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Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns has unlocked on Steam, marking the official release of this tactical RPG reboot from Harebrained Studios. The game is available as a standard edition and there is also a deluxe edition, which includes a soundtrack and a digital anthology chronicling the series and the creation of the new installment. Here's the elevator pitch on the game:

MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.

In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.

The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.

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69. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 29, 2013, 02:35 Creston
 
Yeah, they do need to come fairly close before it triggers. I guess they don't overwatch until they have a solid shot, which I like better than Xcom, where all six your guys will shoot at the same enemy they all have a 20% chance to hit.

My biggest gripe about Shadowrun Returns is really how short it is. I've played nine hours, which easily includes an hour and a half to two hours of fucking around with characters and starting over, and I'm now three missions away from the end. :\

I sure hope Berlin is meatier than this...

Creston
 
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68. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 28, 2013, 21:22 Quinn
 
Creston wrote on Jul 28, 2013, 20:00:
Does anyone know what that third, smaller button does in the Matrix? It creates a 45 degree cone in front of my avatar, but other than that, nothing seems to happen. Nothing about it in the help section either, which is intensely useful...

Edit: nm, I figured it out. It's the Overwatch button.

Creston

It's not only in the Matrix where you can use that button. It's like the Overwatch in X-Com you say? I thought as much, though when I tried it, it didn't give me that impression. Guess the enemies didn't move inside my cone then..
 
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67. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 28, 2013, 20:00 Creston
 
Does anyone know what that third, smaller button does in the Matrix? It creates a 45 degree cone in front of my avatar, but other than that, nothing seems to happen. Nothing about it in the help section either, which is intensely useful...

Edit: nm, I figured it out. It's the Overwatch button.

Creston
 
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66. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 28, 2013, 18:36 Quinn
 
Not sure how far I'm in but it's getting boring for me. For the combat gameplay you should (re)play X-COM: Enemy Unknown instead because it's better in every sense, imo. Very disappointed by the fact I so far had zero moments where I felt like I started to build a relationship with someone. It felt like going there with Coyote but the closest involvement I felt was in keep telling people how great a friend Sam was... though I know fuck about him.

Not overly excited. Basically waiting for the game to somehow open up like a blossoming flower but it seems to remain a bland experience in every aspect of it.
 
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"Moo," she said.
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65. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 28, 2013, 18:17 Harlequin
 
Considering the budget, time frame and goals I was HIGHLY pleased. I would have paid $30 for this to be honest. Check point system ideal? No, but if you need to save that often then games like this probably is not your "casual gamer" speed.

Loved the old school approach, mostly faithful to the PnP version and themes. Great ambiance with the music and art direction. Story well written but certainly limited macro choices, however enjoyed the micro choices available in the design.

Overall I give it a solid 8/10.
 
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64. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 28, 2013, 17:48 Creston
 
Question for those who are further in: Can I safely go with the first batch of Cyberware I find (in the clinic below the Seamstress Union), or should I hold out for better stuff to be found later?

Creston
 
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63. Re: Checkpoint save system? Jul 27, 2013, 18:29 Agent.X7
 
Still playing. About 8 hours sunk in right now. Happy to see some iconic SR weapons showing up, as well as upgraded spells and equipment. The story is pretty cool. Very linear, but I don't expect miracles from a shoe string budget.  
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62. Re: Checkpoint save system? Jul 27, 2013, 04:02 Sho
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Jul 27, 2013, 03:56:
What developer, in their right mind, creates a game with a checkpoint save system in this day and age? Just went from "Must buy!" to "Hell no!"

While I agree that checkpoint saving sucks, from what I've played so far (2-3 hours in) it's not really been a massive issue ... the segments of content inbetween the checkboxes seem to be small enough that opportunities to call it a day come about often enough.

I'm guessing they ran out of time or so. From a programming POV, proper save/load requires additonal work to support the serialization and deserialization of a lot of state. Meanwhile, their checkpoints are generally at zone transitions, so loading just becomes "initialize things with these values when booting the map". I totally wish they had put in that extra effort, but I guess this was some painful corner-cutting.

Anyway, I'm having a blast so far. And TotalBiscuit is totally right, playing a game with not voice acting is surprisingly refreshing! It allows for more texts, especially descriptive text, and more dialog choices than even games with the budget for VO can usually afford. It also leaves more to the imagination. Oldschool is fucking ace.
 
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61. Checkpoint save system? Jul 27, 2013, 03:56 JohnBirshire
 
What developer, in their right mind, creates a game with a checkpoint save system in this day and age? Just went from "Must buy!" to "Hell no!"  
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60. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 27, 2013, 01:28 Creston
 
Dev wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 21:04:
Creston wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 17:50:
I like it so far, but I really wish you'd started off more powerful than you do. A phys-adept is basically useless at the start, which isn't really how it worked in the PnP game (where they were fucking monsters.)

Perhaps I just haven't figured my guy out yet, but so far my companions are the ones doing all the killing, as my guy just spends his time trying to run up to someone, only to then do a staggering 5 damage.

