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bapenguin
09-18-2006, 05:21 AM
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Title: Shadowrun Hands on Preview
Platform: PC and XBox 360
by: Nicholas "bapenguin" Puleo
Editor: James "fitbabits" Young
Release Date: Early 2007
Screens: Link (http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17871)
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<img src="http://www.evilavatar.com/staff/bapenguin_f.jpg" style="margin-left:10px">
<div style="float:left;margin-left:7px">Shadowrun</div>



Back in 2002, Microsoft launched their Xbox Live service with FASA’s MechAssault ([url=http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/m/mechassault/default.htm) as the flagship title. Five years later Microsoft will launch Xbox Live Anywhere, and once again a FASA Studios title will be at the helm. That title is Shadowrun, a game which was announced back at E3 in May. The Shadowrun franchise is based on a pen and paper RPG universe of the same name. And so while many were expecting an RPG, it turns out the game is a team based first person shooter.

Those Shadowrun fans who have looked at this game and quickly dismissed it should give the game another look. This game is faithful to the Shadowrun universe. In fact, FASA Studios Manager Mitch Gitelman has worked closely with one of the universe’s creators on the story and accuracy of the game. They are actually long time friends and neighbors. Beyond that the team also consists of a one of the lead designers from the Halo franchise, the lighting designer from the recent Narnia movie and AI designed by the developer who created the AI for SWAT 3 (http://www.swat3.com/).
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=244084377&size=l&context=set-72157594285644036"><img src="http://static.flickr.com/80/244084377_1a7ea82933_m.jpg" style="float:right" border="0"> </a>
According to the Mayan calendar magic returns to Earth every 5000 years and that just so happens to fall around the year 2011. Underneath a mountain in South America stands a Ziggurat buried since the previous age of magic. But the cataclysmic events of magic returning to earth have caused an accident that split the mountain and unveiled the Ziggurat buried beneath. Enter the RNA Corporation, a giant conglomerate that wants to regulate and profit from magic. They begin to investigate the powers of the Ziggurat Only to discover an ancient group called the Lineage. The Lineage has been sworn to protect this ancient temple for 5 millennium now, and so the battle begins.

This game takes place very early in the Shadowowrun universe. There is no matrix, and there are no deckers. This is probably disappointing to some, but it was mentioned that this game is merely the foundation for things to come. What does this game have? The game has technology, and the game has magic. The game has Elves, Dwarfs, Trolls and Humans. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. Every character in the game has a certain amount of magical ability, this ability is called essence. Every character in the game has the ability to use technology as well. Using technology though causes a penalty to your essence.

<img src="http://www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/Shadowrun/thumb.Shadowrun4.jpg" style="float:right" border="0"> (http://www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/image.php?image=www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/Shadowrun/Shadowrun4.jpg)
Elves have the highest amount of essence; they are very fast but are also the most vulnerable physical damage. Elves also have the inherent ability to regenerate health.

Trolls also are strong with essence but are the slowest race in the game. Trolls are very strong and can take a lot of damage. Trolls have the inherent ability to toughen and tank up as they take more damage becoming even harder to kill.

Dwarfs are the anti-magic in the game. They are strongly tech based and have the ability to suck the essence out of other characters.

Finally, the humans are the most balanced race in the game. They take less of an essence penalty when they use technology in the game than the other classes.

At the roots of the game is a Counter-Strike style round based first person shooter. The main game itself is essentially capture the flag. To win a match the team must win 6 rounds. What makes this game different than Counter-Strike is that each match itself is sort of like a mini-RPG. Whatever magic and technology you buy you keep with you regardless of living or dying in the current round. What this does is create this kind of ramp up game play scenario. The first round is pretty docile with just your straight pistol fighting. The next round people begin to buy the technology and the magic. And by the time you get to round 6 most teams will be fully outfitted with magic and technology. You don’t retain your weapons though; these must be bought every round unless you survive. Players gain cash for just about every positive aspect including killing enemies, healing, resurrecting teammates and completing objectives. Team killing does give a negative penalty.
<img src="http://www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/Shadowrun/thumb.Shadowrun5.jpg" style="float:right" border="0"> (http://www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/image.php?image=www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/Shadowrun/Shadowrun5.jpg)
In the build I played there were at least 8 technology upgrades and 8 magic abilities. Some examples of magic included teleportation, summon minion, vines, and tree of life. Some of the technology examples are glider, see through walls, anti-magic grenades, and smart-link. The real strategy of the game comes with working together with your team to combine not only player classes but also the technology and magic together. On top of that before the round begins you can actually give cash to your teammates that need it to purchase whatever items would benefit the team.

So how does Shadowrun play? I can tell you one thing…the game cannot be played like your standard run and gun shooter. With so many magic abilities and tech abilities there is a lot of team-based strategy involved. Going anywhere alone is pretty much a suicide mission. The game has an incredible fast pace to it, and when the magic and the tech starts flying it’s absolutely a blast to watch. The one feature in the game that stands out is resurrect. That’s right you can resurrect your fallen comrades in the heat of battle to really turn the tide. Resurrect is a powerful magical ability, but FASA has done a few key things to keep things balance.
1) To resurrect someone there must be a body. That means after killing someone you must “clear the body.” This is done by shooting the body a few times after an enemy dies.
2) When someone resurrects you, you are tied to that person. If that person dies…you will bleed to death unless you can find a tree of life to keep you healed.
3) You can only be resurrected once
4) Finally the person who actually resurrects someone has a permanent essence investment in you until you die again.

