I was never a particular fan of the original Shadowrun pen-and-paper RPG. I preferred the more hardcore Cyberpunk 2020. I played Shadowrun maybe three, four times, tops.
What’s sad is that I’m apparently a bigger fan of the setting than Mitch Gitelman, studio manager of FASA, creators of the upcoming Shadowrun for the XBox 360. Mitch recently wrote in his blog, “When we decided to do Shadowrun we realized there was a ton of baggage that came with it… there are magic spells, and shamanic spirit magic, and cybertech, and metahumans like elves, and dwarves and such, and astral space, and the Matrix…”
Gee, I always thought those things were the defining elements of Shadowrun. I didn’t realize they were just “baggage.” I suppose you’re traveling light since you decided to ditch shamanic magic, orks, astral space, the Matrix, riggers, decking, Seattle, the year 2050, and just about everything else that would distinguish Shadowrun from every other run-of-the-mill generic fantasy/cyberpunk hybrid that’s been written since Gibson held hands with Tolkien.
Mr. Gitelman, I have to know: Are you the man who put midichlorians in the Phantom Menace? I’m thinking you are. At the very least, you’re the man Max Steele was thinking about when he wrote “when a studio executive gets his hands on a game, he’s getting a product that seems like it has little respect for verisimilitude. That makes it’s quite easy for him to just blow the whole thing off – canon, backstory, characters – and just use the name…”
Which is what’s happened here. FASA thinks it’ll be OK. Gitelman writes that “they figured that if people got addicted to the game, they would forgive our trespasses.”
Forgiveness? You aren’t even going to get acknowledgment. As far as I’m concerned, there is no Shadowrun game for the XBox 360. You’re dead to me.