one. The engine they are using make save anywhere/anytime close to impossible. Apparently it was try and implement a location based save system or add the matrix and more power to the editor. (oh yeah, matrix was a last month add on. *shrug*) But someone has already made a save anywhere, except in combat, system for people to add to their adventures.

The game is just fun. I can't wait for more content. And for me to have the time to play it all.

False information. They couldn't create a save system with the MAOI engine due to the LOA style, but during the development they switched to the Unity Engine which is quite capable of creating game saves. This was an excuse that is as old as the kickstarter itself (since they made the switch during the kickstarter) and they just kept using it to cover their ass for being too lazy to put one in. Now save systems themselves can be complicated, and if they just didn't have time/money to implement one that would have been fine. They could have come clean with it, but if you look back towards the original announcement as to why the game can't save, you will see it is because of the old engine's LOA systems. Yet they keep using the same excuse, despite the fact that anyone can watch a youtube video on how to create save games in the Unity Engine (actually not sure if it was youtube, but there are tutorials on creating save game systems in Unity somewhere online).

Thoughtful_Salt:

Bocaj2000:
Am I the only one here who thought this was a fair review?
I got the Shadowrun rulebook a few days before buying the game. So, I'm new to Shadowrun, and don't have the bias that a lot of people have.

I saw that the main campaign was decent and a good modernization of old isometric games, similar to how Legend of Grimrock is a nice throwback to old dungeon crawlers. No, Shadowrun didn't innovate anything, but it wasn't trying to. No, it wasn't able to give a faithful representation of a pen-and-paper RPG, but I have yet to play a game that has. It's simple and charmingly familiar. With the small budget that they had, I'm glad that they even got that far.

The main focus of SR:R was faithfully recreating the setting and atmosphere of the Shadowrun universe, which it does perfectly. Everything from the color palette to the details within the flavor-text were given careful consideration and executed very well.

Also, for those who think that this is the final product, think again. The dev team is very busy. I mean VERY busy: http://harebrained-schemes.com/post/whats-happening-and-whats-next/

Then why officialy launch it? Why not call it a beta (which, judging by that link and the lack of polish a lot of people are complaining about it resembles) and not have to cry "But we're going to fix it". If a modern game sees most of its sales in the first three months, then releasing this game in a unfinished, unpolished state just kneecaps any potential life time sales (most reviews won't, and shouldn't, give it the benefit of the doubt). Atmosphere and lore are all well and good, but if the gameplay is lacklustre then why should people pick this up over, say, The Last Of Us, One Finger Death Punch or Papers Please? All three of those games executed the perfect balance of gameplay, atmosphere and story.

It's not a beta. They released it because the main campaign was well polished and pretty good. And it's not like the gameplay is "bad". I thought that it was pretty good and reminded me of older games such as Fallout (which is what it was going for). At worst, you can criticize it as mediocre, but it's not bad.

And you ask why pick up a different atmospheric game with different gameplay... that's kind of a dumb question. No two atmospheres are the same. You might as well ask, "Why are you playing 'Lone Survivor' when 'Hotline Miami' is better?" Both are good in their own respects and deliver their own unique experiences. Also, your examples are nothing like SR:R. None of the games that you mentioned featured an isometric perspective, turn based combat, or even a cyberpunk setting.

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