The insanity that ensues when you rush into a firefight and see your fallen buddies only to resurrect the entire group to turn the tide of battle is a total rush. It’s definitely the game’s most unique and fun feature at this point and is going to make for some really interesting situations.
<img src="http://www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/Shadowrun/thumb.Shadowrun7.jpg" style="float:right" border="0"> (http://www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/image.php?image=www.evilavatar.com/images/previews/Shadowrun/Shadowrun7.jpg)
Shadowrun is a still a ways off; right now the release date is early 2007. The game was design first, beauty second. And that’s exactly where it stands now. The gameplay for the most part is complete, but the art, lighting and some of the levels have yet to be done.

When Shadowrun hits the PC and Xbox 360 early next year it will be Microsoft’s flagship title for XBox Live Anywhere and one of the first games to pit PC and console players on the same game. I can hear the PC gamers, you think you are going to own the console players with your mice and keyboards. But FASA did something pretty slick to even the playing field. The accuracy model is based on speed much like a Rainbow Six title. So the faster you move the aiming reticule around the less accurate you are going to be. This helps balance out the PC vs. Console crowd quite a bit. While you can still be more precise with the mouse…you can’t necessarily be faster without sacrificing accuracy. Really this game isn’t going to solve the PC vs Console argument though. Why? There will be no discernable way in game to tell if you are playing against a PC Player or a Console Player. I played both versions and found them to feel very similar on both platforms with the only major difference being the interface and HUD.

Finally, there’s a bit of miscellaneous info I dug up. The best thing I found is the game will support a party system similar to Halo 2 for Live play. You’ll be able to group up with friends and move from game to game with ease, including building custom game types. The game will have an underlying stats system, but it won’t be displayed anywhere to help reduce cheating and griefing. For you achievement whores, both PC and Xbox 360 version will feature achievements. And finally, FASA plans to have a simultaneous demo release for both PC and Xbox 360 before the game comes out.

All in all I am pretty excited to see how Shadowrun turns out. The core gameplay is something unique and a totally different take on your standard team based first person shooter. If there’s one downside to the game it may be the difficulty understand just how much depth the game can offer. This may turn off players to the game initially. The game will feature an in depth single player tutorial with training a mini-missions to help better understand the game, and hopefully this will alleviate the learning curve. Overall Shadowrun is a fast, frantic and fun team based game set in the Shadowrun universe.

We’ll all see how it turns out in Early 2007.

- bapenguin -

Lekon
09-18-2006, 05:37 AM
Well, those graphics look about twelve times better than the video's/screenshots we saw from E3's footage. I still have the video on my hard drive, and it looks downright primitive.

This actually looks like a 360/PC game now. One great step up in improvement. And Bap says its fun, so thats fairly good to hear.

I just wish it had a plotline/story mode.

Mdot23
09-18-2006, 05:44 AM
good writeup bap.

NoName
09-18-2006, 06:10 AM
I just wish it had a plotline/story mode.
I agree, even if break down and accept there's a Shadowrun FPS, it would have been nice to have an actual story. This game doesn't really lay the foundation for anything, other than mass market appeal.

After reading Bap's review I'm more willing to give it a chance, but it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it ;).

total
09-18-2006, 06:15 AM
It still looks like something that could be done on the Xbox.

KIllrazor
09-18-2006, 06:19 AM
From one of the screenshots: "Seu potencial est nosso paixăo". If that's supposed to be portuguese, that's just wrong. :)

fitbabits
09-18-2006, 06:22 AM
Awesome article, bappy!

total
09-18-2006, 06:28 AM
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2003/news/02/14/de_screen002.jpg

That looks better than this game.

CrashCart
09-18-2006, 06:42 AM
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Those Shadowrun fans who have looked at this game and quickly dismissed it should give the game another look. This game is faithful to the Shadowrun universe.
I hate to sound like another nitpicking fanboy, but there are several huge changes to the Shadowrun canon with this game.. Like teleportation/resurrection magic, varying essences or varying cyber/bio tolerances by race, and more. I know it's set very early in the Shadowrun universe.. In fact, it seems to occur before the first edition of the pen and paper game as Shadowrun was always set 50 years ahead of the current year. This does allow for "wiggle room" where they're supposedly setting themselves up for more things to come in the timeline, but there are some things that very clearly conflict with the established canon for the purposes of making more interesting gameplay. It's understandable, but it really is a shame to dumb down and alter the universe to make it fit the Counterstrike model.

But a good review of what looks like to be a waste of a very interesting license. There are far, far more interesting things that could be done with the lore of the Shadowrun universe, in my opinion. Clearly there are people who this game will appeal to, but not caring for the online tactical shooters, I'm not one of them. I'm not angry at the developers or anything, just disappointed that a pen and paper universe so full of potential is hitting consoles and PCs in a game genre that I dislike. That and the fact that it will be introducing a whole generation of gamers to a Shadowrun Lite universe.

Vandenh
09-18-2006, 06:47 AM
>From one of the screenshots: "Seu potencial est nosso paixăo". If that's supposed to be portuguese, that's just wrong

No... in the Shadow Run world people speek some weird kind of mixed language.

>There are far, far more interesting things that could be done with the lore of the Shadowrun universe, in my opinion.

Maybe they will in the future. I agree that an FPS would not be my first choice for a SR license but maybe if this thing is a new big online hit more stuff will follow. I wouldn't mind a squad based turn based thing ;)

Malovech
09-18-2006, 06:50 AM
Umm, one big question- where is the shadow-run part of the game?