Creston
You just need to get some of the chi powers, specifically the killing hands chi thing for the adept. It's one of the first things, and it adds +10 to damage, so it makes your character (even at the start) do about 15 damage per punch. I love doing way more than my gun toting guys.

Yeah, I figured that out a little later. Makes him a bit better, though run+punch is nowhere near as effective as just sit behind cover and shoot.

It used to be that a phys-ad could just run up to someone, eat a few bullets, save them away with his body+damage resistance then tear the crap out of his enemies.

But because of their decision to go with a hp based system, that really kinda doesn't work anymore. Sure, I can run up to someone, but by the time I'm there I've taken 40 damage.

Creston
 
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59. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 27, 2013, 00:48 Dev
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 22:47:
Dev wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 21:04:
Creston wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 17:50:
I like it so far, but I really wish you'd started off more powerful than you do. A phys-adept is basically useless at the start, which isn't really how it worked in the PnP game (where they were fucking monsters.)

Perhaps I just haven't figured my guy out yet, but so far my companions are the ones doing all the killing, as my guy just spends his time trying to run up to someone, only to then do a staggering 5 damage.

Creston
You just need to get some of the chi powers, specifically the killing hands chi thing for the adept. It's one of the first things, and it adds +10 to damage, so it makes your character (even at the start) do about 15 damage per punch. I love doing way more than my gun toting guys.

Damn, i went mage and I have nothing that touches 15 dmg a shot.
Well the downside is since its unarmed, you have to get right up in their face. But its quite satisfying to punch a guy out
 
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58. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 22:47 Agent.X7
 
Dev wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 21:04:
Creston wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 17:50:
I like it so far, but I really wish you'd started off more powerful than you do. A phys-adept is basically useless at the start, which isn't really how it worked in the PnP game (where they were fucking monsters.)

Perhaps I just haven't figured my guy out yet, but so far my companions are the ones doing all the killing, as my guy just spends his time trying to run up to someone, only to then do a staggering 5 damage.

Creston
You just need to get some of the chi powers, specifically the killing hands chi thing for the adept. It's one of the first things, and it adds +10 to damage, so it makes your character (even at the start) do about 15 damage per punch. I love doing way more than my gun toting guys.

Damn, i went mage and I have nothing that touches 15 dmg a shot.
 
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57. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 21:04 Dev
 
Creston wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 17:50:
I like it so far, but I really wish you'd started off more powerful than you do. A phys-adept is basically useless at the start, which isn't really how it worked in the PnP game (where they were fucking monsters.)

Perhaps I just haven't figured my guy out yet, but so far my companions are the ones doing all the killing, as my guy just spends his time trying to run up to someone, only to then do a staggering 5 damage.

Creston
You just need to get some of the chi powers, specifically the killing hands chi thing for the adept. It's one of the first things, and it adds +10 to damage, so it makes your character (even at the start) do about 15 damage per punch. I love doing way more than my gun toting guys.
 
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56. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 21:03 RaZ0r!
 
Dev wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 09:17:
So far I'm enjoying the game. There are sidequests in the game, so its not 100% linear. Yes you can't go clicking on everything, but I'm thinking that will improve in modded campaigns

Cutter wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 01:10:
Honestly, they should have utilized the DLC money for the game first. That was definitely getting ahead of themselves and stretching things to thin. As always get something that's finished and good out the door first, then you go from there.
Likely they did. I don't recall it being a discrete "DLC" option in the KS, it was just a free included option as a stretch goal. I think they may well have done it that way in order to add more content, but have it come out as a discrete chunk after the game release, so it wouldn't extend the development time and money needed too much. I don't know if it was planned that way from the beginning, but its not a bad idea in terms of getting something out the door.
Prez wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 01:30:
RaZ0r! wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 01:22:
Dev wrote on Jul 25, 2013, 23:56:
It has inventory, what it doesn't have is looting corpses.

Steam Workshop already has a mod for lootable corpses.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=153541586

Awesome!
Note that that is a mod for future campaigns.
I can't recall if the included campaign is supposed to be editable or not (I'm thinking it is, but not sure), so someone would have to mod the included campaign to include that. And it would have to be rebalanced as well, since its balanced to work without lootable corpses currently.

Yeah I caught later it was just an example of how to implement lootable corpses.
 
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55. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 21:02 Dev
 
Flatline wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 18:22:
Rea1One wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 10:27:
I was a kickstarter backer because I really enjoyed Shadowrun on Snes and Sega. This game is fairly ok but to be honest doesn't feel like a $1.8 million game at all and feels more like some flash or web based game with some elements borrowed from XCOM Enemy Unknown. Well at least it's better than Shadowrun (2007).

1.4 million after Kickstarter took their share. Plus, there's all the physical swag that's yet to be mailed out (t-shirts, docwagon cards, ect...) and I'm sure that probably cost a cool 100k or so too. So really, 1.3 million to make the game, build all the assets, beta test the damn thing (I haven't really ran into any bugs... typos? Yeah, but not bugs), then polish and publish the editor, along with all the support documentation...

