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Game review: Shadowrun

01 Apr 2007

An interesting new title for the 360 and PC arrives this year from Microsoft – and this game will mark Microsoft’s first ever cross platform game! Shadowrun, a multiplayer only FPS in the continuing tradition of Counter Strike, brings a new cyberpunk themed universe to the traditional scene (terrorists and Special Forces and whatnot). And it doesn’t stop there; being loosely based on the pen and paper RPG of the same name the setting also contains magic and fantastical races such as elves, the latter of which along with the usual suspects (dwarves and such) form the playable classes.

The game is set in Brazil, around the year 2031. It chronicles the world altering events that precede and set the stage for the pen and paper game and pits the players against each other as two rival factions; the mega corporation ‘RNA Global’ and a resistance movement called ‘The Lineage’. Magic and races other than humans have entered the world through a cataclysm of sorts and as a result, the nations of Earth are still trying to cope. It’s a very powerful setting and with any luck, Shadowrun will ring true and bring it to the mainstream gamer population.

Some of the game features include separate gameplay advantages for each race and the ability to select magic and cybernetic technology along with weapons for each round of play, some of which are fairly unique compared to the traditional. Examples of this are things like the “Tree of Life” which serves like the health totem of shamans in World of Warcraft in that it heals those near it, or a deployable field of crystals that are lethal to those who walk over it. On the weapon side it has quite a broad range from mini-guns to katanas. And also purchasable technological improvements that include advanced vision, cybernetic reflexes and a glider for flight. All in all it should make for some exciting gameplay.

It sounds like Shadowrun will be an interesting game and as the flagship title for Microsoft’s Vista, it has the potential to be one of the driving titles for the Xbox 360. We’re also very keen to see how Shadowrun stacks up for the PC when it’s released.