Chameleo
09-18-2006, 06:54 AM
even if it was an FPS they could've made a story mode with AI controlled squads - like fallout tactics.

this just reeks of *rushed* and *on-a-tight-budget*.

but hopefully the next one will build on it.

bapenguin
09-18-2006, 07:03 AM
I hate to sound like another nitpicking fanboy, but there are several huge changes to the Shadowrun canon with this game.. Like teleportation/resurrection magic, varying essences or varying cyber/bio tolerances by race, and more. I know it's set very early in the Shadowrun universe.. In fact, it seems to occur before the first edition of the pen and paper game as Shadowrun was always set 50 years ahead of the current year. This does allow for "wiggle room" where they're supposedly setting themselves up for more things to come in the timeline, but there are some things that very clearly conflict with the established canon for the purposes of making more interesting gameplay. It's understandable, but it really is a shame to dumb down and alter the universe to make it fit the Counterstrike model.

I guess you are right, it's just that when someone who help create the entire universe has input on a game's mythology, I would think that makes it faithful to the Shadowrun universe. I guess my wording is off on it.

Roc Ingersol
09-18-2006, 07:03 AM
Sounds like it may be fun - even if it isn't Shadowrun.

MacD
09-18-2006, 07:19 AM
Sounds like a counterstrike colone with magic. As someone else already said...what a wast of a good licence. It really makes you wonder why they bothered to pay the money to use the licence (I know, it's all internal billing) when they could have used a new IP.

Kefkataran
09-18-2006, 07:24 AM
Nice write-up, bap. I'm looking forward to checking this one out. Also, for all those Shadowrun fans wishing this one an RPG, there's some hints in the latest ep. of 1up Yours that they might pass the license off to another team for just that.

Sinistar
09-18-2006, 07:42 AM
Good read. Thanks for the info Bap. Think I'm going to sit this one out though.

Citizen Philip
09-18-2006, 07:42 AM
Sounds like a counterstrike colone with magic. As someone else already said...what a wast of a good licence. It really makes you wonder why they bothered to pay the money to use the licence (I know, it's all internal billing) when they could have used a new IP.

I think MS owns, in part, all the FASA properties which includes Shadowrun and Mech Warrior.

bapenguin
09-18-2006, 07:54 AM
Nice write-up, bap. I'm looking forward to checking this one out. Also, for all those Shadowrun fans wishing this one an RPG, there's some hints in the latest ep. of 1up Yours that they might pass the license off to another team for just that.

I can tell you that's exactly what their plans on. Of course it depends on how well this game is received (sold).

TrackZero
09-18-2006, 07:58 AM
We’ll all see how it turns out in Early 2007.

- bapenguin -

Sounds pretty exciting bap, nice writeup. Let's hope the game pans out well.

Kelegacy
09-18-2006, 08:02 AM
I can tell you that's exactly what their plans on. Of course it depends on how well this game is received (sold).
If there is an RPG based on Shadowrun, then that's a sign there IS a God.

But to only have it if this faux-Shadowrun sells well...that's not reassuring. I don't condone buying games from companies in the hopes that their next one is what we really want.

Lexicon
09-18-2006, 08:11 AM
If there is an RPG based on Shadowrun, then that's a sign there IS a God.

But to only have it if this faux-Shadowrun sells well...that's not reassuring. I don't condone buying games from companies in the hopes that their next one is what we really want.

And if this one sells you have to hope the marketing guys don't jump in: RPG? No NO NOOO!!! Shadowrun 2 with more FPS goodness thats what the kids want.

torrefaction
09-18-2006, 08:13 AM
I've actually turned around on this. I mean...first of all, they've clearly said on their web page that they plan on doing further projects for a long time. So let them dabble in something that'd get a wider market interested in the product. It makes sense. Use an FPS to draw people in to the Shadowrun universe. Second of all, it looks much less cartoony than it did early on...and the graphics aren't so bad. I mean, we expect dark and gritty...but that's way further in the future where typical SR canon occurs.

Especially in light of Bap's preview, I think I'll pick this up. No, it's no exactly what I wanted, but it looks like a great game regardless.

Demo_Boy
09-18-2006, 08:14 AM
Ok so im playing an anon pub game. I see a corpse on the ground.

I can decide to res him, except this will tax me as long as he is alive. I don't even know if he is still at his controller or if he has gone to the can. If he is there, he's probably terrible compared to me and wouldn't know how to res someone.

Am I going to bother resing him? hell no.

The best way to do team res in FPS game is without penalty or commitment on the resser. Unreal 2 XMP did this well -- anyone can be resed by pressing action on his corpse. The resed dude has one hitpoint.

Jack B
09-18-2006, 08:17 AM
BaPenguin,

Thanks for a terrific write up! I imagine you spent time with many of the others in the media group. Here are 3 other writeups that just came out. Looks like all of them came back with a very different impression than people were getting from screenshots, videos and ShadowRun fan forums.

This will likely be my first chance to play with some of the PC only people on Evil Avatar. We could have a console vs PC shootout at some point. Voice support for PC and console is terrific as well.

I expect we'll still continue to get raging ShadowRun fans, but since I'm not one, I'm looking forward to this game.

From 1up.com (http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?pager.offset=0&cId=3153712) "Garnett, from the 1up.com podcast, "ShadowRun was the most fun I've ever had in a multiplayer online game...".

Yes, the people developing this game at FASA Studio know full well that they have their work cut out for them with the fan base. In fact, they are acutely aware of it because most of them also count themselves as members of that group. You read that right; they are big Shadowrun fans, and that's exactly why they wanted to make this game.

From TeamXbox The problem is that Shadowrun really is a unique type of FPS that simply can’t be explained by comparing it to any of today’s shooters. (http://previews.teamxbox.com/xbox-360/1461/Shadowrun/p1/)

”We want to change the way first-person shooters are played.”