You're judging the entire product by the introduction mission. 75% of this product is the ability to make new stuff.
$100k for physical swag? Thats probably low.
http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/6443/
$500k out of $3 mil is what the double fine project is going to spend for physical rewards, thats more like 17%. And I've heard of software projects where 30% or more had to be spend for physical rewards.

 
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54. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 18:37 Sho
 
Flatline wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 18:14:
That being said, I'm WAY looking forward to Berlin's art set.

Have they shown this off already somewhere?
 
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53. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 18:22 Flatline
 
Rea1One wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 10:27:
I was a kickstarter backer because I really enjoyed Shadowrun on Snes and Sega. This game is fairly ok but to be honest doesn't feel like a $1.8 million game at all and feels more like some flash or web based game with some elements borrowed from XCOM Enemy Unknown. Well at least it's better than Shadowrun (2007).

1.4 million after Kickstarter took their share. Plus, there's all the physical swag that's yet to be mailed out (t-shirts, docwagon cards, ect...) and I'm sure that probably cost a cool 100k or so too. So really, 1.3 million to make the game, build all the assets, beta test the damn thing (I haven't really ran into any bugs... typos? Yeah, but not bugs), then polish and publish the editor, along with all the support documentation...

You're judging the entire product by the introduction mission. 75% of this product is the ability to make new stuff.
 
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52. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 18:14 Flatline
 
Dev wrote on Jul 25, 2013, 23:56:
saluk wrote on Jul 25, 2013, 23:37:
D4rkKnight wrote on Jul 25, 2013, 21:06:
This game has no inventory? How does acquiring weapons work? No inventory sounds pretty boring.

There is inventory, as far as I can tell. I'm not far but I keep picking up medkits, and just got handed a pistol.

The game was rushed to meet the deadline and it shows. We complain when the devs ask for more money and delay to make the game that they really want to (broken age) and then we also complain when the devs hit the target and the game isn't quite as good as we'd like.

Sigh.

I'm enjoying it, but so far I really was expecting a much more alive feeling world. The snes game is much better in this regard, with numerous areas you travel around in a non-linear fashion. Here, again I'm not far, but it seems like each section is very heavily scripted out, you go through it, and then you move on to the next.

Minor gripes overall. Shadowrun is back chummers!
It has inventory, what it doesn't have is looting corpses.

As long as they made a good framework for campaigns, I think the community will step up and offer much more alive feeling worlds, that are more non linear.

Plus, maybe once the income from this game starts rolling in, they will be able to flesh out the expansion city (free to kickstarter backers) to a bigger extent.

Looting corpses was a design decision specifically for this campaign. On launch day, there already is a tutorial for loot.

It looks like the included story, while very well written, is an introduction to what the engine can do. I'm already seeing tons of ways to work around the system they've created and create far more open-ended games.

For example, there's not a *lot* of weaponry choices out there. That's fine, you can add new weapons (but not new artwork I guess). You can add new cyberware and equipment too. So I imagine there will be "templates", scaffolds people create with all this extra stuff in it that you cut/paste or load up in the editor and then start to go nuts on the mission itself. You can save maps, so a community of map-makers could pre-gen matrix environments, corp building layouts, warehouses, all the assets we need to really introduce the potential for random or at least lots of side missions.

It'll take a lot of work, but I think HBS has only used maybe half of what the editor is capable of. They just ran out of time and money.

That being said, I'm WAY looking forward to Berlin's art set.
 
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51. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 17:52 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 17:34:
Quinn wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 12:20:
Rea1One wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 10:27:
I was a kickstarter backer because I really enjoyed Shadowrun on Snes and Sega. This game is fairly ok but to be honest doesn't feel like a $1.8 million game at all and feels more like some flash or web based game with some elements borrowed from XCOM Enemy Unknown. Well at least it's better than Shadowrun (2007).

This game had 1,8 mil backing it!? Holy fuck! Can't wait to see what Star Citizen will look like with, what.. only 700k backing it?

Star Citizen has $14m in crowdfunding.

Oh, and how is it looking? Pretty fucking good. That's all in-game footage, cuz.

I think it looks great. Lots of detail, nice art style, good locations. I wish the character movement had been a little more refined (Characters seem to glide too much when they move), but so far I really like what I see.

Creston
 
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50. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns Jul 26, 2013, 17:50 Creston
 
Quinn wrote on Jul 26, 2013, 16:31:
My gripes non-mod Shadowrun Returns:

No xp for killing enemies (right?)
No loot from enemies.

Other than those, great fun!

You never got "xp" from killing enemies in Shadowrun. Karma was only ever given for completing goals, even in the PnP game.

As for the loot thing, again, not what Shadowrun was about. While I'd have appreciated being able to rifle some credsticks from fallen enemies, you're not going to loot assault rifles and the like from them because you can't carry them, you can't hide them, and they're typically worse than the equipment you're carrying anyway.

I like it so far, but I really wish you'd started off more powerful than you do. A phys-adept is basically useless at the start, which isn't really how it worked in the PnP game (where they were fucking monsters.)

Perhaps I just haven't figured my guy out yet, but so far my companions are the ones doing all the killing, as my guy just spends his time trying to run up to someone, only to then do a staggering 5 damage.

Creston
 
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