Shadowrun Returns

MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.
In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.
The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.

Key Features

  • Gripping Tactical Combat: When you’re running the shadows, every turn matters. Choose your actions wisely - move to better cover, charge into melee, or lob a fireball into a crowd of enemies. With the variety of weapons and spells at your disposal, every turn is filled with meaningful choices. A successful run requires commanding a team of runners with the right balance of combat, tech, and magical abilities.
  • Skill-Based Character Progression: Choose a starting character archetype and build from there! Street Samurai and Physical Adepts use advanced combat skills to dominate the battlefield, Shamans and Mages summon powerful allies and cast deadly spells, while Riggers and Deckers provide critical technological support, projecting their consciousness directly into drones and computer systems. Shadowrun Returns’ classless skill system allows you to grow your character in any direction you choose. Want to start summoning spirits as an ork Shaman and evolve into a cybered-up weapon specialist? Do it!
  • Engaging 2D/3D Art Style: Shadowrun Returns mixes dynamic 3D characters and lighting with a vibrant, hand-painted environment. Illustrated character portraits bring every conversation to life. Explore a world filled with detail, from the slums of the Redmond Barrens to the extravagant offices of powerful corporations.
Minimum Requirements
OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista/Windows 7
Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX compatible 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
DirectX®: 9.0
Hard Drive: 2 GB HD space
Minimum Requirements
OS: OSX 10.6
Processor: Intel-based Macs only (x86-compatible, 1.4GHz or better)
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Hard disk space: 2 GB HD space
Minimum Requirements
Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Modern 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
Hard Drive: 2 GB HD space
  • Hardcore Gamer 25 Jul 2013

    This is one of the most satisfying and complete tactical roleplaying experiences to come out of 2013 and realistically the last few years.

  • The fact that this game costs less than a night at the movies (Steam price is $19.99, though you can pick it up for 10% off for a very short span after you read this) and delivers a storyline you’ll want to play more than once, as well as the promise of infinite expansion, it’s very easy to recommend.

  • Even if you never played the tabletop game or the original Shadowrun console games, Harebrained Schemes has crafted a potent argument for joining in on the fun. Here’s hoping this reawakening is just the beginning of a new lease on life for the Sixth World.

  • Turn-based tactical combat, skills, spells and upgrades, thick and well-written dialogues, great cyberpunk atmosphere, good longevity and a powerful level and campaign editor.

  • What we have here isn't just a great game, but the potential for even greater ones.

  • Shadowrun Returns stumbles a bit in its effort to re-create on the PC the isometric RPG world gamers fell in love with on classic consoles, but it redeems itself by providing players with a seemingly infinite toolbox to craft their own adventures.

  • Pelit (Finland)

    Shadowrun Returns is a bit more simplistic than I had hoped for, but at the same time it is not bad at all. [Sept 2013]

  • The focused narrative and fighting mechanics work hand in hand to make for a real alternative to more expensive (and expansive) monster-rpgs, without being any less deep or engrossing for it.

  • CD-Action

    Every writer in the game industry should learn from Harebrained Schemes. It’s been a really long time since I was following a game’s story with such pleasure. [CD-Action 10/2013, p.50]

  • Even if you’re discounting any additional future content (and the developers are already hinting at follow-up campaigns post-release), this is a game that deserves your attention right now. A.M.F, chummer, see you in the sprawl.

  • GameTrailers

    More than enough material to keep the shadows running long into the future.

  • LEVEL (Czech Republic)

    A well-made and entertaining comeback of the old brand-name brings the atmospheric campaign, but mainly its potential longevity thanks to the user-generated content. [Issue#233]

  • While there are a few flaws in Shadowrun Returns, most notably linearity, the lack of a save function and a slightly under-utilized world, the excellent and consistently fun writing and XCOM-inspired combat make it a worthwhile experience.

  • Nice 2D graphics, intense battles, a right degree of ‘hardcoreness’, almost no show-stopping bugs, well-written story and dialogues – that is quite an achievement for an indie studio.

  • PC PowerPlay

    An entertaining 12 hour romp with some seriously powerful modding tools that promise many more campaigns to come. [Sept 2013, p.82]

  • Shadowrun Returns is a neat return. Maybe you'll miss a sophisticated combat system or long narrative story, but the game makes it up to you with its crime story and its great atmosphere. If you are positive for isometric RPGs, it would be a pity to miss this one.