Those words spoken by FASA Studio’s founder and manager Mitch Gitelman definitely rang true based upon the early build we spent a few hours with this week. A lot of people, including both the media and its audience have been generalizing that Shadowrun is somewhat of a combination of Epic’s Unreal and Valve’s Counter-Strike series. The problem is that Shadowrun really is a unique type of FPS that simply can’t be explained by comparing it to any of today’s shooters. Shadowrun doesn’t go so far as to reinvent the genre, but it does add a list of creative features that certainly mix up the gameplay by adding a few RPG elements to help spice up today’s relatively mundane collections of cookie-cutter shooters.

From IGN The magic and tech upgrades are where the game shucks convention (http://pc.ign.com/articles/732/732935p1.html)
After playing for about two hours, it seemed like Shadowrun was a different take on the standard FPS model. It's a fast-paced game, though not quite on the nerve-splitting twitch level of something like Unreal Tournament. It doesn't really aspire to that, however, since too much speed would overshadow the deeper gameplay mechanics. Shadowrun's weaponry is unremarkable at a glance, consisting of shotguns, SMGs, miniguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, and pistols. In other words, standard FPS fare. The magic and tech upgrades are where the game shucks convention.

CrashCart
09-18-2006, 08:26 AM
I guess you are right, it's just that when someone who help create the entire universe has input on a game's mythology, I would think that makes it faithful to the Shadowrun universe. I guess my wording is off on it.It definitely helps to have someone who was behind developing and fleshing out the universe to assist in a game that's spun off of a big license like this. But it's unclear whether the changes were points of concession for him/her or something they truly felt belonged in the world. Either way, it is nice to know that someone behind the universe apparently gave the concepts their blessings.

Setting the game in the beginnings of or even before the established lore may actually make it harder to deal with alterations like this, though, if at some point in the future you want to woo the diehards (by giving them a title that sticks to the books). It would make it difficult to build off of the groundwork they put in place with this title. I'm probably just being too picky, though. I'll let whoever enjoys this sort of game play it and continue to wait for the (hopefully) upcoming RPG.

Besides, the universe is too big to please everyone with a single game anyway. Even a canonical RPG couldn't implement everything that everyone loves about Shadowrun.

Nite_Moogle
09-18-2006, 08:38 AM
So since the PC version will support gamer scores, I'm guessing we'll see Live Anywhere soon? Did you hear anything about a launch date for it?

Citizen Philip
09-18-2006, 09:27 AM
Found this on Wikipedia: Shadowrun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadowrun)

However, many fans of the roleplaying game have not appreciated the major changes to story, races, and magic in the Xbox 360 title, and the publishers of the Shadowrun roleplaying game have issued a statement saying, "Microsoft rewrote the timeline and setting for this game, so it is not in continuity with the tabletop RPG. It may be more accurately described as a game loosely based on Shadowrun."

Here is the link that supports the above statement: link (http://www.shadowrunrpg.com/wordpress/?p=120)

That's why as a fan of Shadowrun, this is upsetting, not because there is anything particuarly wrong with the game itself. If this game was called Magitech War or Techmage Corp Fight 2020.. or whatever, there'd be no issue.

bapenguin
09-18-2006, 09:35 AM
Found this on Wikipedia: Shadowrun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadowrun)



Here is the link that supports the above statement: link (http://www.shadowrunrpg.com/wordpress/?p=120)

That's why as a fan of Shadowrun, this is upsetting, not because there is anything particuarly wrong with the game itself. If this game was called Magitech War or Techmage Corp Fight 2020.. or whatever, there'd be no issue.

Right I said they told me it happens before the Table Top game's setting. But again...when an orignal person who wrote the original story continues writing in the universe it's more or less official. It's like saying the new Star Wars Trilogy isn't Star Wars because it happened before the original trilogy even though Lucas wrote it. Granted...most of us would have liked him to not write it...but it's along the same lines.

Twigz'N'Berries
09-18-2006, 09:54 AM
BaPenguin you and the others at IGN, Gamespot, 1up.com (Garnett), that spent time with the game deserve Sainthood for trying to help educate people on ShadowRun the FPS.

Some of the reactions from fans are understandable. Maybe as people take the time to learn more this will mostly die down and we can get on with the business of judging ShadowRun the FPS as an FPS. And judging it with open minds.

I was on Gamespot.com forums and there is a thread that's been around since E3 asking for signatures to have the title cancelled before it's released. The are over 200 posts to that thread. The majority voting to not let it see the light of day in the beginning of the thread. Near the end the tide is changing.

Thank you for your efforts! I truly enjoyed your hands on preview!
What he said!

By the way, all parties who have played it seemed to have liked it. Why not wait until the finished product before saying how much this game is disloyal to the original IP.

torrefaction
09-18-2006, 10:16 AM
What he said!

By the way, all parties who have played it seemed to have liked it. Why not wait until the finished product before saying how much this game is disloyal to the original IP.

Because then fanboys would have nothing to bitch about! I think the reaction to this so far is a bit ridiculous. EVERYONE should be happy that this incredible IP is garnering some attention again. Like I said above, I think this is mostly a move to garner interest in the Shadowrun IP from non-hardcore types. I know it's been changed, but there isn't established precedent really for the time period this is set in.

I used to play the P&P Shadowrun, and would love to see something along the lines of the genesis RPG (I still play it!). That being said, as long as this is a decently great game (as all accounts so far say), I'll buy it to support the franchise...even if it's not exactly what I want.

vallor
09-18-2006, 10:16 AM
This game will probably kill any and all chances for a Shadowrun game with any depth. If it sells the next Shadowrun game will be an FPS because who doesn't like money? If it doesn't sell the IP will probably disappear for another decade because, after all if the IP can't sell a game in one of the most lucrative genres, what hope is there for it?!

