Thursday 12 June 2014

Shadowrun Online (Early Access)

I've never played any of the Shadowrun games before, so as a true newbie I'll just describe the setting as Dungeons and Dragons meets the future with gun-toting orcs, shotgun wielding spell casters and computer savvy elves running about. This game itself plays quite a bit like the tactical parts of XCOM. You take turns to perform actions and basically have an objective to do on each map, often simply reaching the other end. The "Online" part simply pits you against an enemy player in what is best described as a balanced arena. This tactical part of the game all works fine for the most part.

Better if there were more hot chicks though.
(This one's for you, River.)

The problem (or part not in this version) lies with how all this tactical part ties together. Currently there is only a single bland, text filled mission screen between each mission tying them together with no real choices to be made (outside of how best to complete the assigned objective without dying too much). I am hoping that there is a bit more meat here when the game fully releases. Options to chose what missions you go on for what factions for what rewards and such.

The main characters you get stuck with are pretty cool too (special mention to good voice acting here), but I'd very much prefer to customize my own team (even if they are all silent or just generically voiced) and be able to choose or purchase whatever loadout I want for them. Having them getting injured/killed off like in XCOM would be pretty good too, and force people to play smart. Since there is currently no penalty for death/getting downed so in some maps it's better to just rush to the "stand here to win" tiles. You automatically win if you reach that spot and anyone killed in the process will be back with you in next mission anyway.

The game definitely has potential if those extra bits are filled in. Until they are though I can only score this incomplete offering two cyber-ninjas out of five.

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