  • I hadn’t touched a strategy game with any serious intent until Firaxis turned my world upside down with XCOM. Though Shadowrun Returns assumes too much about the player’s prior knowledge about the universe and too often skimps over introducing key gameplay systems, getting over the hump is worth discovering the deeply gratifying strategy game within.

  • Those that love or have fond memories of Shadowrun will get the most out of Shadowrun Returns, but anyone that enjoys RPGs, XCOM and cyberpunk settings could also find something to love.

  • Shadowrun Returns succeeds because, beyond its cyberpunk leanings, it's also a mash-up of many concepts born in that halcyon decade. It's very much of its time, but for many of us, its time was pretty great.

  • Multiplayer.it 7 Aug 2013

    Even if Shadowrun Returns can't be compared with the giants of the RPG genre, it has enough character to shine and to show us the storytelling potential of the powerful editor.

  • Hyper Magazine

    If this is the quality we can expect of Kickstarter games, then bring on Project Eternity and Doublefine Adventure. [Oct 2013, p.57]

  • Judged purely as a standalone game, it's an unambiguous success.

  • The result isn't quite a masterpiece, but the game is smart, fun, and best of all, explicitly built with the intention of spurring more creativity in the future.

  • Shadowrun Returns aims to bring back the classic RPG feeling — much like BioWare’s Dragon Age did when it was released — and succeeds wholeheartedly. It’s not too deep, has a short main campaign, and has design flaws from being built around a tablet, but it’s still the best RPG in ages.

  • Shadowrun Returns shows how good a Kickstarter project can be. A very solid project for RPG fans, with an excellent setting and a fantastic editor. Is it enough?

  • One the one hand what’s already here is enjoyable and compelling, for the comparatively short amount of time it’ll take you to play through it, but the promise of more makes me feel like Shadowrun Returns is only going to grow in value as time goes on. If the players really latch onto the capabilities of the editor, it’s going to be an incredible rich offering, and one that could theoretically never stop giving.

  • Although its design weaknesses keep it from becoming an instant classic, the game as it is provides a great starting platform for future player-made content and official expansions.

  • SpazioGames 20 Aug 2013

    Shadowrun Returns is an old-style RPG based on a robust and well calculated gameplay, that will entertain all the fans of the genre and a large group of nostalgic. At the same time, this project is also very limited and linear.

  • Shadowrun Returns is a compelling tactical RPG that delivers a fantastic storyline, but it's less ambitious than we expected. Thankfully, the game has a complete editor for the community.

  • Shadowrun Returns is a fun game. It is solid and with enormous potential. What is being shown now is just a small part of what may be achieved and everyone knows that when the community has the necessary tools, they end up doing great things. Harebrained Schemes has managed where to draw the line between the possible and the ambitious, but seems to have behaved too conservatively and it shows with the lack of content. If those responsible and users know how to profit what has been created, we will have a game that will be worth much more. But all of this is about to happen.

  • Shadowrun Returns is precisely what it promised to be on Kickstarter: a game that harkens back to the olden days, with HD resolution. Especially older gamers will find nostalgia and fun in this world, expanded by the level editor. For the younger audience the old fashioned imperfections might be too disruptive, but every RPG fan who loves Blade Runner should give Shadowrun Returns a shot.

  • Shadowrun Returns’ bang-to-buck ratio is largely going to depend on the quality of content that springs up from the devs and the community after release, but as it stands today, it’s a mostly average RPG running in a visually underwhelming engine.

  • IGN 25 Jul 2013

    The bite-sized scope and limited choices available make me more interested to see what Shadowrun Returns will be a year from now, after the community has used the included mod tools to build on it, than in what it is today.

  • The game features good writing, interesting characters and a charming retro style. It's fine for a couple of hours, but don't expect a lot of depth or variety: For a roleplaying game, Shadowrun Returns is exceptionally linear. Most levels consist of confined rooms or streets with no exploration elements to speak of. Character interaction is limited and most quests don't offer any freedom of choice. We have high hopes for the future though: The game ships with a powerful editor and the passionate community is already at work.

  • Vivid descriptions of the setting and the people you are talking to help to liven up the game, but never enough to make you forget that there is no voice acting. It also lacks the depth you would expect from something set in so rich a universe and, as it stands, Shadowrun Returns does not surpass a classification that goes beyond “a fun little RPG”.

