Shadowrun: Dragonfall

Shadowrun: Dragonfall:  In a world of cyber-enhanced weaponry, magic, and hacking, everyone still loves grenades.

The setting is Shadowrun, one of the craziest fucking things every produced. Imagine someone took all of the fantasy elements like magic, elves, and dragons from Dungeons and Dragons and sent it to a cyberpunk future. Corporations run the world, punk rock is still cool, and chopping off your meat arm and replacing it with a cybernetic version that has a gun is a reasonable option. Since corporations run the show, they need people off the books to run their little errands for them. These consist of things like delivering a package to a clandestine rendezvous, stealing corporate secrets from a high security compound, and missions that require more goddamn planning and violence than the movie Heat. These disposable minions are know as Shadowrunners and are in constant danger in getting killed in the most violent ways possible. Shadowrun has made some respectable pushes from the Tabletop RPG into the video game realm. Dragonfall marks the latest entry acting as an expansion to the pretty decent Shadowrun Returns. While it still has some of the same glaring problems as Returns, Dragonfall fixes and adds enough things to be a decent RPG and a great Shadowrun game.


The Gang Boss is about to get gang banged by a ton of bullets.

Remember how I was talking about the bat-shit crazy world of Shadowrun? Dragonfall takes all that shit and dumps you into ever politically turbulent land of Germany. What was supposed to be a simple heist goes south as any fun run should. The aftermath leaves your leader and decker (hacker) dead, missing out on the payday, and the possible involvement of a long thought dead violent dragon. Unlike the last game, you are now running a team that is a mixed bag of professions all wanting revenge as well as a reasonable payout as any good runner would.

Lets get the bad out of the way right out of the gate. This game feels like it was designed for tablets and is a shoe-in for the featured app in the Apple App Store. Everything from the zoom to the layout of the interface scream shitty tablet game. Combat is turn-based and for a team armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, magic, and even razor claws, life in the shadows doesn't feel as threatening as you would think. Veterans of this style should crank up the difficulty right away. My last gripe comes from the skill checks in conversations with NPCs. Jesus Christ, they should have been hidden. Watching what you could have said in a conversation grayed out kind of discourages additional playthroughs. Linear? Oh shit, yes is it linear.

Your favorite seedy characters are included along with the drug dealing bartender. Too bad you can’t just outright shoot them in the face with your Ingram Smartgun.

The good is that this game is a great Shadowrun game. Fans of this setting and genre should like how the story plays out. You become the leader of the team of characters, each having their own specialty and personality, but without being completely stupid. The story gives a sense of being, grounded to a runners level while the main plot looms oppressively in the background. It fixes Returns problem of being epic in the beginning and having a retarded clown as the sidekick towards the end. There is a wealth of info that helps flesh out not only Shadowrun, but the turbulent political setting of Germany. The team aspect has a well-rounded team, but if you get tired of their shit, feel free to substitute with a slew of mercenaries. For those that feel Returns was lacking content, Dragonfall has you covered. Matrix combat is still a mixed bag, but new Cyber ware, magic, and equipment pumps up Dragonfall. Didn't like the lack of saving bullshit in Returns? Dragonfall fixes this and it really does feel this is the game Shadowrun Returns should have been.

The game is fun for tactical RPG fans if you can get past the apparent simplicity of the interface and crank up the difficulty. There is a good story here too focusing on your team and the bat-shit crazy world of Shadowrun. If you are a fan of Shadowrun, this is probably the best game in the series to date as it really does capture the atmosphere of running in the shadows. Hunting around the Steam Workshop even found a community remake of the SNES campaign in Dragonfall's engine. There's more to like here than hate. It sure as hell isn't perfect, but the ride with Dragonfall is a worthwhile one.