Shadowrun Returns Gets Some Style


The first batch of Shadowrun Returns in-game art assets looks mighty sweet indeed.

The Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter hit it big this spring, drawing more than $1.8 million from fans of the franchise eager to see it brought to PCs and tablets in a way that doesn’t suck. Now, with a few months under their belts to figure out what they’re going to do with all that money, the team at Harebrained Schemes has put out a handful of character models and environment concepts to give players an idea of what they’ve got cooking.

The original plan was to give the game a relatively simply top-down perspective, but that went out the window after the second money truck rolled up. “One of the game’s largest growth factors was the change from a top-down to an isometric point of view, which is much more dynamic but also much more expensive to create,” the team explained in a new blog post. “We explored several different methods to bring the rich details of the Shadowrun world to life in an isometric POV and settled on a hybrid approach that merges 2D environments and 3D characters. The 2D background allows us to deliver a level of detail, depth, and expressiveness that we think will capture the tone we’re working toward, while the characters’ 3D structure allows for fluid movement, and a wide range of character design and equipment options.”

The character models clock in at about 2000 polys, and happily look quite close to their original concepts. Players will be able to create either male or female characters from any of the “meta-human” races, with “an enormous variety of character customization” options available through selectable skin colors, unique gear and clothing. The environmental screens were put together in Photoshop using in-game assets, but the team said that “overall, this is the look that we are shooting for.”

Some comments have been critical of the “cartoonish” look of the character art, but I don’t think that’s entirely out of line for a game that drops Tolkien-esque fantasy characters into a cyberpunk world. Much will depend on how it looks in action, and the team acknowledged that character movement may not be quite as “dynamic” as it appears in the concepts. But so far, I think, so good.

Source: Harebrained Schemes

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