Game: Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown
Genre: Strategy RPG
Developer: Cliffhanger Productions
There is no mistake that Shadowrun is a household name in the minds of tabletop RPG players. The cyberpunk giant was the godfather of everything fantastic in gaming when it was first released.
When Microsoft decided to make it a Multiplayer Only FPS on the Xbox 360, many fans were groaning with disappointment. Thanks to a small indie company and Kickstarter, Shadowrun was able to get a proper videogame adaptation on the PC known as Shadowrun Returns. The massive success later spawned a director’s cut version of the game known as Dragonfall.
Further expanding the videogame universe, Shadowrun Chronicles takes place in Boston and have a very different mission structure than the previous games. Needless to say, I was hyped, I love the Shadowrun series and Chronicles had me sold, until I started to play it.
The city of Boston is quarantined because of a deadly virus and the megacorporations are profiting from it. No-one knows who exactly is responsible and it is up to you to uncover the facts to bring forth the truth behind the conspiracy.
The story is very Shadowrun/cyberpunk and while it isn’t the most original, it is exactly what you’d expect. It is still fun to see the plot unfold through the characters you meet and the missions you take, both main and side quests.
Shadowrun Chronicles’ art is fantastic as always and the environments are surprisingly detailed, despite being somewhat small.
There is always more than one way to progress through a mission. Variety is nice when it comes to these sort of games. The ability to play with human players is a welcome change to the series as well. However, the game’s mission structure and mmo ideas create a difficult environment. I prefer a more constructed RPG format when it comes to Shadowrun.
Leveling characters is simple but the skill trees are incredibly streamlined for my taste. But there is still variety to choose from, so you can build your character the way you want. The catch is that everything is pretty obvious what you are going to pick depending on your weapon and race. Trying to go out of the box usually results in failure due to the game’s somewhat inconsistent difficult curve.
The combat itself is simple and has remained unchanged from previous Shadowrun videogames. You are placed on a grid, given AP, and an objective. Defeat the enemies and complete your objective to move on. Simple and easy to learn. Maps are small but varied both visually and mechanically.
Shadowrun Chronicles is a fun game if you love Shadowrun. But compared to Dragonfall and Shadowrun Returns, the game is just lacking in content. It is disappointing. If you have never played a Shadowrun game just skip this one and get Dragonfall or the upcoming Hong Kong title.
3 out of 5 Nerds