Harebrain Scheme’s Shadowrun Returns is a cyberpunk turn-based RPG in the Shadowrun pen-and-paper universe, where elves and trolls roam sci-fi cities, and magic users stand beside hackers as thieves, mercenaries, and businessmen do everything from smuggle people to delivering packages for legitimate business ventures.
The original Shadowrun Returns was given life after a massively successful Kickstarter, earning an impressive $1.8 million and forming the backbone of the engine on which Returns and its expansion Dragonfall run. There’s now a new sequel in the works, based on the standalone Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut engine, called Shadowrun: Hong Kong. The kickstarter’s original goal for the title, $100,000, was completed within the first hour. At time of writing, the goal is up to over $355,000 and still climbing with 34 days to go – no doubt the developers are very pleased with the success.
For my money, the version of the Shadowrun universe present in Shadowrun Returns is rich enough to back up an endless set of enjoyable missions for fans – not least due to the in-built campaign editor – but simple enough not to chase away new players or those unfamiliar with the pen-and-paper universe, or how the various systems interact. I’m looking forward, then, to this new game, and reasonably certain it’ll be of decent quality – even if I am generally skeptical of the “pay now, play later” attitude present in the industry.
Jenna Fraser found the original Shadowrun Returns and expansion Dragonfall to be an excellent game, even before the improvements made in Dragonfall: The Director’s Cut. “For those who want that hit of nostalgia straight to the chest and want to get lost in the grit of Seattle and the shady streets of post-apocalyptic Berlin, Shadowrun Returns is an absolute must”, she said in her Shadowrun Returns Review. “It’s not the graphics that are important here; it’s the story – and it delivers in spades,” she added, before awarding the RPG 8/10.
Players interested in the project can back Shadowrun: Hong Kong on its Kickstarter page before it ends on February 17th, with digital copies available starting at the $15 Chummer level. Later adopters can look forward to the game’s projected release in mid-2015.