The only chance this IP has is to have 3 very successful games which is an extreme rarity in this biz. Considering the demonstrated lack of imagination on the part of the designers (designers, you know those guys from marketing that seem to control FASA) I don't see the game reaching the level of success that justifies testing the waters in a new genre.

I hope there are many many more Jack B.'s out there than Vallors. I simply can't see my way to purchasing this game. I don't like anything I've seen about the game and I refuse to buy something when I have no faith the studio will return to make a "better" Shadowrun game despite any high sales.

When Mechwarrior 4 did poorly they decided to go with. Mechassault sold really well but do they then return to see if exposure to the mainstream spurred enough people to try out a new traditional style Mechwarrior or Battletech game? Nope. They made Mechassault 2.

When Mechassault 2 did not do as well as they hoped what happened? They buried the franchise. There is no one working on a Mechwarrior or Battletech title at this moment. And if one started up right this second it'll be 2009/10 before the title sees the light of day.

There are examples where splitting the franchise into different genres worked, notably Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic but such examples are few and far between. And note how tightly the lore was maintained between the two franchises. When one genre moves to a different world the other moves with it.

I guess my biggest disappointment is that if FASA was bound and determined to make a craptastic game to cash in on the Shadowrun IP they could have at least made a crummy game that looked and felt a little more like Shadowrun. Instead they give us a Counter-Strike/Team Fortress abomination that barely has enough of the catch-phrases and game specific terminology to be labeled "Shadowrun" at all.

I don't even mean that I want them to make an RPG. If I thought that the design enforced higher-level tactical teamwork rather than twitch Counter-Strike gameplay (not that CS *can't* be more tactical, just that most of the time it isn't) I'd be a little less disappointed. If they had anything more than the Street Samuari, Shamanitic mage (no theurgists it looks like), and Physical Adept archtypes (which is sort of what the troll seems to me), I'd be a little happier.

Unfortunately twitch gameplay doesn't lend itself to the more elaborate style required for a decker or rigger types. If they just upped the level of tactical level to something along the lines of GRAW then you could facilitate these less twitchy playstyles.

That this is the best they can do with 5 years and a gazillion bucks it makes me a sad panda.

Citizen Philip
09-18-2006, 10:18 AM
Right I said they told me it happens before the Table Top game's setting. But again...when an orignal person who wrote the original story continues writing in the universe it's more or less official. It's like saying the new Star Wars Trilogy isn't Star Wars because it happened before the original trilogy even though Lucas wrote it. Granted...most of us would have liked him to not write it...but it's along the same lines.

As the linked post mentioned, the game isn't Shadowrun, as much as it is.. loosely based on Shadowrun concepts (magic, technology, with fantasy races). Taking what they said "before the tabletop" sounds more like a misdirection, sidestep or a pedantic response: "The tabletop game is in the year 2070, and our game is in 2030, so I won't answer your question directly, but instead I will say it happens before the tabletop".

I don't see anywhere, where a single author is credited as the defacto creator of Shadowrun, I'll I could find were the Designers: Bob Charrette, Paul Hume & Tom Dowd. Assuming this next door neigbhor is one of the designers, he certainly has no right to rewrite the history of a game, claiming authenticty.

MS owns the property and can do what they want, including putting the name of one product onto another, but they certainly won't convince me that an apple is an orange.

Hows this:

Knights of the Old Republic is an example of a product based on an IP that shows respect and attempts to create an experience you can freely assoicate with Star Wars.

Shadowrun, is not.

Kelegacy
09-18-2006, 10:24 AM
This game will probably kill any and all chances for a Shadowrun game with any depth. If it sells the next Shadowrun game will be an FPS because who doesn't like money? If it doesn't sell the IP will probably disappear for another decade because, after all if the IP can't sell a game in one of the most lucrative genres, what hope is there for it?!

The only chance this IP has is to have 3 very successful games which is an extreme rarity in this biz. Considering the demonstrated lack of imagination on the part of the designers (designers, you know those guys from marketing that seem to control FASA) I don't see the game reaching the level of success that justifies testing the waters in a new genre.

I hope there are many many more Jack B.'s out there than Vallors. I simply can't see my way to purchasing this game. I don't like anything I've seen about the game and I refuse to buy something when I have no faith the studio will return to make a "better" Shadowrun game despite any high sales.

When Mechwarrior 4 did poorly they decided to go with. Mechassault sold really well but do they then return to see if exposure to the mainstream spurred enough people to try out a new traditional style Mechwarrior or Battletech game? Nope. They made Mechassault 2.

When Mechassault 2 did not do as well as they hoped what happened? They buried the franchise. There is no one working on a Mechwarrior or Battletech title at this moment. And if one started up right this second it'll be 2009/10 before the title sees the light of day.

There are examples where splitting the franchise into different genres worked, notably Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic but such examples are few and far between. And note how tightly the lore was maintained between the two franchises. When one genre moves to a different world the other moves with it.

I guess my biggest disappointment is that if FASA was bound and determined to make a craptastic game to cash in on the Shadowrun IP they could have at least made a crummy game that looked and felt a little more like Shadowrun. Instead they give us a Counter-Strike/Team Fortress abomination that barely has enough of the catch-phrases and game specific terminology to be labeled "Shadowrun" at all.

I don't even mean that I want them to make an RPG. If I thought that the design enforced higher-level tactical teamwork rather than twitch Counter-Strike gameplay (not that CS *can't* be more tactical, just that most of the time it isn't) I'd be a little less disappointed. If they had anything more than the Street Samuari, Shamanitic mage (no theurgists it looks like), and Physical Adept archtypes (which is sort of what the troll seems to me), I'd be a little happier.

Unfortunately twitch gameplay doesn't lend itself to the more elaborate style required for a decker or rigger types. If they just upped the level of tactical level to something along the lines of GRAW then you could facilitate these less twitchy playstyles.

