Thursday sees the launch of Shadowrun Returns, an indie labour of love game made possible through its development being crowdsourced on Kickstarter.
The Shadowrun series has been a staple in the RPG world for over twenty years, with books, tabletop games, collectible card games and video games all making appearances in the franchise. The most recent videogame effort, 2007’s Shadowrun, was almost universally panned by both Shadowrun enthusiasts and newbies alike, a rare consensus in the gaming industry.
Microsoft, largely responsible for 2007’s debacle, have taken a back seat, and indie developer Harebrained Schemes are headlining this effort. The game will initially be a PC exclusive, available only through Steam for PC and Mac, with Linux, Android and iOS versions likely to appear down the line.
The launch trailer is embedded below, and anyone familiar with either the Shadowrun universe or simply cyberpunk subculture in general will feel instantly at home. The fact that Jordan Weisman, one of the original creators of the Shadowrun universe, is also the head of Harebrained Schemes, adds an extra layer of authenticity to the proceedings. With luck, Shadowrun Returns will be the game that removes the stigma of the 2007 title from the Shadowrun franchise, and brings turn-based cyberpunk gameplay to new and old generations alike.
Shadowrun Returns is usually priced at $19.99, but is available for pre-order on Steam for $17.99 for the next 48 hours, up until its release on 25th July.