  • Though hindered somewhat by game-design oversights and one hell of a game-breaking bug, Shadowrun Returns remains a satisfying strategy-RPG largely defined by its world and lore, but also as a platform for more and more standalone adventures.

  • Any person eager for the heyday of the pen & paper days of RPGs should find this a nice blast from the past.

  • A good start.

  • An enjoyable role-playing game with the scent of a classic, if not the essence.

  • That’s what Shadowrun Return provides, of course: it’s not just a single tale of murder and techno-conspiracy. It’s a ruleset and a tileset, and a promise of more to come.

  • It may not last long and it may have issues with its save feature, but the time spent adventuring in this futuristic vision of Seattle will be well worth any frustrations you may encounter.

  • Shadowrun Returns is a great role-playing game, which retrieves the features of the original representing them in a perfect title for fans.

  • DarkStation 9 Aug 2013

    Shadowrun Returns is enjoyable while it lasts, thanks in large part to its great writing and enthralling murder mystery.

  • There are some issues with game difficultly and length, but this is one of the most successful Kickstarters so far – and an excellent retro style role-player in its own right.

  • Shadowrun Returns suffers from a few design flaws and a rather short main campaign, but it’s still an entertaining RPG. The strategic combat is interesting, but too easy even on hard difficulty. The RPG system is rather shallow, and none of the games important decisions are yours to make, even though the story is solid enough. This’ll be a nostalgic trip for older gamers and a good introduction to an old fashioned RPG for the younger ones. Sadly Harebrained rely too much on the community for new content.

  • A nice first dice roll for Harebrained Schemes, but not a critical one. Shadowrun Returns boasts a solid-enough tactical gameplay, but doesn't use it fully enough on this first campaign. You won't feel threatened in combat, and the story is very linear - at least it's a good one. The atmosphere and the fantastic Shadowrun universe are its biggest strengths, so let's hope the community and Harebrained will enrich the game as much as it is worthy to be.

  • But it's entertaining and engaging throughout, and lovingly faithful to the source material. And that, chummer, is good enough for me.

  • Despite the strange omissions and Shadowrun Returns' habitual blinking in the face of bigger gameplay ambitions, it's still an engaging return to a world and fiction that's sat dormant for far too long.

  • Shadowrun Returns will probably please most fans if perhaps not blow anyone out of the water. The campaign is well written and serves as a good introduction for new players. The variety in combat and character creation and dialogue options is great but suffers from a badly implemented autosave system. With lots of new campaigns on the horizon Shadowrun Returns is well worth keeping an eye on.

  • Shadowrun Returns meets lots of expectations outlined during the Kickstarter campaign. It's an atmospheric story based on the Shadowrun universe and its adaptations. The game looks like a good "analog" RPG session, with a clear goal and epilogue. Unfortunately the campaign is a simple, one-shot experience, and not a deep RPG system. Don't expect a complex, multi-threaded game with lots of important decisions to make - Shadowrun Returns is not like that, but a really good story makes up for it. And there's the editor that allows to create great things, but requires suitable and talented people.

  • Thanks to some well-written dialogue, directing your party of four can be entertaining. However, turn-based battles sacrifice tactical depth for gadgets and gimmickry, while collision detection as well as AI behavior leave room for improvement.

  • GameStar

    As an RPG, however, Shadowrun Returns falls flat on his stomach.

  • Shadowrun Returns is a faithful reinterpretation (and in a vague sense, sequel) to the SNES game from 20 years ago, maybe a bit too faithful. Though most aspects of the the wild and unruly Shadowrun world is included, the promise of this game lies more in the open embrace of the mod community than the included adventure.

  • IncGamers 26 Jul 2013

    A perfectly capable tactical RPG that's unfortunately light on both the tactics and the RPG. Not really bad in any way, but I suspect this won't really shine until the community get to grips with the editor.

Shadowrun Returns
$14.99 $4.73
Title: Shadowrun Returns
Genre: Adventure, Indie, RPG, Strategy
Released: 25 July 2013
Developer: Harebrained Schemes
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Includes level editor
  • Single-player
  • Steam Cloud
  • Steam Trading Cards
  • Steam Workshop
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