Shadowrun is an RPG set in a future version of Earth where Elves, Orcs and magic exist. It has a strong story, involving murder investigations, corporate espionage and supernatural rituals. There are many interesting NPCs and good dialogue choices, although sadly no voice acting. The stats/skills level up system has some nice depth, and some stats can influence dialogue options. Combat is like Xcom, turn based with a squad of 4, with action points to spend on moving, firing guns or using items/magic. Some squad members are hired temporarily before each quest, have no dialogue, and you can't customise their stats/gear, so unfortunately they lack personality. Levels are small and the whole game is quite linear, with not much scope for exploration. But the campaign lasts around 11 hours so value for money is good. The music is fantastic and really adds to the atmosphere. Although some things could be improved, its still very enjoyable and well worth checking out.
Review update: Dragonfall
Dragonfall takes the formula established in the original release, and improves on it in several ways. Its actually misleading to describe this as "DLC". These days, particularly in the RPG genre, that term conjures up thoughts of short quests and meaningless item packs. Dragonfall is more like the good old days of expansion packs, where you got a meaty chunk of gameplay to sink your teeth into.
The story is excellent, one of the best I've played through in any game for quite some time. The action has shifted to Berlin, where you've joined a crew of shadowrunners on a contract to extract some data from a vault. Predictably, the mission goes wrong, dragging you into another deep conspiracy full of twists and turns, that also helps to explain more of the world's lore.
Because your crew are fully fleshed out characters, instead of the original's mostly hired help, each character has much more depth to their personality. They have a past, they have feelings, and the story is given increased emotional weight through conversations with these characters.
The gameplay mechanics, tactical turn based combat, and level up system all remain intact, and we now have the ability to save anywhere, rather than being limited to the original's checkpoint only system. Quest structure is less linear than before. You have some control over which order to play certain quests, and most quests have optional objectives that, if completed, provide greater (or alternate) rewards. You'll also have some tough moral choices to consider which affect quest outcomes, and many areas allow for the use of non combat skills, including talking your way past guards or hacking computers to gain information.
Dragonfall took me 19 hours to complete, which is significantly longer than the original game, and represents excellent value for money at full price. I don't recall encountering any bugs at all.
Overall Dragonfall is amazing, and I rate it as an absolute MUST BUY.
Posted: November 25th, 2013