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Shadowrun Member Review for the Xbox360

LinksOcarina By:
LinksOcarina
06/13/07
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE First-Person Shooter 
PLAYERS 1- 16 
PUBLISHER FASA 
DEVELOPER Microsoft Game Studios 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood, Intense Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Shadowrun is a cyberpunk d20 RPG that has been a favorite amongst the RPG community since its conception in 1989. It involves technology and magic mixing togeather, along with human mutation to go back to ancient forms of trolls, dwarves and elves as groups try to fight the man and reclaim magical artifacts at augment their powers. While the d20 rpg has been a staple for neary 20 years, it seems only natural that a videogame can capture the goodness of playing on a tabletop.

Unfortanatly, the game is a far cry from how fun Shadowrun can be. It's paper thin game is chock full of gameplay, but lacks everything else that is needed to have a good time.

Graphics-

Graphicly the game is kind of poor. Framerate never drops when in action, and particle and blood effects are good to. But the enviorments are piss poor and not varied, the characters are opposite skins of each other, and the detail on them is not up to 360 standard. It is kind of annoying to know that your dwarf looks like he  was a part of the village people and your trolls look like tribesmen from Paupa New Guinea. There is a lack of variety amongst the skins you can represent, and there is also little distinction betweem them, besides color change. It is confusing at times, because friendly fire is commonplace and people can't tell the difference in dark corridors, which make up most of the maps to begin with.

Final Score- C

Gameplay-

The game, at it's core, has tight controls and decent ideas. As either a memeber of the facist like RNA corporation or the terrorist group the Lineage, you fight each other using magic, technology and weaponry to obtain artifacts, magical staves that need to be collected or protected by the groups. Thats the plot, basically. No backstory, unless you read the manual, no varied objective, no  nothing. Either kill them all, or take the artifact.

While the game has a simple objective, the gameplay does have some variety. First off, the four choosable races have different strengths and weaknesses, which give the character skins some variety. Trolls are slow, while Dwarves can drain magic from enemies when standing close to them, for example.

More customization comes from picking your magic and your tech, which is a nice addition and reminiscent of the d20 game. Want to sneak behind enemy lines? Get teleport and smoke. Want to be a good sniper, get the netlink, which gives you extra zoom. How about a healer? Ressurect and tree of life take care of that. There is a lot of customization that can be made with the different powers, and it adds extra strategy to the game.

Weapons are not as varied, but just as valuable. Standard weapons like sniper rifles and SMG's are there, plus an odd melee choice, the Katana, which if you have a lot of practice, becomes the most powerful weapon in the game.  This adds even more dimensions of combat, either long or short range firing, and melee weaponry.

The problem is that strategy is never utilized. Most players get almost the same powers each time, ressurect, wired reflexes, tree of life, teleport, glider, or netlink .Other powers like gusting and seeing through walls are rarely utilized. Also players tend to pick the same characters each time, in particular the elves.

Elves in this game are used most often because of speed and the ability to heal themselves over time. If your a troll or a dwarf, you will be likely outmatched by the speed if facing more than one opponent, which then adds issues of balancing, since most players use the elves with SMG and Katana combos for quick in and out hits.

Another problem is the long load times whrn looking for matches. Since the game is counterstike in a different wrapper, the load times are ridiculously long and you can easily be kicked while your in the game. Once you are in the game though, the comradere that your teams share is near perfect. Most teams work togeather, support each other, and they do a good job at it, communicating what needs to be done. It makes the experience less fustrating and more fun.

But even those moments are short lived. The balance issues that should not be there are, despite the variety that can be used in the gameplay. I hope that updates add more weapons, tech and magic in the future, that way more combinations can be constructed, but for now, there is just enough to keep you going back for me.

Final Score- B-

Sound-

The sound is very plain. Poor voice acting, generic weapon and magic sounds, and dreary background elevator music don't add anything to the already slim package.

Final Score- C-

Overall Score-

Shadowrun is a game that only the hardcore d20 players, multiplayer fans, or rich kids would pay for. A $60 price is definitly not worth it yet, and while the game has it's moments and is a great multiplayer experience, I can guarentee that other games on the horizon will be played more than this in the long run. Go get the rulebook for the d20 game instead, it's probably worth it more than the 360 version.

Final Score- C

Overall score- C


More information about Shadowrun
 
C Revolution report card
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