That this is the best they can do with 5 years and a gazillion bucks it makes me a sad panda.
Good post, and coming from a person knowledgable about the Shadowrun universe.

bapenguin
09-18-2006, 10:34 AM
No offense to FASA or anyone else but I love how people think FASA is trying to "cash in" on the Shadowrun IP. You don't cash in on an IP that's in an niche market with a limited userbase.

You cash in on something that's big and well known and that a lot of people played. I don't think Shadowrun would clasify as that.

And a little known fact, and I hope I don't get in trouble for posting this, but there was another Shadowrun game that FASA developed that was due out in 1998. But they canned it because they didn't think it was good. They could have easily just "cashed in" back then.

Also...I don't want to sound like I'm defending or shilling the game or anything...I just think a lot of people are making some assumptions based on mis-information.

torrefaction
09-18-2006, 10:43 AM
I'm still willing to give it a chance. Some of these posts give me hope.

http://shadowrun.com/behindthescenes/teamblog/gitelman_5-8-06_blog.htm

And for the people who continuously call this a Counter strike clone. It really doesn't seem that way to me.

http://shadowrun.com/behindthescenes/teamblog/060906%E2%80%94BillFulton.htm

Lexicon
09-18-2006, 10:50 AM
Clear out your inbox torrefaction, you slacker.

Citizen Philip
09-18-2006, 10:50 AM
There is no FASA. FASA is owned by Microsoft, since early 2000-2001, FASA is a folder that contains IP rights. Microsoft uses the IP as it sees fit.

I'm able to believe that MS wanted a multiplayer FPS for the 360, looked through their IP properties (which is always easier than creating something new) and picked a selection of IPs that had multiplayer potential. After going through the short list, Shadowrun came out on top: as which point the whole thing was packaged off to a developer for 'exclusive content'.

Meh.

Jack B
09-18-2006, 10:53 AM
No offense to FASA or anyone else but I love how people think FASA is trying to "cash in" on the Shadowrun IP. You don't cash in on an IP that's in an niche market with a limited userbase.

You cash in on something that's big and well known and that a lot of people played. I don't think Shadowrun would clasify as that.

And a little known fact, and I hope I don't get in trouble for posting this, but there was another Shadowrun game that FASA developed that was due out in 1998. But they canned it because they didn't think it was good. They could have easily just "cashed in" back then.

Also...I don't want to sound like I'm defending or shilling the game or anything...I just think a lot of people are making some assumptions based on mis-information.

I get hammered often on EA for sticking up for games, but it's not just the games. I respect the programmers, creators, staff that invest there blood, sweat and tears into a project. They work late nights fueled by coffee, cokes and donuts with high hopes that people will love their game. I agree people are making up their minds with a lot of misinformation spread by a few over zealous fans who closed their minds after hearing it was an FPS. I will say not all fans are doing this, but I keep hearing comments like, "any self respecting fan....". It must be like coming out of the closet to be a ShadowRun fan and say this shooter sounds like fun.

Many internet posters take 2-3 years worth of passionate work by a development staff and blow it off after looking at a few screen shots. I don't even think a demo can do a game justice, let alone screen shots or a gameplay video. I've seen a bunch of people calling this trash, and crap and the gameplay looks like ass etc. Some of the best features of a game aren't known until you've spent quality time with the actual release version.

Since you've been to FASA and spoken with real people, it's a little more difficult to just blow it off. Those are real people working hard to create the best game they can.

The least I can do, is give these people a chance. They have families and it's their career. I don't write off games that quickly. To my detractors, I say do your thing. I'm likely not going to change your style and I won't quit defending the underdog. To the fence sitters, maybe they'll try to be a bit more objective about all games in this industry. I hope so. I think that's all any developer would ask, is to just give them a chance.

Jack B
09-18-2006, 11:00 AM
There is no FASA. FASA is owned by Microsoft, since early 2000-2001, FASA is a folder that contains IP rights. Microsoft uses the IP as it sees fit.

I'm able to believe that MS wanted a multiplayer FPS for the 360, looked through their IP properties (which is always easier than creating something new) and picked a selection of IPs that had multiplayer potential. After going through the short list, Shadowrun came out on top: as which point the whole thing was packaged off to a developer for 'exclusive content'.

Meh.

I think that's a plausible scenario. From the hands on reviews, they made an excellent choice.

I'm still in the camp, that say's the IP will benefit. People like me are much more likely to pay attention to the ShadowRun RPG when (and I hope it does) comes out as a result. I'd never heard of ShadowRun previously, but it sounds really interesting. I'm sure there are a bunch of other deserving Table Top games like it, that are interesting too, but when their RPG comes out, people like me might not notice...

When this gen gets rolling and the PS3, 360 and Wii have collectively 10,000 titles to choose from, I'd say the ShadowRun brand will need all the help it can get to succeed.

TrackZero
09-18-2006, 11:16 AM
The least I can do, is give these people a chance. They have families and it's their career. I don't write off games that quickly. To my detractors, I say do your thing. I'm likely not going to change your style. To the fence sitters, maybe they'll try to be a bit more objective about all games in this industry. I hope so. I think that's all any developer would ask, is to just give them a chance.

Well said Jack.

torrefaction
09-18-2006, 12:01 PM
Clear out your inbox torrefaction, you slacker.

Hahah...it's clear.

Sazime
09-18-2006, 12:53 PM
Oi guys, do we have to turn a discussion about a game 4+ months from release into a flame war?

The pictures are from an early build, there are no enviroment shadows, but the textures are very detailed and the models are amazingly clean. It looks like the final build will be beautiful.

