One of the best post-apocalyptic, punk, fantasy, matrixy (it’s a word!), paper-and-pencil science fiction role playing games ever is returning to your PC, Mac or tablet soon. But, you will have to wait a bit longer than originally thought before you can “jack in”.
PCGamer’s Katie Williams reports that HareBrained Schemes (the developer) has pushed back the release, but only by a month. That in itself if slightly refreshing, as usually when you hear about a delay, it’s several months if not a few quarters.
Almost 25 years ago, Shadowrun appeared on the crowded table top gaming scene. With its incredibly rich and well thought-out mythology, diverse character development system, and speculative take on our near future, it quickly grabbed a substantial slice of gamers’ attention. The timing of the game’s publication allowed it to reap the benefits of being in the right place a the right time– soon it would be a VIDEO GAME!
The Shadowrun game’s basic mythology states that in the near future, megacorporations have supplanted what we know as national governments, orks, trolls, elves and humans all inhabit urban cities (as do a few dragons), crime syndicates run rampant and, naturally, MAGIC has been re-discovered. All this coupled with the occasional jacking in to computer networks makes for some compelling gaming fun. Admittedly, it sounds a bit like some took some Tolkien books, some Gibson books, and a few Ral Partha lead figures, and threw them in a blender.
One of the truly wonderful bullet points to this new release is that it will arrive with the ability to create your own missions. Yes, with the game you also get the game editor! Why is the developer giving this freedom to its customers? Well, not too long ago Jordan Weisman (Harebrained Schemes’ founder) worked with industrial rock composer Trent Reznor on an alternate reality game. Reznor gives his music fans the ability to re-mix his music any way they choose. That creative “release” so to speak, is essentially the inspiration for Shadowrun Returns’ creators to allow its players the freedom to create their own missions, storylines, dialog, etc. Lest you be intimidated with such creative power at your fingertips, there are tutorials authored by the developers already available via YouTube, which are sure to be followed by many more tutorials by gaming folk who have figured out myriad more ways to utilize the editor.
Look for the elves, trolls, and orks in Shadowrun Returns via Steam in late July.