Tag Archives: shadowrun

Thoughts: Shadowrun Hong Kong


In a way, my reviewing Shadowrun Hong Kong is somewhat redundant. This is the third Shadowrun game developers Harebrained have put out in two years. The first, Shadowrun Returns, was one of the very first Kickstarter success stories that traded off some extremely clunky engine restrictions and a so-so main plotline for the very great novelty of actually being released within six months of when the Kickstarter said it would be. The second, Shadowrun Dragonfall, vastly improved and expanded on what they’d done with Returns to become one of the best RPGs released in the last couple of years. If you are at all interested in Shadowrun, cyberpunk or wordy-yet-well-written RPGs, the chances are that you have already purchased and tried the standalone Dragonfall Director’s Cut. 1 By doing so, you will already have a pretty good idea of whether or not you’re going to like Shadowrun in general.  And while I feel like it’s a little harsh to tar Hong Kong with the “more of the same” brush, there is no getting around the uncomfortable fact that it is true in this case: if you leave aside the tonal and stylistic changes (which are a pretty big thing to leave aside, to be fair), Shadowrun Hong Kong is, somewhat disappointingly, an almost point-for-point retread of Dragonfall.

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  1. And if not, why haven’t you? It’s really very good indeed.
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Thoughts: Shadowrun Dragonfall


I’m coming to Dragonfall rather late. Originally a stretch goal for the original Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter campaign, Dragonfall was first released as an expansion back in February 2014.  I did play it at the time, and got about halfway through before burning out, something I’ll blame on it coming out a little too hot on the heels of Shadowrun Returns for my tastes. Even then, though, I could see that Dragonfall was a significant cut above the game it was supposed to be expanding on. Partly this was because Harebrained Schemes had had time to fix most of the bugs and technical limitations I complained about in my original review, but mostly it’s because they — gasp! — also took the opportunity to iterate and expand on the structure and mechanics on their second go around. Harebrained obviously knew they had a winner on their hands because they took the additional time to polish Dragonfall up, overhaul the interface and bulk out the weaker areas of the expansion so that they could release it as a standalone game. And the resulting Director’s Cut is very good indeed.

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Sunday Soundtracks.

There’s a reason I backed the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter effort pretty much instantaneously, and that reason is the Shadowrun game released on the SNES way back when. As a western adventure-cum-RPG it’s a bloody weird thing to find on a console at that point, but it’s very good nonetheless.

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