To me, FASA was an RPG company first and foremost. An FPS seemed distressing, but from the description of gameplay that bap gave, I have to say I feel much better about this title. Besides, what is an RPG but an FPS where you take turns moving and rolling dice?

And don't go on to me about being authentic. I've been a P&P RPG player before some of you were born (15 and younger anyway...)

mightbe
09-18-2006, 03:02 PM
Nice work as usual, bap! Did you run into JCal out there?

bapenguin
09-18-2006, 03:49 PM
Nice work as usual, bap! Did you run into JCal out there?

Yup! It was nice to finally meet him face to face.

Sandman
09-18-2006, 03:56 PM
I think I'll be the Dwarf. I like the idea of a tech based race that can drain the magic out of others. Very good preview and this has now moved up to "no brainer" status.

J Arcane
09-18-2006, 04:00 PM
In pen-and-paper RPGs, there is a term that gets thrown around about a lot of new releases: fantasy heartbreaker.

A fantasy heartbreaker is, essentially, a game that promises some grand new fantasy realm and to revolutionize RPGs, and clearly is the personal baby of the developer, but when it comes out it proves to be just another bad D&D clone.

It's a heartbreaker because you can generally tell that the author put a lot of work into it, but the game itself has basically nothing really to recommend it.

This is the kind of thing I see when I look at this game, and in everything I read about it.

I keep seeing these quotes about how it's supposedly goign to be revolutionary, how it'll play like no shooter before, and how it's not really a CS clone, honest!

And then I actually read their own descriptions and I see CS gameplay mechanics with a dash of Natural Selection thrown in. Maybe a little Team Fortress for good measure. And of course plenty of excuses about how they'll be getting the actual art and visuals done any day now.

Bleh.

mightbe
09-18-2006, 07:22 PM
Yup! It was nice to finally meet him face to face.

Don't tell him (cause he'll get a big head) but as far as feature writing goes, yout two are are both in my top 5.

mightbe
09-18-2006, 08:36 PM
Don't forget Firingsquad's new preview now too. JCal was up there with bap at the same press even.

I submitted FS's preview as news but it didn't make it. Maybe they're jealous. ;)

Kefkataran
09-18-2006, 10:07 PM
You should listen to the 1up.com podcast from last friday. Garnett was passionate. He was challenged consistently by the others on the Podcast, but knew a ton about the game from his gameplay.

Garnett was definitely into the game, but I don't think he was quite as passionate or in love with it as you're making it sound. He definitely conceded that there were some major problems with it and whether or not it was going to succeed, even if the gameplay was solid.

mightbe
09-18-2006, 10:34 PM
On a side note, does anyone remember the Shadowrun CCG?

That game was badass. They should do an online version for XBL.

Jack B
09-18-2006, 10:41 PM
On a side note, does anyone remember the Shadowrun CCG?

That game was badass. They should do an online version for XBL.

Mightbe, you are the best! "One a side note!" LOL

That was definitely what was needed here. This is far to serious! :D

mightbe
09-18-2006, 10:50 PM
Mightbe, you are the best! "One a side note!" LOL

That was definitely what was needed here. This is far to serious! :D
Well, did you ever play it?

Shit, lets stay on topic.

Jack B
09-18-2006, 11:00 PM
Well, did you ever play it?

Shit, lets stay on topic.

Nope, but I'd be interested in checking it out if I ever had the chance. I imagine it's pretty old by now. What does it run on?

mightbe
09-18-2006, 11:06 PM
It's a card game. Runs on paper and nerdiness.

Sazime
09-19-2006, 01:08 AM
It's a card game. Runs on paper and nerdiness.
Dude, you just described my Tuesday nights. :D

How was the CCG? I don't think I ever even say the cards for it.

easi
09-19-2006, 03:32 AM
God, I knew this would happen. I was even going to make a pre-emptive appeal for sanity, but I made a sandwich instead! Oh the guilt! :(

bapenguin
09-19-2006, 04:46 AM
oh my god...what the hell happened. I think it's time I do cleanup on this thread....

fitbabits
09-19-2006, 04:48 AM
oh my god...what the hell happened. I think it's time I do cleanup on this thread....
I know... For what it's worth, I've received PMs from both Jack B and Banacek apologizing for their antics. As far as I'm concerned, this particular fight is finished.

I'm sorry it sullied your otherwise excellent article. :(

bapenguin
09-19-2006, 04:50 AM
I deleted most of the infalamatory posts.

mightbe
09-19-2006, 05:00 AM
Getting back to the real topic (geeze reds, always derailing things ;P), you can find a bit more about the Shadowrun CCG here (http://www.intercom.net/user/logan1/srccg.htm).

Kelegacy
09-19-2006, 05:10 AM
I know... For what it's worth, I've received PMs from both Jack B and Banacek apologizing for their antics. As far as I'm concerned, this particular fight is finished.

I'm sorry it sullied your otherwise excellent article. :(
I was sorry, too! As near-perfect as I am, my foresight is not 20/20 and I spoke, and thought, out of turn.

Luckily my hindsight is contact-enhanced!

fitbabits
09-19-2006, 05:54 AM
I was sorry, too! As near-perfect as I am, my foresight is not 20/20 and I spoke, and thought, out of turn.

Luckily my hindsight is contact-enhanced!
Yeah, and it's appreciated. The reason I mentioned Jack B and Banacek was that their apology was via PM and not visible to the general community.

In any case, you're still nuttier than a squirrel's turd! :D

KingGorilla
10-01-2006, 10:23 PM
Halo-take my anticipated RTS, turn it in to a shooter...fool me once Microsoft.
Mechassault-take my beloved Mech Sim, turn it in to Haol...Fool me twice.
ShadowRun-the gloves are off, We are ready to throw down Microsoft...you just raped my favorite Genesis game and one of the richest and most unique RPG universes out there.

