Okay, the wait is over! Here’s what we’ve been up to for the last nine or ten months.
The Harebrained team is pleased to bring you this alpha gameplay walkthrough video for Shadowrun Returns narrated by Jordan and Mitch. While no Bothans died to bring you this information, it’s been a wild ride to get to this point and there’s still plenty to do. But let’s not talk about the future for a moment. Let’s just take 20 minutes or so to relax and see the game in action.
Since our story is about secrets and lies, we decided that our video should walk you through a side-mission so you can get a clear sense of how the game is played without revealing any spoilers. In this mission, you’ve accepted a job from a reliable Fixer (who’s totally fronting for Aztechnology) to locate a rival corporate test lab and terminate the test (with extreme prejudice).
Remember as you watch the video that all the environments, conversations, and tactical situations you see were created using the Shadowrun Returns Editor - the same editor that will ship with the game on OSX and Windows. For us, re-energizing Shadowrun doesn’t just mean making a game for you to play and enjoy (although that sounds GREAT). It means creating a set of tools for YOU to experiment with, express yourself with, and share.
We imagine that you’ll have plenty of questions and comments about what you see and we encourage you to go to shadowrun.com and join the community here . We’re on regularly, answering questions and clarifying stuff. It’s a friendly place. Try it!
And one more thing - If you like what you see, please share the video and screenshots and ask your friends to share them too!
For those interested in additional details, here are some specific notes on the video. Hopefully, they’ll provide more insight and answer some of your questions in advance.
00:20 - Lady Z prefers to dress-for-effect (dig that gas-mask - so punk) but there will be a variety of outfits for you to choose from so you can make your character look the way you want. We plan to release more outfits after the game launches.
00:39 - For those of you who know Seattle, this is Pike Place Public Market in 2054. The neighborhood may have taken a downturn.
03:30 options: Burst Fire, Full Auto etc. We also have character combat abilities like Aim. We also use the tabletop "stages" of damage with from Weak (1/2) to Crit (x2). All of this is based on the math from the SR tabletop game. You can see your chance to hit with every character but you need to invest Karma in weapon specializations to see your chance to crit with each weapon type. As your weapon specialization skill increases, so does your chance to crit.
05:00 - Note that Lady Z’s corp security etiquette skill is missing from her character sheet. The screen underwent a recent revision and it was left off of this version temporarily. Also, Scooter the Rigger’s drone skills are currently higher than his Intelligence and the Shaman’s spirit control and conjuring skills are higher than his Charisma. Not to worry. These bugs are already addressed.
06:00 - Obviously, Lady Z could just whip out an Ares Predator and drill this guard but guns make a lot of noise and Jordan doesn’t want to attract too much attention - our AI NPCs will react to gunfire and investigate. So instead, he whips out Lady Z’s katana for a (relatively) silent kill. One other note - you’ll see that the guard asks Lady Z for her SIN. Just want to make it clear that there’s no “SIN system” in the game and runners are SINless. But fake credentials are very useful in getting past guards, etc.
06:10 - You’ll notice the rigger is automatically being followed by his drone. If you check the rigger UI at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see that you can set the drone to remain stationary. That’s handy if you want to leave the drone behind to provide line-of-sight on a location after you leave (so there are no surprises when you get back).
08:08 - Inside the shaman’s backpack are magical fetishes that he uses for summoning elementals: air, fire, water, and earth. Fetishes are consumable to keep the shaman from being overpowered. They can be replenished by purchasing more at the local talismonger.
08:22 - Every turn, summoned spirits have a chance to break free and that chance increases every time you commit APs for them to use. However, increasing your Spirit Control skill reduces the risk. It’s a good investment because when a spirit breaks free, they’ll attack anybody.
09:37 - Yup, the AI loves it when you clump up your characters. If they have an equipped grenade or area-of-effect spell, this will happen to you too.
10:14 - Some spells have cool-down times associated with them and you SHOULD wait for that time to expire before using the spell again. However, you CAN use the spell again but you’ll take Drain HP damage from pushing yourself.
15:18 - Ley lines are the intersections of magical energy flowing through the world. Only Mages can see them. When they stand on a ley line, Mages cast spells far more easily and with greater effect: cool down times are reduced, and chances to hit are increased, as is damage.
16:17 - Shaman don’t always need to expend fetishes for summoning spirits. Intense concentrations of emotions or natural elements can be used as gateways for summoning as well. Only shaman can see them. Once a concentration has been used as a gateway, it can’t be used again (until the shaman raises his summoning skill high enough), so best to keep a magical fetish in your pocket.
17:27 - The AI re-evaluates their threat list every turn. The basilisk decided that the abomination spirit is the biggest threat in the room.