Shadowrun Thoughts

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 4.32.06 PMI’ve been trying to finish some of my Steam backlog so I can feel less bad about picking up items off my wishlist. This was clearly prescient, as the Steam Halloween sale started today and I picked up two new games. The first Shadowrun was one of the games I wanted to finish, and last night I did, which is especially lucky since Shadowrun Dragonfall was on sale today. Here are my ‘not-a-review’ thoughts on this game.

  • The setting and world is very well realized, and a huge draw for existing fans of the setting, or cyberpunk fans in general.
  • I played a female Elf Rigger (see the screenshot of my ending character above), and enjoyed it. However, being the puppet master for 2 awesome drones means that you only get one AP/turn on your main character, which is a little sad. Upgrading your other combat abilities is thus not really worth it, which turns your character into a bit of a faceless drone carrier.
  • However, even for characters with more abilities and spells, it’s easy to forget to use them in combat because they’re hidden away in collapsed menus. This is especially true for abilities with cooldowns, which you might use once and then not notice when they come off cooldown again. I know this is improved in later releases, which is something I’m looking forward to.
  • The 1 AP/turn for riggers is also compounded by the design of combat mode vs normal mode. It seems like some areas are permanently set in combat mode regardless of whether you’ve met enemies yet, or killed them all, meaning you have to move your characters one by one, using their AP. Having 1 AP obviously makes this slow, and the previously mentioned UI issues mean that turning your drones off and on is clunky.
  • I found that decking was fine if not spectacular. I had no huge issues with it but I’m interested to see what they improve later since I know many people complained about it. In the base campaign I also see no need to make your main character a decker, since the hired ones were always sufficient, and the need for one is relatively rare.

Otherwise this was an enjoyable turn-based RPG with excellent world-building, and I’m very much looking forward to the sequels.

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