Among 2012’s many successful, large-scale Kickstarters was Shadowrun Returns, though it’s been a little quiet outside of its backers forums for awhile now, only really showing off some (admittedly) lovely concept art a few months back.
Well, developer Harebrained schemes has released a 20 minute video of the game in action and it’s pretty compelling stuff.
Shadowrun Returns is an interesting prospect for a game, on the one hand it’s working with a relatively fresh setting (as opposed to the generic fantasy land that is the plague of most RPGs) and has a lovely mix of comic book-style 2D/3D artwork; on the other it looks to essentially be a standard RPG in different clothes. That’s something I find difficult to get excited for.
This all said, there were a few little features which stood out as just good sense. Harebrained’s AI doing perception checks, so if you enter a room armed to the teeth and looking fighty then that will affect the way NPCs interact with you, for instance. It’s a little thing but it could make you feel like more of a part of the world.
I liked too that the combat seems to have gone for an almost XCOM approach, using intuitive cover and action points. I’m a great fan of Firaxis’ XCOM reboot and would like to see that style of combat in a less arena-like setting.
Now, apparently, Shadowrun Returns is due out in May/June of this year, at least that’s what Harebrained said in November.