Shadowrun: Dragonfall

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Shadowrun: Hong Kong screenshots and trailer revealed

Shadowrun: Hong Kong screenshots and trailer revealed

Previous Shadowrun titles massively discounted this weekend.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong developer Harebrained Schemes has revealed the first screenshots and a brief teaser of its upcoming RPG.

The developer noted in a Kickstarter update that the crowdfunded game is now feature complete and on track for a PC, Mac and Linux release this summer. Pre-orders for the Deluxe version - which include the soundtrack and a digital art book - are available on Steam for 15.40 / $19.99, but the price will increase to $29.99 (about 20) upon release this summer.

Furthermore, to celebrate the studios' third anniversary, Shadowrun Returns is currently 80 per cent off at 2.19 / $2.99 and Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut is 70 per cent off at 3.29 / $4.50. This sale will last until Monday, 25th May at 6pm UK time.

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Shadowrun: Hong Kong launches Kickstarter, succeeds goal in two hours

Shadowrun: Hong Kong launches Kickstarter, succeeds goal in two hours

Raises over a quarter million dollars in a day.

Shadowrun Returns developer Harebrained Schemes teased an upcoming Kickstarter campaign last month and now that campaign has launched. It's for Shadowrun: Hong Kong, and it's already raised over a quarter million dollars in its first day.

Heck, it smashed through it's $100K goal in a mere two hours. By hour three, it had achieved its first stretch goal of adding enhanced player controls. It's since raised a total of $276,761, enough to fund stretch goals for animatic scene transitions, new party member Ractor the Russian, and more animatic endings.

The original Shadowrun Returns grossed over $1.8m on Kickstarter, so this Hong Kong spinoff still has a ways to go before it can smash Harebrained Scheme's previous record, but it's got until 17th February to do that.

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall review

Shadowrun Returns was a frustrating game for me. I wanted to love it but didn't even like it - not much, anyway. Its original campaign ranks as one of my bigger disappointments in recent years, feeling more like a Neverwinter Nights-style glorified engine demo than a game in its own right; its title ultimately sounded like a promise that one day Shadowrun might Return, even if it took the fans breaking open the included editor and Steam Workshop functionality to make it happen. Your mileage on this may vary, and if you dug its Dead Man's Switch campaign, great. I know, however, that I'm not alone in having been deeply underwhelmed.

I mention this not to belatedly put the boot in but because Dragonfall has proved to be such a pleasant surprise - exactly the kind of adventure that I was hoping the original would be, for the most part. It's an expansion rather than a whole new game, so some obvious caveats apply and we may as well get them out of the way now. The basic systems are the same, so if you bounced off the original campaign for those reasons rather than its story or linearity, expect similar problems here. Both magic and firearms still aspire to having the heft and raw destructive power of water pistols. The environments are still static, and the RPG side is much shallower than the complex world regularly cries out for it to be. The most notable core change is that you can now save whenever you like, though that feature can be buggy.

Those problems duly marked, Dragonfall isn't just a far better campaign than Dead Man's Switch, but a really enjoyable indie RPG in its own right. It's still primarily of the 'adventure with combat' style, and is ultimately quite linear. The illusion of freedom is much stronger, however, and the story more satisfying for it. Many more situations now make use of character elements like etiquettes (social options when you need to try and pull rank on a guard or call out a gangbanger) and character skills for forcing open doors, figuring out puzzles, or simply opening an alternate path with the help of a hefty shoulder-slam.

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