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Jeremy Jastrzab
03 Apr, 2007

Shadowrun Preview

360 Preview | Controller or keyboard? The war begins!
Among the traditional gaming and "fictional" gaming community, Shadowrun lives in the hearts of those who put hours into the pen-and-paper tabletop RPG, not to mention those who played the action RPG on the SNES and later the Mega Drive. Since 1999, Microsoft has owned the license to Shadowrun, and the older fans were rather distressed when their beloved RPG was radically transformed into a FPS for Windows Vista and Xbox 360. Later, it was said that this latest game would be very loosely related to the original source material.

As we have known for some time now, the next Unreal Tournament game on PS3 will support keyboard and mouse. Shadowrun is looking to take this relationship a little further, by facilitating the ultimate competition between the keyboard/mouse setup and the console controller. When Shadowrun is released later this year for the Xbox 360 and PC, players will be able to take part in online matches across both platforms. We were able to see such a demonstration at Microsoft’s event last week, where we also saw the unveiling of the Xbox 360 Elite.

Freaks and geeks ahoy!

Freaks and geeks ahoy!
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As mentioned above, Shadowrun is a first-person shooter, but one with a couple of twists. Apart from the cross-platform multiplayer, the game itself is set in a futuristic context, some 30 years from now, and the events in particular are meant to shape the future events of the Shadowrun universe. Often the franchise has had the tag "cyberpunk" attached to it. Given this, not only will you be using conventional weaponry, but (depending on the race) you’ll be able to beef up your player with different kinds of technology and magical abilities. Quite a nifty idea on its own.

The game will be multiplayer-only, and follows the vein of a title such as Counter-Strike. That is, at the beginning of each round, you can purchase the magic and tech upgrades to enhance your character. Magic includes spells such as teleportation (controversially impossible in the original franchise setting) and healing, while tech upgrades include enhanced vision (see through walls) and wired reflexes (move around faster). While we didn’t get a chance to fully explore these aspects, we did get to see how the core game works.

Both the PC and Xbox 360 versions were sitting side by side. Possibly to give a level playing field, both were fitted with the 360 controller. Having being exposed to the dual analogue set-up for many years now, it seems that developers are quite adept at making this work quite proficiently. While it would have been good at the time to see the keyboard and mouse next to the pad, the pad itself worked quite well. As for the connection, for the most part it played flawlessly.

Dude relax, they haven't mangled the franchise that bad...

Dude relax, they haven't mangled the franchise that bad...
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In terms of the graphics, the game looks like it’s still in the works, but it's generally impressive. The one level that we played through was nicely detailed and textured, but it felt like it was structured just like any other previous level in any other shooter. The PC version probably had a slight edge on the 360 incarnation, but some of this would have had to be put down to the fact that it ran off a massive rig and on a slightly smaller and sharper monitor.

As has been previously touted, Shadowrun is looking to be the flagship title for Windows Live, and for connectivity between the Xbox 360 and home PC. From what we have seen of the game so far, this relationship seems to be on track, but we've yet to see who really does rule the roost. Is it the keyboard and mouse set-up, or have the controllers come much further than past efforts and can accurately compete in terms of precision? There’s also the issue of whether a console game can compete with a PC game in terms of graphics. We look forward to getting the answers to these questions once the game is released later this year.
Overall:
While the connectivity and control arguments look to be on track, Shadowrun is shaping up to be a decent shooter in its own right.

Related Shadowrun Content

Another Shadowrun game in the works?
07 Jan, 2008 Forum closure reveals future projects.
FASA Studios shuts down
13 Sep, 2007 Half of the staff relocated.
Shadowrun update Live
26 Jul, 2007 Out now.
4 Comments
7 years ago
This game is on my top 10 games for this year. I really hopes this game works out. Matchmaking all the way!!! icon_smile.gif
7 years ago
The question is if you own both a decent pc and a 360 which version do you buy? I'm leaning towards the pc, depends if they are both priced the same too.
7 years ago
I was so stoked when I heard about the shadowrun game. takes me back to my pimple faced lunchtime geekfests back in.. er.. the 80's (I think...) when we all used to play this in *cough* the study room. Well, technically I did not play. I just supplied comic narration and gave the players (and GM on ocasion) advice. All while teaching myself how to juggle. TRUE STORY.

Still can't believe they took an awesome game like this and turned it into a FPS :cries:
7 years ago
HeDanny wrote
Still can't believe they took an awesome game like this and turned it into a FPS :cries:
Bingo icon_cry.gif

I'm sure it'll turn out to be a decent FPS and all... but Shadowrun shouldn't be a shallow, team-based FPS lolfest like counter-strike, damnit!
So much lore, so much depth... wasted!
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Australian Release Date:
  14/06/2007 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Microsoft
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2007
Players:
  16

Read more...
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