NeoSuplex
10-13-2006, 07:34 PM
I was one of the people extremely pissed about this, but this made me reconsider. From my first bits of intel about the game, I gathered an Image of a Team fortress like game. You chose a class. Each class had some set abilities... blah blah.

Reading this, it doesn't seem so bad. These days, the term RPG doesn't define a genre anymore; as far as I'm concerned, this game is as much RPG as FF. You have the freedom to craft and customize your own avatar to play with. So what if his accuracy is determined by the player's skill instead of a dice roll, the backbone is still there. That said, I'd be interested in a game like this. I've always been a fan of Customized Characters engaging in real time combat. I've played MMOs and Mech games to get a taste of it (Well... also I love mechs) but this is where it's at.

There are a few things that they maybe could do better... Put in a Story. Let you have a Stable Character instead of Piecing one together every game. Kept the rules for Magic/Tech closer to canon. But overall, it seem like they did the liscence good. As long as it turns out to be a fun game, I don't really see a problem.
For the record, CS style charater building sounds stupid as hell.

H.Bogard
10-13-2006, 07:50 PM
It's improved... but still ugly...
Also, I keep thinking Xbox = FPSes... No deep RPGs (besides oblivion)..., add low budgets and big name license... a pinch of consolization and voila!

/end rant.

torrefaction
10-13-2006, 11:09 PM
It's improved... but still ugly...
Also, I keep thinking Xbox = FPSes... No deep RPGs (besides oblivion)..., add low budgets and big name license... a pinch of consolization and voila!

/end rant.

Uh. Enchanted Arms? GRAW (Third Person. Don't try it ;) ). Saints Row, Kameo. The Outfit (HIGHLY underrated), Dead Rising, Test Drive Unlimited, PGR3. There's more, but you've obviously unfairly characterized the Xbox. Especially with this seasons releases, which I'm super excited about.

biggame238
10-14-2006, 12:34 AM
... No deep RPGs (besides oblivion)...

I hate to say it, cuz i was a huge morrowind fan, but oblivion is not a deep rpg... just really wide :)

Neosho
10-14-2006, 01:46 AM
I'm sorta sad about this entire thing simply because it lacks deckers. To me, that was a huge part of the teamwork of Shadownrun.

Think about how awesome it would be to have an assault style map, where the deckers can go in, overwrite the security cameras so the assault team can go in unnoticed, hack into the system so that the corp people can't see the team, meanwhile the corp team is trying to keep their ICE up and stop the deckers from coming in, as well as directing their forces in the real world. Make the objectives obtainable from both sides, so that, say, if the decker team advances far enough, they can retrieve the data and win, or if the assault team makes it into the command room, they can retrieve the data and win.

Also, considering the decker exists in the real world, he'd have to be protected or move with the team in order to be an asset...how awesome would that game be?

Oh well. If i'm lucky, maybe i'll see that game in the next 10 years. Seriously, 2 level gameplay would be recockulously awesome. Of course, you'd still have to deal with moronic fucktards screwing you over, but that's just a truth in online gaming now adays.

H.Bogard
10-14-2006, 10:19 AM
Uh. Enchanted Arms? GRAW (Third Person. Don't try it ;) ). Saints Row, Kameo. The Outfit (HIGHLY underrated), Dead Rising, Test Drive Unlimited, PGR3. There's more, but you've obviously unfairly characterized the Xbox. Especially with this seasons releases, which I'm super excited about.

Never was a fan of JRPGs... and what do all those other games have to do with deep RPG gaming? o_O

Sazime
10-14-2006, 12:05 PM
Never was a fan of JRPGs... and what do all those other games have to do with deep RPG gaming? o_O
That's what I was wondering. Sure, they are no FPSs, but a few of those would fit under big names.

Sure, the XBox has never been a JRPG console, or any number of great RPGs, they have had some great games. Right now, the 360 still needs its killer app. We've seen some great stuff, just nothing that shouts "Kiss my ass, other consoles."

Here's hoping Shadowrun can do that.

torrefaction
10-14-2006, 12:54 PM
Never was a fan of JRPGs... and what do all those other games have to do with deep RPG gaming? o_O

Oh, not a whole lot. But you said that the Xbox = FPS. I was just well disagreeing. As far as deep rpg's, yeah, I'm with ya as far as that goes. But honestly, console's typically haven't had what I consider the best of RPG's. Most console RPG's are JRPG's for the most part. The PC owns the RPG scene (Hopefully that'll change some. Mass Effect looks like a good step forward)

J Arcane
10-14-2006, 01:09 PM
The original Xbox had the best lineup of RPGs any console ever had. KOTOR I & II, Fable, Morrowind, Arx Fatalis, Jade Empire . . .

Real RPGs in the PC tradition, not barely interactive trash like FF.

So far though, the 360 hasn't lived up to that tradition. All it's got is Oblivion. Mass Effect is coming, and I'm intrigued about that, but it seems MS has decided instead to pander to the JRPG crowd instead by buying up idiots like Sakaguchi.

Sazime
10-14-2006, 01:37 PM
The original Xbox had the best lineup of RPGs any console ever had. KOTOR I & II, Fable, Morrowind, Arx Fatalis, Jade Empire.
I can't being to tell you guys how much Bioware's RPGs irritate me. I understand why people like them, but personally KOTOR is the last thing that will get me to buy a console RPG.

And please, don't rip on the FF crowd. I am one of them, and I hate being grouped with fanboys. (Not saying anyone herein is, just say'n). But yeah, the JRPG crown has nothing to be excited about on the XBox, and if you're a real RPG fan the PC is the way to go.