I Lost a Whole Day to Shadowrun Returns


Sundays for me are usually a time for cleaning, going to the gym, grocery shopping… Everything I should be doing on an errand day. But this past Sunday, Herb said that he had gotten me ‘Shadowrun Returns‘ for my laptop. “Okay,” I thought, “I’ll just spend a couple of hours playing, then I’ll do my laundry and all my other errands.” Two o’clock turned into five o’clock and I found myself saying “I’ll just do everything I need to do at seven.” By the time I was done convincing myself to do things later, it was around eleven and Herb had just come home from work.

Moral of the story: never leave me with a game on a Sunday and expect anything to get done.

Originally a pen and paper RPG, it has now come out in the form of a video game (goodbye Sunday brunches). In the basic version that I’m playing, you are in Seattle trying to find your friend, Sam Watts’ killer and BRING THEM TO JUSTICE (I typed that in a Judge Dredd voice)… And also you’ve been paid by your dead friend to do so. After you’ve created your character, the tutorial begins with you and Sam and your gang of misfit friends in a job gone wrong, where you have to fight to survive. Gameplay is similar to a tabletop RPG. Think ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’ or them Marvel X-Men games, where you take a few turns then the enemy takes a few turns.

I’ll try not to give any spoilers, but your character has to go around to different crime scenes to figure out what in the exact fuck has happened. All the bodies will have had an organ taken out by the ‘Ripper’, yes another ‘Jack the Ripper’ reference. You will later have your own home base at a bar/black market/apartment building… Thing.

So pretty…
I made the mistake of choosing to be a Human Shaman. Yeah, I can’t deck for shit and I am only good at hand-to-hand combat (in the beginning). I started using my karma points to build up my character so that I could at least fire a stupid gun properly and cast cool spells. Oh yeah, did I mention you can deck in this game? Though Deckers are usually horrible at IRL combat… In a video game. So technically it’s not really IRL at all.
Anyway, check out the game if you want to waste a weekend at home and then wonder while you’re at work why you didn’t call out that day. There are a few glitches (I had some problems trying to use certain spells and special moves at times) and when you’re in between decking and fighting, it gets a little annoying when you’re done fighting and the game still requires you to finish your moves before being able to move around in virtual space. Woah, moving around in virtual space in a virtual space. So meta…

There were also some minor things like typos and there were some racial undertones that I thought were kind of strange, but I’m probably just used to spotting micro-aggressions. Other than all that, I like how you can build-a-bear your character and playing a female, it was fun and didn’t feel like it was condescending. I noticed that the other female characters that you encounter also have strength to their personalities that make them seem so much more like people, rather than “hot girls with guns”, which I really appreciated.

Try it out for yourself and if you do, let us know what your thoughts are!